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WJBD - Local News - Centralia BPW Names Woman of the Year

Elisha Monken poses with her family that was on hand to help her celebrate the Woman of the Year honor.

Elisha Monken (center) is presented with the Woman of the Year award by Karen Walsh (left) and Kathy Eifert (right).

Elisha Monken joined the group of elite women who have won the BPW's Woman of the Year Award.

Centralia BPW Names Woman of the Year

By Bruce Kropp, WJBD News

The Centralia Business and Professional Woman's Club has named Elisha Monken as their Woman of the Year.  

Elisha Monken was surprised with the award at the annual Woman of the Year Breakfast held Sunday morning at the Centralia Elk's Club.  The announcement was made by Karen Walsh following a long listing of Monken's accomplishments on behalf of her church, various non-profit organizations, as well as at her children's school.  "I'm very excited.  This is a big honor.  Not even being from Centralia, I'm glad I can be a part of helping the community and join these ladies," said Monken.  "I'm excited."

Monken said she had good role models in her mother-in-law and sister-in-law, who are both past recipients of the Woman of the Year Award.   She called herself a 'professional volunteer'.  

Moken said several of her efforts were favorites."Definitely at the church, it is my seventh year for helping with a Friendship Meal Program.  Twice a year we feed people from 80 to 100 people that maybe wouldn't eat otherwise.  Definitely involved with the schools and the kids.  Definitely United Fund and helping at the dealership," said Monken.  "All of that means a lot."

Monken has had key volunteer roles at the Calumet Street Christian Church, Healthcare Foundation, Centralia Area United Fund, Relay for Life, American Heart Association, Trinity Lutheran School, Kaskaskia College, Salvation Army and Centralia Balloon Fest. She has also hosted foreign exchange students and is involved in marketing and public relations for the two Monken car dealerships in Centralia.  

Monken had come to the breakfast thinking that a friend was getting the award.  The Woman of the Year Breakfast kicks off BPW week in Centralia.  The Boss of the Year will be named Monday night.

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