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It’s on the calendar for each March.

It always comes on a day I can least afford an hour and a half.

It frequently comes on a day with sloggy, sloshy weather, inadequate parking and soggy shoes.

But it’s important nonetheless.

And far more enticing than the chicken cordon bleu and plastic pitchers of ice tea are the sentiments expressed at the annual Casper Woman of Distinction luncheon.

Next year will be the 25th for the collaborative effort among community women’s groups — currently Soroptimist of Central Wyoming, AAUW, Panhellenic and Accounting & Financial Women’s Alliance.

Unlike some award enterprises that choose a “winner” from a pool of nominees, this group truly honors every single nominee. Each gets her biography read, each is brought to the stage, each is singly honored.

And then there is a winner, who receives a lovely art piece, a donation to the charity of her choice in her name and the “honor” of delivering a speech at next year’s gathering.

But none of that, really, is the purpose of the day.

It is a “day” for women to celebrate women. And even more importantly, to learn about the incredible women in our community.

This year’s nominees include a civic educator born in 1922, the first female board member of the Wyoming Contractors Association, a woman who has spent decades writing letters to prisoners, a banker, a refinery manager, an educator for more than 50 years and a pianist/columnist/attorney.

The latter, Susan Stubson, is this year’s winner. She is a professionally trained pianist, a columnist in the Casper Star-Tribune and a practicing attorney. She is also a wife, mother, wildly enthusiastic outdoors person, lover of politics and hilarious.

At work, we’ve been thinking and talking a lot about being Wyoming women. It’s a moniker that I adore.

But it’s not easy being a woman in Wyoming. You want to be independent, unless the snow is deep and the wind is blowing and you can no longer see the road.

You want to be independent, until the freezer gets unplugged, the dishwasher quits and the dog gets pneumonia, all in the same month.

You want to be independent, right up until you watch a movie that makes you cry or read a book that scares you silly and don’t have anyone to talk about it with.

Weak women can’t help themselves, neither can strong ones. We are who we are, and brand those who change to please others as “fake.”

I didn’t come up with this, but I wholeheartedly endorse it.

“Here’s to strong women. May we know them. May we be them. May we raise them.”

And, because I just can’t help it, I present a line from Chancey Williams (Moorcroft) and the Younger Brothers Band newest single, “The World Needs More Cowboys.”

“Some of the toughest cowboys I ever met were cowgirls.”

Follow community news editor Sally Ann Shurmur on Twitter @WYOSAS

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Follow community news editor Sally Ann Shurmur on Twitter @WYOSAS

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Community News Editor

Sally Ann Shurmur arrived at the Star-Tribune to cover sports two weeks after graduating from the University of Wyoming and now serves as community news editor. She was raised in Laramie and is a passionate fan of Cowboys football, food and family.

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