Senator Young Honors Woman of Distinction Dorothy Button

Catharine Young

May 13, 2014

Ashford resident honored for distinguished service and accomplishments 

ALBANY – For a lifetime of service, Town of Ashford resident Dorothy Button was honored today as a New York State Senate 2014 “Woman of Distinction.” Senator Catharine Young (R,C,I-Olean) selected Mrs. Button as the 57th Senate District’s honoree for her long and distinguished record of accomplishments that include service in the U.S. Coast Guard, years of dedicated work on behalf of fellow veterans, and decades of volunteerism as a firefighter and EMT.

“Dorothy is an obvious choice for this recognition,” said Senator Young. “She has done so much for her country and community over the years and never asked for anything in return. She exemplifies what the Woman of Distinction recognition is all about.”

“She is a leader who always has shown her eagerness to help her neighbors as a firefighter and EMT. It is people like her with the qualities of humble service and care who strengthen our society and make our communities great places to live,” said Senator Young.

“I am very honored to receive this award,” said Mrs. Button. “When I was contacted by Senator Young and told she wanted to recognize me as a Woman of Distinction, I was very moved, and I’m so glad to be here today. I have to thank all the people who have helped and supported me over the years because without them I would not have been able to do the things I’ve done.”

At the ceremony, Mrs. Button and other distinguished women from across New York State were lauded for their contributions to the life of our state. The New York State Senate Woman of Distinction honor was created in 1998 to annually pay tribute to those women in New York who have demonstrated remarkable character, initiative, and commitment in serving their neighbors, strengthening our communities, and acting as role models that all should strive to emulate.

In 1989, Mrs. Button began what would become a 20 year career with the Coast Guard Reserve at the Coast Guard Station in Buffalo.

Her experiences there included work securing our ports and harbors, two years of active duty protecting the American homeland in the wake of 9/11, and a two week tour of active duty in Louisiana assisting in Hurricane Katrina recovery operations.

With the Coast Guard Reserve, she was awarded over 20 notable awards and decorations recognizing her devoted service to our country.

As a veteran, Mrs. Button is also a member of the American Legion’s Ashford Memorial Post No. 1576 and for 12 years has served in a number of leadership capacities at the post, county, and district levels.

Among her groundbreaking achievements, she was the first woman to serve as the American Legion’s 8th District Commander, and just the second woman to serve as Cattaraugus County Legion Commander.

A proud member of the Seneca Nation of Indians, Mrs. Button is Director of the Seneca Nation’s Veterans Department, where she assists fellow Native American veterans in receiving the services they have earned.

Mrs. Button is also a 22 year volunteer firefighter and EMT with the West Valley Volunteer Fire Company, a fire commissioner for West Valley Fire District One, a director of the Southwestern Volunteer Firemen’s Association, and a past member and chair of the Cattaraugus County Fire Advisory Board.

She currently serves as secretary of the American Red Cross Southwestern Chapter Board of Directors and is a member and past treasurer of the Southwestern Regional EMS Council.

With her husband of 16 years, Larry Nagel, Mrs. Button resides in the Village of West Valley.

“As an official New York State Senate Woman of Distinction, Dorothy Button’s life of selfless and generous service to others will receive the recognition it deserves. Dorothy is worthy of our deepest respect, admiration, and heartfelt thanks,” said Senator Young.