OSWEGO – The Zonta Club of Oswego will honor Linda Eagan as its 2018 Amelia Earhart Woman of Achievement at its annual recognition ceremony on June 19 at 5:30 p.m. at the Lake Ontario Event and Conference Center.
The award is presented each year to a woman who has dedicated herself to her community and who serves as a role model for young women.
Zonta Club President Tammy Thompson said, “Linda is one of those true gifts in life. She has worked tirelessly for the residents of Oswego County and we are thrilled to honor her with this prestigious award.”
Many know Eagan for her recent efforts to bring Fulton Block Builder’s to fruition.
In recent years, she noticed changes in the look of Oswego due to the efforts of the Oswego Renaissance Association, whose mission is to promote the development, restoration, and preservation of healthy, vibrant neighborhoods and communities in the city of Oswego.
As a Rotarian, she reached out to ORA’s founder, Paul Stewart, and asked him to present to her Rotary group.
“Immediately I saw that this was something I could replicate in Fulton. Similar to my past work with families and adolescents, this effort would focus on strengths of each neighborhood to bring people together and build a sense of community and pride,” said Eagan.
With the help of a team of dedicated volunteers she worked tirelessly for several years to lay the foundation for a 2017 roll out of Fulton Block Builders.
Eagan spent countless hours putting together a proposal for a $100,000 grant from the Shineman Foundation to get the program off the ground.
All Shineman grants must be matched in other fundraising efforts, so she spent much of 2016-17 getting area businesses and local community members in the city of Fulton on board as financial supporters.
“If you ask Linda, she will tell you it took a village, but she was the founder of that village,” said Thompson.
Eagan started working at the Oswego County Health Department in 2013 as its Compliance Program Administrator where she was actively involved locally with the Department of Health’s Prevention Agenda from 2013–17.
She was chosen to give a poster presentation in NYC at the NY Population Health Summit, based on one of the projects they worked on, “Healthy Highways.”
Healthy Highways is a program that brings nutrition education to elementary students throughout the county.
Earlier in her career, Eagan’s work focused on reproductive health issues for young women throughout Oswego County, with the goal of reducing teen pregnancy and premature parenthood.
She started this work 1994 as an Teen Health Issues Educator and Team Leader for the Adolescent Pregnancy Prevention Program through Oswego County BOCES and went on to become the Director of the Program for 12 years.
She later went on to work at Oswego County Opportunities as the Adolescent Family Life Coordinator, continuing her efforts to reduce adolescent pregnancy.
On her work with adolescents, Eagan said, “Educating families and youth about reproductive health issues has always been about empowerment. Knowledge and access are critical resources, especially for young people.”
Over her career, Eagan has had many professional affiliations.
She was a member of the NYS Council on Adolescent Pregnancy, Healthy Teen Network and Family Planning Advocates.
She is currently the Vice President of the Oswego City/County Youth Bureau Board of Directors.
She is also the President of the Weston T. Hyde Educational Foundation whose purpose is to create new and enhance existing educational opportunities for Oswego County residents; to secure funding sources not currently available to BOCES and school districts; and to build partnerships through incentives.
She also earned a spot on NYS’s Public Health Honor roll in 2015 in recognition of outstanding commitment to Public Health.
She has earned numerous other awards over the last several years for her community involvement including the 2016-17 Community Service award from the Fulton Sunrise Rotary.
This award is given to an individual who has devoted their time and effort in making the community better, stronger and closer.
She also received the 2017 Greater Oswego/Fulton Chamber of Commerce Positive Community Momentum award on behalf of Fulton Block Builder’s and its many volunteers.
Amelia Earhart was an aviator as well a prominent figure in Zonta International as an early member of the organization in the late 1920s and early 1930s.
Earhart once said, “The most difficult thing is the decision to act, the rest is merely tenacity.”
Eagan is tenacious in everything she has done.
“I think Linda embodies the spirit of a true Zontian as she works to break down the barriers for everyone who may face obstacles in their lives,” said Thompson.
The Woman of Achievement award was started in 1985 by the Zonta Club of Oswego to honor a woman whose hard work and dedication has made a difference in the lives of families in the Oswego community.
The Amelia Dinner also serves to raise funds for college scholarships for young women from Oswego County as well as other programming aimed at increasing the status of women.
The Amelia Award dinner will be held at the Lake Ontario Event and Conference Center in Oswego, on June 19, starting at 5:30 p.m. and will feature both the Amelia Woman of Achievement Award presentation and the presentation of several scholarships made possible through this annual event.
For tickets or to make a contribution visit the Zonta Club of Oswego Facebook page or contact Inga Back at 315-806-0785 or [email protected]