Senator Helming Accepting Nominees for NYS Senate Woman of Distinction

Senator Pam Helming and 2017 Woman of Distinction honoree Donna Schaertl at the Woman of Distinction ceremony at the State Capitol in Albany last year.
Annual Program Honors Women’s Contributions to Our Community

GENEVA – Senator Pam Helming today invited people to nominate friends, coworkers, and neighborhood leaders for the prestigious State Senate Woman of Distinction recognition. This award recognizes their outstanding work on behalf of their communities. Nominators may be from anywhere, but nominees must be from the 54th District. The nomination form can be found at Senator Helming’s website,, and all nominations must be received by Tuesday, Feb. 20.

“Our region has long been a beacon for outstanding women in a variety of fields. Seneca Falls was the site of the first Women’s Rights Convention in 1848, and other sites around the Wayne-Finger Lakes region also represent the women’s rights movement. Our community is fortunate to have so many remarkable women whose lives, work, and accomplishments have contributed to making our state and country better, making our families stronger, and serving as examples to others. The Woman of Distinction program provides a terrific opportunity to recognize women from throughout our region who make a difference and to thank them for the pride they bring to our communities. I look forward to meeting all of the nominees and learning about all of their achievements,” Senator Helming said.

People may submit the nomination form electronically through the website, or they may download the form as a PDF and mail it to Senator Helming’s District Office at 425 Exchange St., Geneva, NY 14456. For questions or more information, people may contact the District Office at (315) 568-9816.

Senator Helming will honor all Woman of Distinction nominees from the Wayne-Finger Lakes region at a ceremony slated for this winter, and the State Senate will honor one distinguished woman from our region as well as the Woman of Distinction honorees from throughout the state at a ceremony slated for May at the State Capitol in Albany.

The honoree’s photo and biography will become part of a special exhibit celebrating the contributions of these outstanding New York women. The exhibit will be on display in Albany at the Legislative Office Building. Senator Helming will also offer an online Woman of Distinction exhibit through her website.

Last year, Senator Helming selected Donna Schaertl, of Shortsville, as the Woman of Distinction from the 54th District. Ms. Schaertl works with a variety of causes in her community, such as the local Blue Star Mothers, the Canandaigua VA Medical Center, the Red Jacket Fire Department, the Ontario County Safety Council, and the Ontario County Police Benevolent Association. She supports deployed service members and their families, organizes Autism Awareness Month events, and teaches fire prevention and personal protection programs at the Manchester-Shortsville Central School District, among contributions to other causes and organizations.

“It was such a pleasure to honor Donna Schaertl as the Woman of Distinction from the Wayne-Finger Lakes region last year. Donna has made outstanding contributions to our community that have left quite an impact and will continue to leave an impact for many years to come. I have enjoyed not only recognizing her accomplishments with this award but also partnering with her on several projects in our region since then. It will be exciting to look through the nominations and select this year’s Woman of Distinction honoree,” Senator Helming said.