2017 Women of Distinction Award recipients announced
BATAVIA -- It was a photo-worthy moment to see the surprised reactions of Zonta Club members during a special announcement Wednesday during the club’s monthly meeting.
Zonta Club of Batavia-Genesee County members learned that Zonta is the recipient of this year’s Women of Distinction Peace Award.
“It’s a total shock,” Member Patti Pacino said. “We don’t ever go for awards, we give them. It’s such a lovely surprise. Working with YWCA is an incredibly wonderful meld because we can help you with things for domestic violence.”
Jeanne Walton, executive director of YWCA of Genesee County made the announcement as part of her ongoing community talks to promote the annual awards gala. Zonta was chosen for its dedication to community needs local and afar, especially in regard to saying no to domestic violence.
“Zonta Club went above and beyond to create many tote bags filled with toiletries and other items as a way to pamper and truly care for victims of abuse,” Walton said. “The club has certainly given many forms of peace to this community and is so deserving of this award.”
The gala is at 5:30 p.m. June 15 at Genesee Community College, 1 College Road. An awards ceremony will be in Stuart Steiner Theatre followed by a hearty appetizer and dessert buffet and an auction in The Forum.
The Women of Distinction Awards Gala is a way for YWCA to honor and recognize those individuals, groups and businesses that have contributed to the overall betterment of this region. Award recipients have also, through their personal and professional endeavors, strengthened YW’s vision to provide sustainable programs that foster healthy, balanced living for women and families.
Women of Distinction Committee members also chose the following recipients:
- Roula Alkhouri, pastor of First Presbyterian Church in Batavia, for the Racial Justice Award. A native of Syria, Alkhouri was chosen for her efforts to support diversity and better understanding of world affairs from a local perspective and her ministry passions of spirituality, interfaith connections and social justice.
- Krysten Schmidt, of Ladies First for the Advocacy/Civic Engagement Award. Schmidt opened her Batavia business in October 2012 with a focus on providing women’s preventative health care. She was chosen for her sincere willingness to empower women and provide direct services to YWCA domestic violence clients.
- Deanne (Dee) Quinn Miller, program coordinator of the state Defender’s Association, for the Military/Veteran Award. Although Miller does not have direct experience in the military, there is no doubt that her core philosophy has been that “veterans and military families deserved the best care and resources available,” according to her nomination letter.
“It is clear that with every role, Dee’s passion and commitment to veterans grows,” the letter stated. “It is clear that each and every veteran holds a special place in her heart.”
- Western New York Tech Academy for the Economic Empowerment Award. This initiative offers local students a unique path toward educational and career success in the areas of science, technology, engineering and math by connecting them with mentors, area companies, job experience and a free two-year degree. The four-year plan prepares students for high-skill and financially stable career opportunities in a less traditional format for those students that may not have the resources and guidance necessary for the high school to college track.
- Lewis Tree Service, the second-largest provider of vegetation management in the country, for the Corporate Social Responsibility Award. Based in Rochester, this philanthropic company – led by its Giving Tree Committee -- has contributed funds, staff time and equipment to YWCA over the last few years to help support the nonprofit’s programs and services. In 2016, Lewis Tree Service received an ETHIE Award from Rochester Area Business Ethics Foundation for doing “the right thing” through strong ethical foundations, high standards of business conduct and multifaceted connections to ethics in others’ daily lives.
- Georgann Carrubba, founder of Tencar Inc., for the Exceptional Entrepreneur Award. This new award recognizes a woman in the community who is making a difference through her business philosophies, investment practices and work ethics. A Batavia native and registered nurse, Carrubba is also an innovator. She developed an idea into a product to give comfort and security to patients with a Choice Cap ostomy prosthetic appliance, which has also meant an investment of $100,000 in this community for production.
This year’s event will include a fun basket, silent and live auction loosely titled “Eat, Drink & Be Merry” to capture the spirited theme. At least three dozen baskets will be up for bid, including a fully catered elegant dinner for eight, a lobster basket of gourmet treats, a tailgate party, a catered middle Eastern meal and, to include the animal lovers, a "Bone Appetit" package of assorted pet items.
Sponsorship opportunities are available, including a special one for each of the award categories Tickets for the Gala are $40 each or $350 for a table of 10, and may be purchased at YWCA, 301 North St., Batavia or by calling (585) 343-5808.