20th Annual Girl Scouts YWCA Tribute to Women Event a Success - Daily Hudson Valley News

20th Annual Girl Scouts YWCA Tribute to Women Event a Success

May 29th, 2012 | By | Category: Featured Articles

Brigadier General Rebecca Halstead Wows Crowd

It was a memorable evening for honorees and guests alike at the 20th anniversary Tribute to Women of Achievement of Orange County award dinner.
Co-hosted by Girl Scouts Heart of the Hudson and YWCA Orange County, this annual event recognized the accomplishments and contributions of eight outstanding Orange County women.

The 2012 Orange County women of achievement were:

Arts – Kim Turner, Newburgh, Newburgh Performing Arts Academy

Business – Maureen Crush, Newburgh, Partner at de Ramon Crush PC

Health Care – Kathi Webber, Middletown, Orange Regional Medical Center Foundation

Human Services – Donna Ponessa, New Windsor, Westchester Independent  Living Center

Public Service – Captain Kathleen Sileno, Newburgh, 105th Air National Guard Unit

Education – Deb Holton-Smith, Warwick, Take Shape For Life Certified Health Coach

Woman of the Future – Natasha Vega, Newburgh, Student, Poughkeepsie Day School

BOBBIE A. LAHEY MEMORIAL AWARD for Volunteer Services – Frederica Warner, Newburgh, Meals on Wheels of Greater Newburgh

2012 Tribute honorees with Rizzo and Halstead

The 2012 Tribute to Orange County Women of Achievement honorees were joined by Tribute committee chairperson Ginny Rizzo and keynote speaker General Rebecca Halstead. From left to right - back row - Kim Turner, Maureen Crush, Natasha Vega, Capt. Kathleen Sileno, Ginny Rizzo. Front row - Kathi Webber, Frederica Warner, Donna Ponessa, Deb Holton-Smith, and General Rebecca Halstead.

The nearly 300 family, friends, guests and supporters of the honorees, Girl Scouts, and YWCA, had the opportunity to meet each of the honorees during the opening reception at Anthony’s Pier 9 in New Windsor.

During the dinner program, 2012 Tribute chairperson and 2010 Tribute alumnae, Ginny Rizzo, introduced each of the honorees and presented them with their official Tribute medallions as well as certificates and letters of commendation from elected officials.

“We are so fortunate to have such an outstanding group of women of achievement right here in Orange County. Each in their own way they give of themselves selflessly and generously, leading the way to make our community a better place for all who live here,” said Rizzo.

Carrying on that message of service and leadership was Brigadier General Rebecca Halstead, the event’s keynote speaker. Halstead, a 1981 graduate of the United States Military Academy and the first female graduate of West Point to be promoted to General Officer, applauded the 2012 honorees for their many accomplishments that brought them to the stage that evening. A dynamic, inspiring, and humorous speaker, Halstead went on to share the challenges and opportunities she faced as she rose through the ranks to be the first female in U.S. history to command in combat at the strategic level.

Reminding her audience that each and every person has the potential to be a leader, Halstead shared her trademark message, “The first person you must lead is you.” She was treated to rousing applause and a standing ovation at the end of her remarks and stayed long after the dinner’s end to pose for pictures with her many new admirers.

The 2012 Tribute event was made possible through the generous support of Tribute Platinum sponsor Key Bank, one of the nation’s largest bank-based financial services companies making significant investments in local communities. Special support for the guest speaker was provided by Diamond sponsors Orange Regional Medical Center and Crystal Run Healthcare.

More than 200 women from throughout Orange County have been recognized since the award’s inception in 1992. A 20 year collaboration between the Girl Scouts Heart of the Hudson, celebrating the 100th anniversary of Girl Scouts this year, and YWCA Orange County, now in its 150th year, the Tribute to Orange County Women of Achievement award recognizes women who exemplify the ideals of these two organizations.


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