The commission presented this year's Torchbearer awards to women who have overcome obstacles and made Indiana a better place to live, work and raise a family.
The Torchbearer award is the highest award presented only to women by the state.
Roachdale resident Susan Crosby received the Women in Government award at the event.
Crosby served in the Indiana House of Representatives for 12 years and is now President of Women in Government, a national non-profit, bi-partisan organization of women state legislators.
Crosby was the first woman elected to the Indiana House from District 44. A Democrat, she was re-elected from the largely Republican district and served the district until retiring in 2002.
In addition, she served for six years as the first woman Deputy Speaker Pro Tempore and Vice Chair of the Rules and Legislative procedures committee.
For a long period, Crosby was the highest-ranking woman serving in the Indiana General Assembly.
The statewide council of judges chose to present several special awards this year, including: Trailblazer award, Judge Sarah Evans Barker, Indianapolis; Spirit of Hope award, Bren Simon, Carmel; Keeper of the Light award, Judge V. Sue Shields; Community Spirit award, Gazella Summitt, Vincennes; Heart of Indiana award, Fay H. Williams, Indianapolis; and the Commissioner's Lifetime Achievement award to Carole Stein, Indianapolis.
Stein was recognized as a tireless champion for Indiana's children. Her efforts have focused on early childhood education (early childhood, child care provider and teacher education) and the health and safety of infants and toddlers at risk of abuse and neglect.
In addition to the presentation of the awards, the guests were treated with dinner and a program that included entertainment by recording artist Sarah Bauer, a brief appearance by Big Mamma and the Silverettes, a tap dancing troupe of women, ages 51-66, also performed.
Melissa C. Martin, Indianapolis, President of Issues and Advocates public policy marketing and advertising, serves as Chair of the Indiana Commission for Women. Commissioner Patzetta Trice served as Chair of Tuesday's event.
First Lady Cheri Daniels presided as Honorary Chairman of Indiana's Salute to Women, opening the program with comments for the finalists and guests. Lt. Gov. Becky Skillman, a former ICW Commissioner and a 2006 Torchbearer award winner, greeted finalists and presented certificates to each.
Each of the Torchbearer award winners received a gold medallion inscribed with "Lady Victory" and the official seal of the state of Indiana.