Senator Farley Honors Amsterdam Doctor And Schenectady Volunteer As Women Of Distinction

Hugh T. Farley

June 14, 2005

State Senator Hugh T. Farley (R,C - Schenectady) today honored Dr. Helen Blanchard of Amsterdam and Debrah DeLuke of Schenectady as two of the recipients of the New York State Senate’s annual "Women of Distinction" award.

They were recognized in a special reception earlier today in the Well of the Legislative Office Building in Albany. The program honors distinguished women whose outstanding work in their communities makes them deserving of special recognition by the State Senate.

"These are remarkable women whose lives, work and special accomplishments contribute to making our communities better and making our families stronger," said Senator Farley. "The Senate's Women of Distinction program provides an opportunity to honor Dr. Blanchard and Debrah DeLuke for their achievements."

Dr. Blanchard was a practitioner of Obstetrics and Women's Health in Amsterdam from 1960 through 1996, and was on the staff of Amsterdam Memorial Hospital and St. Mary's Hospital in Amsterdam. She was also the Director of the Carondolet Women's Health and Prenatal Clinic from 1985 to 1996. She was also the first woman on the Board of Directors of the Amsterdam YMCA and served as Chair of the Youth Committee from 1968 through 1976. She was also the first woman elected president of her local Board of Education. She is a member of the Foundation of St. Mary's Hospital and the Advisory Board at St. Mary's Hospital. She has also contributed her time and expertise to the Montgomery County Office of the Aging Advisory Council and Board of Directors, the State Office for Aging Advisory Committee and the Walter Elwood Museum in Amsterdam.

Debrah DeLuke is the director of special projects for the Downtown Schenectady Improvement Corporation. She is a volunteer for numerous organizations and sits on the board of directors for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society of Northeastern New York and Vermont, Niskayuna Community Foundation, Proctor's Theatre Guild, St. Clare's Hospital Auxiliary and Friends of the Schenectady Museum. She is also the co-chair of the Friends of Northeast Parent & Child Society, member of the Development Committee for the Animal Protective Foundation, and member of the Advisory Committee for the United Way of Schenectady County's Women's Initiative.