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Each year in May, the Central Kentucky News-Journal honors Taylor County women with a special section. The newspaper also asks for help from the community in choosing one woman in particular who has excelled in her family, career, community and church during the past year.
Residents send in their nominations for Taylor County Woman of the Year and then a committee of News-Journal staff and others meets to consider those nominations as well as others in the community.
This year's honoree is Laura Wilds. (See today's special section with her photo on the cover.) And we hope you'll attend a reception in her honor at 4 p.m. on Thursday.
The decision was a difficult one for judges. There were more than 15 women nominated. Several had more than a few letters of nomination. But Wilds simply stood out.
In addition to a long list of her community, career and church activities for the past year, Wilds has a large family and still made a difference to a young girl alone in a strange community several years ago.
This year, that "young girl" wrote a moving letter of nomination. And the neatest part of all is that the young girl came to love Campbellsville so much that she chose to stay, marry, raise a family and give back to the community by working in our public schools.
Elisha Rhodes says, "This amazing woman who was a complete stranger to me was there to comfort me the day my dad drove away and left me at college. Throughout college, she cheered me on at home volleyball games, she gave me a bedroom where I stayed when I was homesick, cooked me supper, did my laundry, took care of me and drove me to the doctor when I was sick. She was there to see my baptism and seated as a parent at my wedding. Quickly, this stranger became my mother and a Christian role model in my life."
How many of us would spare that much time from our busy lives for a total stranger?
Rhodes' words - added to all that Wilds has done in the community during the past year - is why she has been named the 2009 Central Kentucky News-Journal Taylor County Woman of the Year.
And, each year, local business participate by providing gifts for the Woman of the Year. This year's sponsors are Gardner's Photography, Wal-Mart Supercenter, The Green Room Salon & Spa, Tucker Diamonds & Gold, Visions Salon, SylverTouch Therapy, Visions Glass Etching, Magnolia Alley and Tulip Tree.
To them, we give our heartfelt thanks.
And, as of today, we're accepting nominations for a similar award to honor a special man in Taylor County. The deadline for nominations is 5 p.m. Tuesday, May 26.
So, get out your pen and paper and get busy.