Senator John Flanagan (2nd Senate District) joined his 2007 Woman of Distinction honoree Ruth Del Col at the Commack branch of the Smithtown Library to view the New York State Senate Women of Distinction display. This traveling exhibit honors the women who have been recognized for their impact on the history of New York State and has been hosted by the Commack library for a month.
As the Director of Development for Federation of Organizations for the New York State Mentally Disabled, Mrs. Del Col was recognized by Senator Flanagan at a ceremony in June. Federation of Organizations is a multi-service, community-based social welfare agency operating programs that utilize peer support within a self-help model. Incorporated in 1972 by family advocates, Federation develops programs to meet the needs of special populations such as: children at risk, low-income seniors, people recovering from mental illness and the homeless.
In that time, the Federation of Organizations has been working to improve services to people with disabilities and their families through education, information and referral services, legislative action and program development.
Since 1996, Mrs. Del Col has been active in the development and growth of the Federation’s programs and is responsible for the coordination of annual special events and expanding contacts with business and government leaders, as well as major donors and funding sources.
In her time at the organization, she has focused her efforts on the creation and expansion of programs for seniors. This effort has lead to a tripling of the participation in the Federation’s Foster Grandparent Program, which provides opportunities for low-income seniors to earn extra (tax-free) income while helping children with special educational and/or emotional needs to achieve their highest potential.
She is also responsible for the increase in the Federation’s Senior Companion Program, a senior-to-senior volunteer program that provides healthy seniors with the opportunity to help frail older adults by providing companionship, support and assistance. In addition to her fundraising activities, Ruth is an extremely active participant in seminars and conferences, and frequently speaks about the need for additional and improved senior services.
"I was pleased to honor Ruth for her work on behalf of our community and hope that this display allows her example to lead the way for many young women. Women have played a great role in the history of our state and I thank the library for helping bring light to their contributions," stated Senator Flanagan.
The Senate’s "Women of Distinction" program was created in 1998 to honor New York women who exemplify personal excellence, or whose professional achievements or acts of courage, selflessness, integrity or perseverance serve as an example to all New York residents.
The display will move to the East Northport Public Library located at 185 Larkfield Road in East Northport for the month of October.
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