YWCA Haverhill to Honor 22 Local Women

YWCA Haverhill honors 22 local women during next month’s 27th Annual YWCA Haverhill Tribute to Women.

The annual event recognizes “outstanding role models…who have made significant contributions to their community through professional or volunteer work.”

“The Tribute to Women is always the most exciting event of the year for us,” said YWCA Executive Director Mary B. O’Brien. “It’s always remarkable to me, and so inspiring, to hear our honorees’ stories.”  O’Brien added that the nominations come from members of the community who know the honorees best. Most often they are co-workers, supervisors, fellow volunteers, and in some cases, family members. Among this year’s honorees, two were nominated by their daughters, one by her mother, and another by her husband. Ten honorees reside in Haverhill and the others in surrounding towns.

Those being honored are Jennifer Arndt, Haverhill; Melissa Cerasuolo, Haverhill; Paige Christie, North Andover; Lilia M. Credit, Haverhill ; Sarah Cummings, Haverhill; Jennifer Goodsell, Atkinson, N.H.; Cheryl Goodwin, Amesbury; Carolyn Hobbs, Haverhill ; Katrina Hobbs-Everett, Haverhill; Kara Kosmes, Haverhill; Patricia Lavoie, Amesbury; Mary Ellen Lawlor, Haverhill; Cynthia Mahar, Atkinson, N.H.; Sarah McCarthy, Amesbury; Natalie Moussa, Haverhill; Kathy Porter, Newton, N.H.; Janis Ridgley, Amesbury; Nicole Sammartino, Haverhill; Charlotte Scott, Sandown, N.H.; Aileen Wall, East Hampstead, N.H.; Claire Walsh, Groveland; and Jana Whiting, Amesbury.

An awards luncheon takes place Thursday, Oct. 27 from noon to 2 p.m. at DiBurro’s Funcyion Facilities, Ward Hill. Birthday cake will be served to celebrate both the founding of YWCA Haverhill and Haverhill-based Pentucket Bank, the event’s premier sponsor. Both founded in 1891 and are celebrating 125 years of service to the Haverhill community.  The event is open to the public and reservations are available until Oct. 23.

Kim Ocasio, a YWCA Board Member and Haverhill business owner, chairs the Tribute to Women Committee. Ocasio, who was an honoree in 2011, noted one nominee’s story goes straight to the heart of the YWCA’s mission of empowering women. Several years ago, when she was in an abusive relationship and her daughter was very young, the woman found the help and services she needed at the YWCA. Today, that woman is a thriving and successful professional. She calls the YWCA “literally a lifesaver,” and said her daughter often tells her that going to the YWCA for help was the best thing she could have done for both of them.

Funds raised at the Tribute to Women will be dedicated to a third program that has historically been part of the YWCA’s services, a residence for low-income single women. The YWCA Haverhill residence, on the second and third floors of the YWCA building, 107 Winter St., has been closed since 2012. Last December, extensive renovations began and is slated to re-open in December. It will be fully handicapped-accessible for the first time, and will have 10 single-room-occupancy housing units, with two large bathrooms and a shared kitchen and living room.

There’s more information at www.ywcahaverhill.org/getting-involved/events/tribute-to-women-4/ or  www.facebook.com/ywcahaverhill/, or by contacting Renee McGuire, YWCA Haverhill site director at [email protected]  or calling 978-374-6121.