Hooper is 2013 Eleanor Roosevelt Award Recipient

For the second year Oswego DAWN (Democratic Action Women’ s Network) selects an outstanding community woman and leader for the Eleanor Roosevelt Recognition Award.

For 2013, Rita Hooper has been chosen to receive this honor.  The award will be presented at the annual Eleanor Roosevelt Recognition Dinner to be held October 2,  at The Oasis Banquet Hall, Thunder Island,  21 Wilcox Road in Fulton beginning with a cocktail hour at 5:30 and  dinner at  6:30. The speaker for the evening will be New York State Assemblywoman Addie Russell.

Rita Hooper
Rita Hooper

For more than 25 years, Hooper has written the weekly ‘In and Around Hannibal’ column for the Valley News.

“My immediate reaction to being selected to receive the award was surprise! ” she said.  “I was away on a mission trip to Appalachia, when I received the news via an email. It’s interesting because both Eleanor Roosevelt and I have  written a weekly column for the newspaper and have led lives neither one of us would have predicted.”

To be chosen to receive the Eleanor Roosevelt Award, the club must receive letters of recommendations nominating someone for the award. According to the club’s committee chairwoman Judith Prosser, support letters from Hooper’s friends and associates, described her as the “perfect candidate” for the recognition.

The Eleanor Roosevelt Award recognizes Oswego County Democratic women who exemplify the spirit of Eleanor Roosevelt.  Eleanor was active in public service and an advocate for human rights, women’s and children’s issues and left us a legacy of courage and selfless commitment to service, justice, leadership and compassion.

Married to Pastor Bob Hooper until his death in 2006, Hooper fulfilled the demanding expectations of that role, and still found time for a variety of community service activities.  Rita Hooper has been an active community leader in Hannibal for many years and she was one of the first members of the original DAWN in 1986 and the force behind it’s rebirth last year.

She was an active member of the parent-teacher organization during her children’s school years and attended many school board meetings.   As President of Chemical People, an anti-drug use organization, the group sponsored the first Red Ribbon Campaign in Hannibal schools.

She was a founding member and first President of the Hannibal Elderberries, a group dedicated to creating a support network of and for senior citizens.  She currently serves as chair of the Hannibal Senior Council and  was one of the moving forces behind obtaining a grant to construct an addition to expand the meeting room at the community center.

The Community Center has always been close to her heart as she and her husband worked side by side with many local people to save the old Baptist Church from the wrecking ball and convert it to a building to serve all the people of Hannibal. She has also been a member of the Hannibal Library board.

She is an Oswego County Democratic Committee member and a Hannibal Democratic Committee member until her move to Fulton 2 years ago.

She has volunteered for many political campaigns over the years including Roz Hastings, Darrel Aubertine, Bill Owens,  Amy Tresidder, and Dan Mahaney “making more phone calls and stuffing more envelopes than any person should have to do in a lifetime” she said.  She herself has served on the Village Planning Board and Hannibal Town Council.

She continues her church activities serving as elder and deacon at First United Church of Fulton and is active in Presbyterian Women at all levels.  She was a member of the church camp (Vanderkamp) board of directors, in Cleveland for many years and is a big supporter of Church World Service.

For more information or to make a reservation to attend the dinner, please email Prosser at [email protected] with any questions or call 315-591-2666.