SENATOR STACHOWSKI HONORS LOCAL WOMAN AT STATEWIDE EVENT: Peg Overdorf Selected as 2010 "Woman of Distinction"

William T. Stachowski

May 25, 2010

       Senator William Stachowski (D, Lake View) today honored Margaret “Peg” Overdorf of Buffalo, NY at a special ceremony in the state capital as the New York State Senate’s 2010 “Woman of Distinction.”

       Peg Overdorf was honored for her outstanding work as the Executive Director of the Valley Community Association (VCA) in the City of Buffalo and for her incredible community service throughout Erie County.

       The “Women of Distinction” program was created as part of the Senate's celebration of Women's History Month.  It honors exceptional achievement, personal excellence and outstanding, courageous, and heroic actions on the part of individual women from across the state.  Each honoree's photograph and biography has become part of a special exhibit proclaiming her unique contribution.    

       “There are remarkable women in our midst whose lives, work, or special accomplishments contribute to making our communities better, our families stronger, our world more enriched, and serve as outstanding examples to others,” said Senator Stachowski.  “The Senate's 'Women of Distinction' program provides a great opportunity to honor these women for their achievements and to thank them for the special pride they bring to our communities.  Peg Overdorf is one of these special women who truly deserves this honor and I’m just so pleased that her work and her accomplishments have been recognized in this way.”

        As the Executive Director of the Valley Community Association (VCA) in the City of Buffalo, Peg Overdorf has dedicated over thirty years to improving the quality of life for people living in a low socio-economic area of the City.  Under her leadership, the VCA has grown from a small storefront to three separate buildings housing two-day care centers, a senior citizen center, and a community center which also operates a highly acclaimed after-school program.  

        Peg has distinguished herself as a tireless community advocate and her many accomplishments are well known throughout Buffalo and Western New York.  She works diligently to ensure that programs, services, and opportunities are made available
to enable all people to reach their highest potential -- whether it is helping a working mom find affordable child care for her children; helping students with their homework; supporting families with a food pantry; providing unemployed residents with resume services, job referrals and computer training; or offering socialization and transportation opportunities to senior citizens. 

        In addition, Peg devotes countless hours of her time and energy to promoting community togetherness, neighborhood spirit, and ethnic pride.  She is the founder of the renowned  “Old Neighborhood” St. Patrick’s Day Parade in Buffalo and is responsible for developing the Buffalo River Fest, a region-wide event that focuses on the restoration and beautification of the Buffalo River Front.  She also led the effort to turn what was once a polluted dumping ground into the Valley Nature Park and Habitat Trail. 

        Over the years, Peg has received many awards including the Erie County Council on the Prevention of Alcohol & Substance Abuse Award; the Friends of the Buffalo River Award; the Goin South Civic Pride Award; the All America Cities Civic Empowerment Award; the Greater South Buffalo Chamber of Commerce Community Service Award; the Buffalo Niagara Riverkeeper Green Key Award; and has been honored by the Buffalo Police Department.

        A true community leader, Peg Overdorf is an exceptional woman whose life is a testimony to her devotion to others.  She is truly an inspiration to the people and families she touches and the community in which she lives.