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  • Writer's pictureMichelle

Trailblazer Award Honors Women Making a Difference

Last year we celebrated 100 years of the 19th Amendment, which established women’s right to vote.

The courage of the suffragette women and their yellow rose symbol were the inspiration for the annual Trailblazer Award introduced last year, to be awarded at the conclusion of Provo Women's Day each year.

What is a Trailblazer?

Trailblazing women from the past show us that it’s not easy to be comfortable with being uncomfortable—but it’s worth it.

That making a difference means facing possible ridicule and uncertainty—but it matters!

That taking a leap is scary because of obstacles and a fear of failure—but you

should do it!!

Trailblazers are those who don’t wait…for the “right time” or for “permission”. They do what needs to be done when it needs to be done, sometimes loudly, but most times quietly, without a desire for recognition.

They do it because it’s the right thing to do and someone has to do it. Trailblazers surround us as unsung heroes who change lives, without most ever knowing of their contributions.

Congratulations to Genelle Pugmire--Utah County's "Unofficial" Storyteller

This year's Trailblazer has dedicated her life to telling our community stories. In my opinion, the best communicators are those who know how to tell a compelling story. While it may sound obvious and simple, not all communicators are good storytellers.

Storytelling is both a learned skill and a talent—and Genelle Pugmire has both in abundance.

Genelle is and always be one of Utah Valley’s most passionate storytellers with decades of Provo stories bearing her byline, whether while working at the Deseret News or for the past 12 years at the Daily Herald, where she is currently a staff reporter.

She has the relationships, passion, ability and never-ending curiosity to communicate to Utah County citizens—to inform, persuade and, most importantly, make an emotional connection.

After 37 years and more than 3,000 stories, I thought it would be interesting to know which of those stories stand out. So I asked—just a few headlines for fun!

- Girl’s Bare Shoulders Starts Debate on Dress Codes at Prom;

- Provo Couple Celebrate 70 Years Together;

- Provo Tabernacle Announcement Raises Mixed Emotions;

- Provo Parking Permits Continue to Divide Council ;

- Provo Employees Plant Garden for Food Bank;

- Teacher Celebrates 90th Birthday by Teaching

Storytellers, like Genelle, connect us. Their stories make us laugh and cry; nod in agreement or cause us to think. The stories we share together become our community glue and I’m thankful to Genelle for being Provo’s eyes and ears—and oftentimes, our heart.

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