Know A Woman Making A Difference?

By Senator Patty Ritchie
They’re our mothers, our sisters and our friends. They’re our coworkers, our mentors and the leaders in our communities. They’re the women of Central and Northern New York who are making a difference each and every day. They are “Women of Distinction.”

Each year, I get the privilege of honoring the women in our communities who are changing lives through the New York State Senate’s Women of Distinction Program. The program honors women’s history in the Empire State by recognizing outstanding leaders and everyday citizens from the present who are making a difference.

Last year, I got the chance to pay tribute to nearly a dozen women in Central and Northern New York.

Of those nominees, Jan Rebeor of Fulton was selected as the 48th State Senate District’s “Woman of Distinction.”

A life-long resident of Oswego County, Mrs. Rebeor is a cancer survivor who is involved in a number of activities in her community, including Fulton’s Project Bloom, the United Way Stone Soup Luncheons, St. Luke’s John Foster Burden Fund and many more.

Women living in the 48th State Senate District – including Oswego, Jefferson and St. Lawrence counties – are eligible for nomination.

I’ll be inviting all nominees to a local recognition ceremony, and one individual will be selected to travel to Albany to be honored at a special reception on May 17.

The honoree’s biography will also become part of a traveling display aimed at bringing attention to the achievements of women in the Empire State.

Friends, family members and coworkers are invited to make nominations, but don’t delay, the deadline for entry is April 5.

Nomination forms can be downloaded at my website,, or you can request a nomination form by calling my office at (315) 782-3418.

From Dr. Mary Walker of Oswego, the only woman ever to receive the Medal of Honor – America’s highest military award; to Rhoda Fox-Graves, a suffragist and woman’s rights activist from St. Lawrence County who went on to become the first woman ever to serve in the New York State Senate, the Central and Northern New York region is home to so many women who are making history right now and paving the way for future leaders.

Please help me recognize these women who are making a difference by nominating them to become “Women of Distinction.”