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

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May 29, 2012

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

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.

To read more of the General's comments and view photos of the event, please click here.


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