Hudson County Executive Tom DeGise and Freeholder Doreen DiDomenico co-hosted the county’s celebration of Women’s History Month on March 14 at the Conrad Rotunda of the historic Brennan Court House, 583 Newark Ave., Jersey City.
The ceremony honors by citation more than 30 remarkable Hudson County women who have made a difference in the community and world in the field of education or in support of expanding educational opportunities. The evening also will celebrate the 100th anniversary of the Girl Scouts of America and that organization’s efforts to grow mentally, physically, and spiritually.
“I am fond of saying that I was raised by women,” said County Executive DeGise, whose mother and older sister raised him after his father’s death when he was still a small boy. “That is why I appreciate so much this chance each year to honor Hudson County women who have made a powerful, positive impact on our community.”
DiDomenico, who currently serves as the lone woman on the nine member Board of Chosen Freeholders, also served as the event’s mistress of ceremonies.
The county honored 34 women this year in celebration of Women’s History Month.
“The theme this year was ‘Empowerment through Education,’ which we adopted from the National Women’s History Project,” DiDomenico said. “While the NWHP was limiting their theme to women’s access to higher education, our county committee chose to expand the theme to look at all the ways women have benefited from education, and we honored women who have had access to further their own education, but also those who have devoted careers to educating others or helping others to access education, and to those whose community work and volunteerism promotes educational opportunities for others in many and diverse areas.”
DiDomenico said the county honored school teachers, literacy volunteers, historical preservation advocates, mentors, fundraisers, educational administrators (and others whose work supports and oversees the provision of quality education and supports students’ needs), those who educate through the arts, those whose work knocks down obstacles and gives others the freedom to pursue an education, legislators, counselors, and those who work directly with children in and out of school activities.
“Personally, I look forward to this event every year.” – Doreen DiDomenico
“Our youth award this year went to Molly Massarelli from Bayonne, a BHS honors student who was a former nationally ranked pairs’ figure skater. She developed a program to teach skating to individuals with developmental disabilities,” DiDomenico said. “Personally, I look forward to this event every year, not only to have the opportunity to honor these outstanding Hudson County women, but also because I am continuously inspired and impressed when I learn of their accomplishments. This year was no different. The impact that these ladies have made on their community in their educational endeavors is truly exceptional.”
The program also included a performance by the Courts Choir, a multimedia presentation focused on the history and influence of the Girl Scouts of America, and a reception following the presentation of citations and special medals of honor.
Bayonne residents honored include Molly Massarelli, Sally Mason, Lisa Cerbone, Lindsay Wanko, Priscella Ege, and Alice Lotosky. Also honored: from Guttengerg, Betty Jo Lamar and Francine Yu; from Hoboken, Eileen Carvalho; from Harrison, Mary Ann Dunphy; from Jersey City, Patricia Bryant, Johnia Charles, Cynthia Harris, Marsha Hill, Gwendolyn L. Jackson, Sister Roseann Mazzeo, Eileen Markenstein, Barbara Mendola, Sister Barbara Moran, Felicia Palmer, Diane Pistilli, Mary Rosa, Joan Quigley, Dr. Edith Phillips, and Marilyn Roman; from Kearny, Sandra McCleaster, Jane Steuerwald, Dr. Frances O. Thompson and Kathy; from Secaucus, Joan Cali; from North Bergen, Grace Crandall-Dowd; from Union City, Dr. Paula Pando and Susan Powers; and from West New York, Pastor Tania Fuentes.