YWCA celebrates 110th anniversary and presents annual empowerment awards
The local YWCA celebrated 110 years of service to the community by honoring three individuals and one other organization who helped improve the recent history of Genesee County a bit on Saturday night.
Dorothy “Cricket” Avery, Nancy C. Brach, Jill Kratz and the Rotary Club of Batavia received Frances G. Francis Empowerment Awards.
Francis was the founder of the YWCA in Batavia.
The event took place at the Genesee Country Village and Museum in Caledonia.
Photo: Jill Smith with winner Dorothy Avery.
Dorothy (Cricket) Avery
Dorothy Avery has been employed for 21 years as Exhibitions Manager for New York-based Guilford Press.
Prior to Guilford, Avery worked for the St. Lawrence County Department of Social Services, Planned Parenthood of Northern New York, Tennessee Protection & Advocacy, and the New York State Child Care Coordinating Council.
She graduated from SUNY Cobleskill with an AA degree in Social Sciences and the University of Albany with a BA in Political Science.
Avery is a founding member and president of GLOW Women Rise, an all-volunteer organization committed to uplifting and empowering women in the GLOW region. GLOW Women Rise (GWR) started in August 2018 and has since grown into an incorporated 501c3 non-profit organization.
The goal of GLOW Women Rise is to raise our collective voices to support all women while recognizing the need to focus our work on Black, Asian, Indigenous, Latin, Trans and other women who have been ignored and perpetually excluded from conversations.
GWR assisted the women of the YWCA’s Domestic Violence Program, provided legal support to women and their families, co-sponsored community discussions against racism, and hosted an annual empowerment forum.
During COVID-19, GLOW Women organized numerous food drives and collected personal care items for women and families in need. After being on the sidelines for much of 2020, GWR looks forward to a robust schedule this year.
Photo: Millie Tomidy-Pepper with winner Nancy Brach.
Nancy E. Brach
Brach is vice president and co-owner of Brach Machine Inc., a global supplier to the die-casting industry. The company was created in 1985 and incorporated in 1993. It currently employs 19 people.
His background includes a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration from the University of Buffalo School of Management, several years of experience in retail banking and over a decade of tax preparation.
In addition to her career, Brach was treasurer of the First Presbyterian Church in Batavia for 14 years and is currently on their staff and finance committees. She has also sung in the choir for the past 20 years!
Brach volunteered with the Women’s Y from 1997 to 2007, serving both on the board of directors and as a member of the finance and staff committees during this time.
She is currently a member of the North American Die Casting Association, the Genesee Area Personnel Association, and sits on the Perkins Advisory Board of Genesee Community College.
When you can’t find Brach at work or busy at one of her volunteer activities, you may find her biking somewhere within 50 kilometers of her home.
Photo: Lucille DiSanto with winner Jill Kratz.
Children: Colin, Kaylie, Kaitlin
College: Fredonia State and Buffalo State College Business: Owner and Operator Commit to Good (local meal prep business)
Commit to Well was founded three years ago to fill a need in our community for easy access to fresh, nutritious and prepared meals. Being a family living with various autoimmune diseases, we wanted our meals to fill a void in our area for people who wanted to meet their nutritional needs in their busy lives.
Our mission quickly became clear: to reach as many people as possible in our community and give them access to better health and well-being with our prepared meals. We have clients big and small. Some have specific dietary restrictions and some just want to maintain better health and general well-being.
Since its inception, Commit to Well has made community donations to organizations such as Habitat for Humanity, United Memorial Medical Center, the YWCA and its shelter.
Commit to Well has also reached out to our youth with after-school programs that allow them to gain knowledge and importance of your health through nutrition as well as movement and positive behaviors.
Programs like Commit to Well kids, where kids cook healthy meals and snacks, and Like a Girl, where young girls do little workouts and enjoy a healthy snack.
We hope to continue to help our community achieve superior health and wellness!
Photo: Lucille DiSanto and Ed Leising, representing the Rotary Club of Batavia.
Batavia Rotary Club
Batavia Rotary is a community service organization with the stated purpose of bringing together business leaders and professionals to provide humanitarian service, encourage high ethical standards in all vocations, and help build goodwill and peace in the community and in the world.
Rotary is a secular organization open to all people regardless of race, color, creed, religion, gender, or political preference. There are 34,282 clubs and over 1.2 million members worldwide. The main motto of Rotary is “Service above oneself” and we comply with the 4 way test.
The Gala Committee: Millie Tomidy-Pepper (Executive Director of the YWCA in Batavia), Jill Smith, Sue Chiddy, Cindy Zarcone, Lucille DiSanto, Eva Graham, Lindsey Reed, Justina Garner. Lindsey Reed holds a portrait of Frances G. Francis. Not in the photo, Rosalie Maguire-Simon.
Photos by Howard Owens. Recaps of winners submitted by the YWCA.