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Nine local women were recognized for their efforts to better the communities in which they live during last week's Mon River Fleet Women of Achievement Awards Dinner.
Residents of Braddock, Clairton, Duquesne and McKeesport were represented at the annual dinner, held at Stratigos Banquet Center in North Huntingdon Twp., to celebrate outstanding contributions to community health, government and social services in the Mon Valley region.
“The Women of Achievement dinner recognizes great women who have done great things,” said Eliana Latterman, coordinator of the Mon River Fleet and Director of Development at McKeesport Hospital Foundation.
The 2017 Mon River Fleet Women of Achievement are Jacklyn Ahern, Courtney List, Joyce MacGregor, Fawn McDaniel, Sister Mary Parks, Alison Piccolino, Susan "Suz" Rosati, Terry Ruccio and Antonietta Stolic.
Proceeds from the event, which was sponsored by the Mon River Fleet Community PartnerSHIPs, will benefit SHIP initiatives in surrounding communities within the Mon Valley.
SHIP stands for State Health Improvement Plan. The Mon River Fleet partners with more than 300 member agencies located in the Mon Valley to offer programs and services that concentrate on the well-being and needs of residents.
The event was also supported by platinum sponsors UPMC, UPMC Health Plan and the McKeesport Hospital Foundation.
Antonietta "Toni" Stolic received the 2017 Educational Leader award for contributing to the growth and development of children in the fields of education and health care.
Currently a nurse in the McKeesport Area School District, Stolic has been instrumental in the development of the McKeesport Area Technology Center’s Healthcare Apprenticeship Program, which exposes students in at-risk communities to healthcare careers.
“It’s very important to make a difference,” said Stolic, who continues to work hard exposing local children to community services and programs.
Alison Piccolino was recognized as a 2017 Social Leader for her passion for community service and her desire to make a positive difference in her community.
A lifelong resident of Duquesne, Piccolino is the District Director for State Senator James R. Brewster. She has volunteered her time for numerous community projects including People Residing in Duquesne Equally (PRIDE), the Mon River Fleet Lion’s Club and McKeesport’s International Village for Kids.
She has found and facilitated numerous groups that make a positive difference in her community and continues to diligently work to assist and support those around her.
Susan "Suzi" Rosati was recognized as a 2017 Social Leader for her contributions to the improvement and development of social services in the Mon Valley.
Rosati is the director of foster care programming at Auberle, where she is committed to helping vulnerable children and families through foster care.
“I’ve always had that family connection,” Rosati said. “I’m in this 100 percent. I care about these kids and I love what I do. What could be more rewarding than giving a child a home?”
Terry Ruccio was honored as a 2017 Social Leader for working diligently to provide assistance and support to her fellow persons.
Born and raised in McKeesport, Ruccio worked as a faith-based youth leader in the community for twenty-eight years. She is currently the director of Sonshine Community Ministries and Hope House, a pregnancy center offering support to pregnant teens and women.
“Our community is a place of great need,” Ruccio said. “Any chance we have to give back or to make a difference is something that we should be doing.”
Joyce MacGregor was awarded the 2017 Recreation Leader award for her contributions toward and great support of the McKeesport Trail Commission.
MacGregor is passionate about the McKeesport portion of the Great Allegheny Passage and strives to promote the city as a destination along the path.
“McKeesport’s trails can be anything to anyone,” she said. “It’s relaxing. It’s an adventure. It’s a challenge. “
Sister Mary Parks was honored as the 2017 Spirituality Leader of the Mon Valley for her devotion to the spiritual wellbeing of those around her.
A sister of St. Joseph, Parks serves as the executive director of Sister Place in Clairton, where she provides homes and supportive services for homeless families.
She has been an outstanding community leader for decades, having served in many administrative, educational and service capacities.
Fawn McDaniel was recognized as the 2017 Volunteerism Leader for her contributions to the betterment of her fellow person’s lives and the community.
A former councilwoman and lifelong Duquesne resident, McDaniel is heavily involved in a variety of community organizations such as Women on a Mission (WOM) the Duquesne Youth Athletic Association and Take Action Mon Valley (Duquesne branch).
She mentors youth transitioning from high school to college and works with the City of Duquesne and the Allegheny County Health and Human Services department to ensure local children have access to a summer food service program.
Jacklyn Ahern was recognized for the 2017 Resilience Leader for inspiring others to overcome obstacles and personal struggles to improve their lives.
Courtney List received the award for the 2017 Future Leader due to her commitment to excellence in her chosen life and career path.
A public relations and advertising student at Point Park University with a 4.0 GPA, Courtney is a member of school organizations such as the Public Relations Student Society of American and the Advertising Federation. She volunteers her time to assist groups such as the Special Olympics, the Greater Pittsburgh Food Bank and the Miracle League of Western Pennsylvania.
“I strive to help others in everything I do,” she said. “After college I plan on helping others by working with nonprofit organizations. There are many that are willing to help those in need but the public is unaware of their services. I hope to spread awareness of these groups.”
Cami DiBattista is a freelance writer from North Huntingdon Twp.
Originally published October 08, 2017.