On May 10th I dressed in red and joined the other 2007 Women of Distinction nominees at the River Run Centre. The air was filled with expectation, excitement and some nervous tension as the gems of Guelph community arrived and settled in at the Co-operators Hall. We greeted each other, complimented each other and did a mini tour of the stage and back stage, committing to memory the order of the events as they were expected to unfold. Then Bob Housser took the group photos, hundreds of them, making jokes while we blinked and blinked, our smiles pressed firmly on our faces.
Afterward we had dinner, exquisite offerings of vegetables in upended forks, growing in trays of grass. There was mango chutney, (correct me if I don't know what I'm talking about) sweet peppers, cauliflower and diverse vegetable dipping sauces. I sat with Elizabeth Cunningham, the very gracious Kathleen Schmalz and Judith Rosenberg. I sipped on sparkling Sprite, too excited to think of drinking wine.
At last we were called up to the parade of nominees. My category was first and my name by virtue of supreme alphabetical order, first. I heard my name, loud and strong and the next thing I knew I was stepping (gracefully, I hope) on my new pointy high heeled shoes - and I never wear thin stiletto heels. I made it and stood smiling at the darkened auditorium after I had coillected my nominee's plaque. This event is more gracious than the Oscars in this regard. Then when we had all gathered to thunderous applause we walked off stage and found our seats.
Then our category was announced and video clips of our interviews screened for all to see. Magic 106.1 and CJOY 1460 were the sponsors of the category Arts and Culture...."and the recipient is.... Adwoa Badoe!" I was delighted, thankful and in full respect of my fellow nominees. I shook their hands, hugged those close to me and went up to collect my award. Two minutes later I had given thanks to all of Guelph, the YWCA, my supporters, friends, family and God, the giver of talent and favour. Then I had photograph taken with my sponsor. Back in the auditorium, my excitement brimming over, I found myself sitting next to my friend Michelle Mohr. YES! It felt nice to win. The rest of the ceremony passed as the recipients were named for each category. Afterwards over dessert and coffee, I celebrated with good friends. Fule was there with my kids Wynne, Matthew and Stephanie. Anne Dance came with Binty and Kadi. Dorothy Odartey Wellington was there with Stephen Hennighan, Stephanie Nutting, Atsu Amegashie and Lucy Mutharia. Somehow I missed seeing Lila Engberg. The other women in my category were definitely most deserving and very gracious. I applaud, Catrina von Radecki, Janet Johnson, Kathleen Schmalz, Jessica Steinhauser and Patricia Patrick who won a lifetime achievement award. Jessica and I were wearing similar shoes. I'm yet to send her a photograph of our feet!
Since May 10th I have received flowers from well wishers and as a post script, Liz Sandals, MPP has sent a certificate of congratulations! I just received the statements my nominators and supporters wrote on my behalf and I am blown away.
Still blown away,