Annual Ladies Gala Honors Community Leaders in Claremore

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Pictured Left to Right, 2018 Leading Ladies Award winners included Ashley May, Brooke McIntyre, Katelyn Gamble, Brenda Reno, Crystal Campbell, Carolyn Robison, and Layla Freeman.

Celebrating women in business within the community, the annual Leading Ladies Gala returns to Claremore this October.

“The Leading Ladies Gala is one of our yearly fundraisers, at which, we dedicate an evening in recognition of the businesswomen and leaders in our community,” said Claremore Chamber of Commerce Communications Coordinator Katie Thibodeaux. “The gala is a special event at which we host a dinner, offer entertainment with a special guest speaker, and award special honors in areas of business leadership, behind-the-scenes, community supporters, rising stars and several others.”

Previous winners have included Carolyn Robison of Rogers County Youth Services (Behind the Scenes Award), Brenda Reno of Sailor Antiques (Business Leadership Award), Ashley May of (Community Supporter Award), Layla Freeman of Light of Hope (Nonprofit Leadership Award), Brooke McIntyre (Leader in Health Award), Katelyn Gamble, student at Rogers State University (Rising Star Award), and Crystal Campbell of SWABO Properties (Leading Lady of the Year).

“Our presenting sponsor is Hillcrest Hospital, so the gala has been centered around women’s health themes – last year was breast cancer awareness, and this year, we’re highlighting ovarian cancer awareness, so we’re going to have a live auction, which we’re calling the Teal Heels and Feels Auction, where participants can donate personally-decorated (high) heels and/or a bra to be auctioned off to raise money to benefit Tenaciously Teal – a nonprofit organization dedicated to meeting the needs of those fighting cancer,” she said.

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“Because all of the nominees and winners (of the awards) are from the Claremore area, it really reflects the kind of strong female leadership we have here, both in the public eye, and behind the scenes.”

Tenaciously Teal currently operates out of cancer treatment centers within the state of Oklahoma, working with hospital staff to provide Cancer Care Packs each month, along with gas and meal cards to those needing additional assistance.

The “teal” of Tenaciously Teal denotes its role in helping those fighting ovarian cancer, as teal is representative of ovarian cancer awareness.

Tarah Warren, founder of Tenaciously Teal and an ovarian cancer survivor, will be one of the event’s speakers, with the featured speaker for the evening being former First Lady of Oklahoma Cathy Keating.

“When Cathy was First Lady of Oklahoma, she was very focused on women’s health in the state, so she’s both a great leader herself, as well as an advocate and proponent of women’s health and health issues,” said Claremore Chamber President Barby Myers. “We’re very excited to be welcoming her to Claremore and this special event.”

Although the event is primarily dedicated to honoring women and their contributions to area business and community, Thibodeaux noted that men are very much welcomed to attend.

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Hillcrest Hospital of Claremore returns as a presenting sponsor at this year’s gala, as one of the highlights of the evening is the importance of women’s health, in particular, those fighting ovarian cancer.

“Personally, I think the event is a very empowering evening for women – especially the leading lady awards,” she said. “Because all of the nominees and winners (of the awards) are from the Claremore area, it really reflects the kind of strong female leadership we have here, both in the public eye, and behind the scenes. This (gala) is our opportunity to acknowledge everything they do for the community.

“For all they do for us, this is our small way of appreciating and giving back to them,” she said.

The Claremore Leading Ladies Gala is scheduled for Wednesday, Oct. 2, at the Claremore Conference Center. Doors open at 5:30 p.m., with a cocktail hour. Reception doors open at 6 p.m., and the program begins at 6:30 p.m.

For more information, contact the Claremore Chamber of Commerce at 918-341-2818 or visit them during business hours in person at 419 West Will Rogers Boulevard.

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