Albany- In recognition of her extraordinary accomplishments and commitment to helping children, families and students throughout her community, Mary Gearan of Geneva, Vice Chair of the Happiness House/Finger Lakes Cerebral Palsy Association Board of Directors, is among the outstanding women across New York State who were honored at the 2011 "Women of Distinction" ceremony held today at the State Capitol. Mary was nominated for this honor by State Senator Mike Nozzolio.
Mary Gearan has been a major force in the creation of the Happiness House Gala, which has raised more than $200,000 for children’s services in the Geneva community. She and her husband, Mark Gearan, President of Hobart and William Smith Colleges, were instrumental in the efforts to raise $1.5 million toward a new Happiness House building in Canandaigua and a 4,500-square-foot expansion project in Geneva.
As an active volunteer with numerous local organizations in Geneva, Mary Gearan works with the Boys and Girls Club of Geneva, the Geneva Public Library, the Geneva School District, Our Lady of Peace, the Women’s Conference, and the Annual Festival of Nations and Day of Service. In 2010, she was named Citizen of the Year by the Geneva Chamber of Commerce. The International Student Association at Hobart and William Smith also created an award in her name honoring her longstanding commitment to recruit and provide support for students from abroad.
"It is an honor to recognize and pay tribute to Mary Gearan. Her dedication and commitment has made a tremendous positive impact on the young people of our region. She has shown an extraordinary willingness to give of her time in service to the growing needs of the community," said Senator Nozzolio.
Launched in 1998, the Women of Distinction program was created to celebrate the rich heritage of notable women from New York's past as well as to honor outstanding women today who have followed their example.
Mary was joined at the State Capitol by her husband Mark and daughters Madeline and Kathleen.