State Sen. Pam Helming, R-54th District, recently announced 16 nominees from the Wayne-Finger Lakes region for New York State Senate Woman of Distinction recognition.
This award recognizes the work of women from the region and throughout the state, with one honoree selected from each State Senate District.
“Our community is fortunate to have so many remarkable women whose lives, career work and volunteer service have contributed to making our state and country better, making our families stronger and serving as examples to others,” Helming said. “The Woman of Distinction program provides a terrific opportunity to recognize women from our area who make a difference, and to thank them for the pride they bring to our communities. I received many fantastic nominations of worthy women from across my six-county district, and I look forward to recognizing all of these nominees.”
The nominees are Cathleen Bement, Donna Besler Tatem, Michelle Fridley, Oksana Fuller and Lauren Moore, of Canandaigua; Marie Milligan, of Geneva; Laurie Crane, of Huron; Sarah Lynn Grossman, Valerie Aarne Grossman and Tricia Kuntz, of Palmyra; Patricia White, of Scipio Center; Neetu Chandak, of Seneca Falls; Connie Patti, of Union Springs; Julie Bellone and Ellen Hughes, of Waterloo; and Cheri Roloson, of Williamson.
Crane serves as Huron town supervisor. She represented her town and surrounding towns on issues related to the Lake Ontario flooding disaster. Crane is a community volunteer and advocate with several local organizations.
Sarah Lynn Grossman is an educator and athlete who volunteers at Advent Comfort Care as an Eye-to-Eye mentor and as a caring clown at Rochester General Hospital. She volunteers on Habitat for Humanity builds and on the Buddy Cruise each fall for individuals with disabilities and their families.
Valerie Aarne Grossman is a nurse who has worked in emergency nursing, pediatric telephone triage, critical care and radiology. Her written works are published in numerous books, articles and online courses.
Kuntz is the creator and owner of The Painted Lady, and hosts an annual festival that draws thousands of artists and guests and raises tens of thousands of dollars for local charities.
Roloson is an animal advocate who started Cracker Jack Palace Farm to rescue abused, neglected and unwanted horses and farm animals and provide at-risk teenagers with work experience on the farm.
Helming will honor these women during a ceremony on April 20 at New York Wine and Culinary Center, 800 S. Main St., Canandaigua. The ceremony will include their nominators and other guests. Donna Schaertl, of Shortsville, who was named the 2017 Woman of Distinction for the 54th District, will serve as the featured speaker for the event.
Helming will announce her selection for the Woman of Distinction honoree from the Wayne-Finger Lakes region during the ceremony. That woman will join honorees from the state at a ceremony hosted by the State Senate in May at the State Capitol in Albany. The honoree’s photo and biography will become part of an exhibit celebrating their contributions at the Legislative Office Building in Albany. Helming will offer an online Woman of Distinction exhibit through her website.