MONTROSE, Colo. (KREX) — The Fifth Annual Women of Distinction Awards were held in Montrose on Friday. The awards, meant to honor women with impacts on their communities, were lead by Tonya Maddox of Our Town Matters. Nearly two-dozen women were nominated for the Woman of the Year award, including Sara Bachman of Bachman law, and Leah Kay Cole of Mrs. Clause for Cause. Western Slope Now’s very own Ethan Noah was also at the event, playing the role of emcee/co-anchor for Maddox.

Beginning in 2017, the awards are meant to celebrate those women of the Western Slope region who dedicate their time to bettering their communities. As the evening concluded, Maddox announced retired chef Fran Noonan as the 2022 Woman of the Year. Noonan, who was met with a standing ovation, survived brain cancer just last year, and has used her to story to inspire not just the women sharing the stage with her, but perhaps the women who idolize them as well.

For more on the nominees and when the next awards ceremony will be held, stay tuned right here at