As an annual event in observance of Women’s History Month, Cook County presents the Unsung Heroine Award to 18 women, one from each district of Cook County and one county-wide, whose contributions to their communities, families and professional endeavors have been so vital, but seldom recognized. This award, consistent with the purpose of Women’s History Month, is designed to recover and tell the story of the powerful impact women have had throughout history on the development of our social, cultural, economic and political institutions. In this spirit, the County honors these remarkable women as a way to bring their stories to light, to thank them and to celebrate the achievements of the many women through the history of Cook County whom they represent.
Peggy A. Montes serves as Chairperson of the Cook County Commission on Women’s Issues. An educator, fundraiser, leader, and champion of women’s issues and rights, Montes was the driving force behind the very first Unsung Heroine Award for the women of Cook County. On March 16, 2010, the Cook County Board of Commissioners and members of the Commission on Women’s Issues renamed the award in Montes’s honor as a way of recognizing her remarkable achievements on behalf of women and girls.