SANGER – Sanger community members are encouraged to send in their nominations for the 2024 Woman of the Year, honoring an individual who they believe deserves recognition for their work in the city.
Nominations close on Feb. 23, and the award winner will be announced at a reception on March 13. Sanger City Councilmember Esmeralda Hurtado said the award is just one element of the city’s efforts to celebrate Women’s History Month in March.
“We take the month of March to uplift women in the community that may be business owners, community activists — women who are taking action and leading in the community,” Hurtado said. “It’s just a way to highlight their efforts in wanting to create a better community for Sanger.”
The city is looking for women who live, work or volunteer in Sanger and who embody courage and hard work, according to the nomination form. Nominators must fill out a brief questionnaire about their nominee and provide a one-page explanation about why the nominee should be named the Woman of the Year.
After the nomination period closes, Hurtado said a specific committee made up of women in the city review the nominations and make the decision. Hurtado said she tries to open up the opportunity to participate on the committee to many people, starting with city staff, women on other committees and commissions in the city and police and fire personnel.
That committee is also “the force in putting these great events together,” Hurtado said, as they work to coordinate events and review nomination submissions.
Hurtado said that community members should think about someone they look up to who is also passionate about strengthening the community when nominating an individual for the award.
“I know there’s a lot of exceptional women in our community and it’s hard to nominate one single one, but I’m hoping to get a lot of applicants this year and have a wide range of nominees as well,” Hurtado said.
The idea for the award came from Hurtado’s sister — now State Sen. Melissa Hurtado — back when she was on the Sanger City Council. Since taking a seat on the council herself, Esmeralda Hurtado said she has grown the event, adding more ways to celebrate the women of the city.
“It did stem from her idea and passion to help women in the community, and taking on that role to make sure that we are supporting one another and highlighting the great achievements of women in our community,” Hurtado said.
In addition to this award recognition, Hurtado said the city puts on other festivities throughout March to recognize the impact women have on the community. The City Council will make a proclamation about Women’s History Month at the beginning of March, and will also recognize the Woman of the Year award recipient at the council meeting scheduled for March 21.
Work from local women artists will also be celebrated in March with a display at the city hall. Hurtado said that way, everyone in the community can enjoy that artwork when they pay their water bills or attend council meetings.
The Woman of the Year award reception on March 13 is also open to everyone in the community, and will feature art, entertainment, festivities and possible recognitions from local state legislators, Hurtado said.
Woman of the Year nomination forms are available on the city’s website under the “Spotlights” page and should be emailed to Corina Tamez at email@example.com or mailed or delivered to City Hall at 1700 7th St. in Sanger. For questions about the award, call 559-876-6300, extension 1500.