Tonawanda News — Eleven of Tonawanda’s most generous women were honored at Tuesday evening’s fifth-annual Women of Distinction banquet organized by the Tonawanda News.
The event, held at the Knights of Columbus in North Tonawanda, offered the distinguished women a chance to celebrate, mingle and network with their fellow honorees.
More than a dozen past recipients attended the banquet to take part in the celebration and mayoral proclamations honoring the women were presented from both Tonawanda and North Tonawanda.
This year’s recipients were called up to receive their award, which included a copy of the proclamation, a plaque, and an elegant candle. Tonawanda News Publisher Peter Mio, who came up with the idea for the event five years ago, presented the awards.
First up was Evelyn Zupo, who set a tone for the night with her speech — thanking her supporters and adding some humor in, as well. Zupo, who doesn’t drive after only ever having a permit at the age of 16, started out by saying, “Everyone was wondering why I had to bring four tables of people — well, I had to bring all my drivers!”
Despite her kidding, Zupo does manage to get around pretty well — she’s a Key Bank Relationship Manager and in her spare time, she serves on the Riviera Theatre board of directors and volunteers for the YWCA and North Tonawanda Meals on Wheels.
Next was Rebecca Hooper-Yeoh, the photographer and member of the Kenmore Village Improvement Society. Despite her near-death experience and her medical struggle, she is one of the society’s many key members and supports children’s concerts, decorates the village’s downtown area and adds to the community atmosphere in Kenmore.
Karen Baryza, who was elected as the Tonawanda Junior Bowling Association’s first president, and remains an active member on the board of directors took to the podium next.