After 18 years, keeping an event interesting can prove challenging; but this year’s Tribute to Orange County Women of Achievement awards dinner did not disappoint. Hosted at Anthony’s Pier 9 and led by a dynamic duo of committee co-chairs, Donna Cornell and Ann Barber Smith, the 19th annual Tribute dinner was fresh, fun, and pleasing for both guests and honorees – and there were no long speeches.

Tribute Woman of the Future Aisling Cuffe of Cornwall (center) with mother Marie O’Hanarhan (left) and Girl Scouts Heart of the Hudson CEO Pamela Anderson (right).

Each honoree told their story in a personal video production that was debuted at the award dinner. The profiles were expertly produced by Mount Media, a Mount Saint Mary College student production group lead by Dean Goldberg, Assistant Professor of Communication Arts. Following the video presentation, honorees accepted their awards from Cornell and Smith.

The 2011 Orange County Women of Achievement were:

• Arts – Donna Hall, Walden, NY School of Music and Rock Camp USA

• Business – Trish Fisher, Stormville, Greater Newburgh YMCA

• Communications – Cecille Jones, Monroe, Orange & Rockland Utilities

• Health & Human Services – Maureen Torelli, Goshen, Glen Arden

• Public Service – Karen Van Houten Minogue, Highlands, Community Foundation of Orange and Sullivan

• Education – Florence Blueglass Hannes, Monroe, SUNY Orange

• Woman of the Future – Aisling Cuffe, Cornwall, Cornwall High School

• BOBBIE A. LAHEY MEMORIAL AWARD for Volunteer Services – Dr. Michele Winchester Vega, Newburgh/New Windsor

“We are so fortunate to have so many accomplished and committed women in Orange County,” said Donna Cornell, Tribute chair and alumna. “Most are unsung heroes, working tirelessly in support of their organization or cause. The Tribute award allows us to shine a spotlight on them and say ‘thank you’ for their contributions to our community,” added Cornell.

“The Tribute event would not be successful without the support of our dedicated committee and generous sponsors, like top sponsor Orange & Rockland,” said event co-chair and Tribute alumna, Ann Barber Smith. “We are also deeply grateful to Dean Goldberg and his Mount Media team for their excellent work – the videos allowed our honorees to truly appreciate their special evening,” Barber continued.

An annual fund-raising event benefitting Girl Scouts Heart of the Hudson and YWCA Orange County, the Tribute award has now been presented to nearly 200 women from throughout Orange County since its inception in 1992. The award recognizes women who live, work, volunteer, or go to school in Orange County who have made a difference in the community through their professional, personal, or school-based activities.

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