Woman of Spirit Award

Congratulations to Charaya Thach, recipient of the 2022 Woman of Spirit Award!

Born in South Vietnam, Charaya and her family were part of a wave of refugees who left  Vietnam in the 1970s and 1980s. After enduring a harrowing journey with her family to escape  Vietnam, Charaya spent years in a refugee camp in Thailand before immigrating to Canada at  age 10. Today, she makes her home in Hamilton, has a successful career in the finance industry,  and volunteers her time as the Chair of the YWCA Hamilton Board of Directors. Despite the  many twists and turns in her journey – or, perhaps because of them – Charaya is determined to  give back, to help others, and to build Hamilton.

Charaya began her relationship with YWCA Hamilton after being invited to join the Board of  Directors.  As the face of the #WomenBuildHamilton campaign, Charaya is playing an instrumental role in raising the necessary funds to build and sustain the Putman Family YWCA, which will be a transformational community hub and women-led supportive community in Hamilton. Charaya has seen first-hand how meaningful it is for residents to move into their new homes at the Putman Family YWCA and she says, “I can’t help  but see myself reflected in the families moving in. My hope is that someday, there will be a  little Charaya living there – and that the Putman Family YWCA will be the home where she  blooms.”  Charaya was nominated by Denise Christopherson. 

The Woman of Spirit Award was established to highlight and celebrate the many and varied achievements of an extraordinary woman from the Greater Hamilton Area.

This year’s nominees were (pictured from left to right):

  • Nhlaloenhle Ndawana, ED at Hamilton Urban Core (unable to attend but represented by her friend Nadine Favics)
  • Barbara Baxter, Co-director of The Learning Centre for Hamilton
  • Ona Allan, RN (retired) Hamilton General Hospital
  • Marilyn Repchuck, President of The Duet Club of Hamilton
  • Teresa Franciosa, Volunteer for Food 4 Kids & Hamilton FoodShare
  • Charaya Thach, Board Chair at the YWCA Hamilton

Read more about these outstanding women here.



This year, as part of our celebration of Women’s History Month, the Women’s Canadian Club of Hamilton paid tribute to Hamilton-native Irene MacDonald.  From humble beginnings, being raised in an orphanage, Irene went on to become a champion diver, coach and broadcaster.

Read more about Irene’s inspirational life.


We thank Scotiabank and The Hamilton Spectator for their generous support of the Woman of Spirit Award.




Share This

Share this page with your friends!