Tonawanda News — Twelve respected members of the Tonawanda community were honored Tuesday night during the sixth annual Women of Distinction banquet, sponsored by the Tonawanda News.
With a crowd of 140 friends, family, co-workers and five past honorees gathering at Suzanne’s Fine Dining and Banquet in Wheatfield, where they heard the many accomplishments of those chosen for their dedication to their careers, the arts and volunteerism.
This year, six students who attend various high schools in the Tonawandas were also selected for their stance in leadership positions, volunteer efforts and involvement in community and school activities, along with six adults chosen for their contributions to the Tonawandas.
New Publisher Peter Mio said he began the Women of Distinction awards in 2008 to recognize outstanding citizens who devote themselves to excellence in the community.
Those contributions were brought to the forefront Tuesday, as Mia Sette, a Tonawanda High School student ranked first in her class and known for volunteering, stepped to the podium and thanked her friends and family for their support.
She was followed by Jacklyn Lauck, of Kenmore West High School, chosen for her leadership skills, Cardinal O’Hara’s Alison Maurer, a chess club aficionado and president of the student council and international club, and Jessica Ratajczak, of Mount St. Mary Academy, who has been an environmental advocate with the Clean Air Coalition for five years.
Wei Wang, who moved to the United States when she was five and has now established herself as a devoted volunteer and scholar at Kenmore East High School, thanked her mother for giving her the tools to succeed, and Courtney Crooks, whose resume includes vice president of her North Tonawanda senior class and a host of volunteer initiatives, told those in attendance that it was an honor to be surrounded by such distinguished company.