A Dozen Women Honored in "Women Making History" Ceremony - WICU12 HD WSEE Erie, PA News, Sports, Weather, Events

A Dozen Women Honored in "Women Making History" Ceremony

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The Mercy Center for Women recognized a dozen women who are making history in the Erie Community with a ceremony on Tuesday.

A crowd of more than 400 celebrated the "dynamic dozen" outstanding women at Mercyhurst's Mary D'Abngelo Performing Arts Center. 

"Women from all different walks of life and women who do good throughout our community are honored," said Kathy Dahlkemper, Erie County Executive and previous award recipient, who was in the audience. "It's a great way to show the respect for all the good work that they do in helping the community," she said. 

The Mercy Center is all about empowering women. The organization selected 12 women out of all the nominees with the goal of inspiring other women to follow their own dreams.

Some of the women recognized on Tuesday are very well known - Barbara Chaffe, for example, the president and CEO of Erie's Regional Chamber of Growth and Partnership.  But others might've been selected for an exceptional display of courage, an exemplary commitment to women's issues, or perhaps providing a dedicated service to her community.

One of the honorees, Daria Devlin is a grant writer for the Erie Public Schools. She spent much of her time this winter running the overflow shelters at her church.

"Erie's poverty situation is obviously something that everyone knows about. I'm very involved in Erie's public schools because I believe education is the way out of that," Devlin said. "We have to fix the problem right now and it's just been an amazing time for that." 

"I don't really feel like I deserve it," she said, when asked how she felt about receiving the award. "There are so many amazing women in Erie so it's definitely an honor, but it's just funny seeing yourself among them." 

Chris Tombaugh, Executive Director of the Mercy Center believes the community needs to hear about what these dozen women have contributed. 

"The women who receive the award are very humble. They always say they don't deserve it, but they do. A lot of times, you don't know what these women do. They've done some remarkable things and it's our way of giving back," Tombaugh said. 

2014 marks the 22nd year for the Women Making History awards, with this year's date falling on April Fools Day.  

Mid-ceremony, organizers brought in fake pizza deliveries, in a nod to another strong woman -Ellen Degeneres. (The empty boxes did include real pizza certificates to Presque Isle Pizza.)

"It really is an uplifting night. You can't help but walk away with a big smile on your face knowing what these women have done for our community," Dahlkemper said.

Congratulations to all of this year's award recipients:
Barbara Chaffee, Mary Daly, Daria Devlin, Maureen Dunn, Alice Edwards, Sr. Carolyn Gorny-Kopkowski, Yvonne Horn, Dr. Grace Kennedy, Elisa Guida, Colleen Moore Mezler, Sally Range, and Barbara Roseborough. 

WICU/WSEE's own Amanda Post and Lisa Adams have also been prior award recipients.



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