O'Mara accepts nominations for Woman of Distinction Award

Staff Writer
The Chronicle Express

Kicking off New York State’s upcoming celebration of Women’s History Month throughout March, Sen. Tom O’Mara announces he is accepting nominations for the Senate's 17th annual "Women of Distinction" program to honor local women making outstanding contributions to area communities.

The deadline for submitting a nomination is Monday, March 24.

"The ‘Woman of Distinction’ tribute is a meaningful recognition. I look forward to this annual opportunity to recognize an outstanding area citizen," said O’Mara, whose 58th Senate District encompasses all of Chemung, Schuyler, Steuben and Yates counties, and part of Tompkins County (the city and town of Ithaca, and the towns of Enfield, Newfield and

Ulysses). "We all know someone who makes an enormous difference to the community at large. Whether she is a service provider, a teacher going above and beyond the call of duty, a businesswoman, or simply a community resident known for her good deeds, I'd like to see her recognized."

In 2011, his first year in the Senate, O’Mara honored Carol Berry of Hornell, a long-time regional library professional and director of the Dormann Library in Bath, as his inaugural “Woman of Distinction.”

Virginia “Ginny” Houseknecht of Watkins Glen, a local Cornell Cooperative Extension educator and leader, and founder of the Southern Tier Parkinson’s Disease Support Group, was the area “Woman of Distinction” in 2012.

Last year, O’Mara paid tribute to Beverly “Bev” Stamp, co-owner and operator of Lakewood Vineyards in Schuyler County, and a beloved ambassador of New York State’s nationally and internationally renowned wine and grape industry.

The Senate's "Women of Distinction" program begins in March to coincide with a variety of Women's History Month celebrations in New York State. In addition to the local nominating process, the Senate will also once again unveil, in mid-March, an historical exhibit in Albany paying tribute to "Women of Distinction" from throughout New York’s history.

O’Mara and his Senate colleagues select one new “Woman of Distinction” honoree from their respective legislative districts annually. This year’s honorees will be invited to an awards ceremony and reception in Albany on Tuesday, May 13, 2014.

Nominations must be received no later than Monday, March 24th. They can be submitted online through O’Mara’s Senate website, www.omara.nysenate.gov (click on the “Women of Distinction” icon in the left-hand column of the home page). A downloadable nomination form is also available on the senator’s website. Forms can also be obtained by emailing a request to omara@nysenate.com, or by calling any of the senator’s offices in Elmira (607-735-9671), Bath (607-776-3201), or Albany (518-455-2091).