Ranzenhofer selects Sears as Woman of Distinction


    Chili Senior Center Director honored at State Capitol ceremony


    Albany, N.Y. –  State Senator Michael H. Ranzenhofer honored Chili Senior Center Director of Programs for the Aging Mary Anne Sears Tuesday evening at the 17th Annual Women of Distinction ceremony, recognizing her outstanding contributions in enriching the quality of life for the community and beyond.


    “Mary Anne is more than deserving of special recognition by the State Senate as a New York Woman of Distinction.  She is so dedicated to many seniors in Monroe County by planning lectures and local trips, all while fostering a warm, caring environment at the Chili Senior Center,” said Ranzenhofer.  “Mary Anne sets an example for others by taking time out of her day to know something special about each member.  It is an honor to recognize her as the 2014 Woman of Distinction for the 61st Senate District.” 


    “It is such an honor to be named a New York Woman of Distinction by Senator Ranzenhofer,” said Sears. “Creating new, innovative programs and welcoming seniors in nearby communities is my passion, and I am so blessed to be impacted by those around me, staff members, volunteers and members.  As Director of the Senior Center, I’ve learned more from my elders than any classroom can teach.”


    For nearly a decade, Mary Anne has helped to ensure seniors remain healthy, active and independent members of the Chili community.  She has increased membership from a few hundred to almost 2,000 seniors.  She leads a team of three staff members and 100 volunteers.    


    Sears’s background is in Gerontology and Therapeutic Recreation, along with years of experience at St. John’s Nursing Home.  She is the 2010 Recipient of the “Outstanding Citizen Award.” 


    In her spare time, Mary Anne enjoys the outdoors, including kayaking, biking and working in the yard.  She has a son and daughter-in-law, Eric and Amy, as well as two grandchildren, James and Ethan.


    Photo: Senator Ranzenhofer honors Mary Anne Sears Tuesday evening at a State Capitol ceremony. 


    About the Women of Distinction Program

    The Women of Distinction program was created in 1998 to honor great New York women.  Past honorees include former movie-star Lucille Ball, 19th century suffragist Katherine Davis and other women accomplished in sciences, academics, business and the arts.  Other women of distinction honored by Senator Ranzenhofer for the 61st District include: Flora Leamer (2009); Carrie Kahn (2010); Millie Tomidy-Pepper (2011); Colleen DiPirro (2012); and Ginger Lindner (2013).


    About the 61st Senate District

    The 61st Senate District encompasses: the Towns of Chili and Riga, the Village of Churchville and part of the City of Rochester in Monroe County; the Towns of Amherst, Clarence, and Newstead and the Villages of Akron and Williamsville in Erie County; and all of Genesee County.