March 21 Event To Celebrate Four of Delaware’s “Glorious Women”
Four women, whose purpose-filled lives have made a significant difference in our communities and our state, will be honored March 21, 2012 at the 31st Annual Hall of Fame of Delaware Women. The inductees are Victoria G. Cooke (Breast Cancer Advocate), Micki Edelson (Advocate for Persons with Disabilities), Vivian Rapposelli (Public Servant), and Frances Merino West (Public Servant).
The public is invited to join Lt. Governor Matt Denn and the Delaware Commission for Women at ceremony and reception to celebrate the inductees and to recognize Women’s History Month. The event will be held at the Outlook at the Duncan Center in Dover.
Nominated by individuals and organizations from throughout the State, inductees were selected based on their reputation as a trailblazer; respect among colleagues; the significance of their work; the lasting effect of their contributions; and, their leadership roles. Honorees must be native-born Delawareans or have resided in the state for at least ten years. To date 121 women have been inducted to this prestigious group.
The 2012 Celebration of the Hall of Fame of Delaware Women will begin with cocktails and heavy hors d’oeuvres at 5:30 p.m. Presentation of awards will follow at 6:30 p.m. with remarks from the inductees. The cost is $40 per person. Credit card payments can be made online at www.delawarecommissionforwomen.delaware.gov. For more information, contact the Delaware Commission for Women at (302) 577-5287.
Vicky Cooke has a vision of the day when breast cancer will no longer exist, but knows that, for now, the best tools available are early detection, awareness, education, and access to screening. As Executive Director of the Delaware Breast Cancer Coalition, Vicky has led the organization into the forefront of efforts to eradicate this disease, facilitating screening; overcoming barriers of economics, culture, and language; and providing resources and support for women (and men) newly diagnosed or facing recurrence.
Micki Edelsohn has changed the lives of people with intellectual and developmental disabilities in Delaware and beyond. She created the “Homes for Life” Foundation, a charitable organization with the purpose of building safe and comfortable homes for adults with intellectual disabilities. Since 1980, Micki has raised millions of dollars and built 25 comfortable, four-bedroom homes in residential neighborhoods. As Micki has provided housing, she has created new understanding of a population frequently stigmatized, opening possibilities that extend far beyond their front doors.
As Secretary of the Department of Services for Children, Youth and Their Families, Vivian Rapposelli has focused on providing a voice to the state’s youngest and most vulnerable citizens, while working with community partners to strengthen the programs and services available to children and their families in Delaware. Secretary Rapposelli also oversees Delaware’s Early Learning Challenge initiative and chairs the Delaware Hispanic Commission, newly formed to insure that education, employment and health issues of the Hispanic community are being addressed.
Frances West has been elected or appointed to more than 80 national and state organizations, often serving as chair or president. She is the current treasurer of the National Consumers League. She was Delaware’s first woman director of Consumer Affairs, the first woman to serve as Delaware’s Cabinet Secretary of Community Affairs, Delaware Highway Commissioner, and president of Delaware’s Better Business Bureau. Frances’ relationship with scouting extends from her days as a Girl Scout to the presidency of Delmarva Council of Boy Scouts of America. She continues to do a good turn daily.