Assemblyman Colin J. Schmitt hosted the second annual Women of Distinction Ceremony for the 99th Assembly District. The ceremony honored 17 women from towns and villages across the 99th Assembly District who has made positive contributions to their respective communities.
The ceremony was held at the Sugar Loaf Performing Arts Center where friends and families of the honorees, along with local community leaders and elected officials and residents, attended to honor the women who had been nominated by their communities.
Among those recognized were:
Town of Blooming Grove: Dotty Murphy
Dotty Murphy was born in Brooklyn, New York. She worked for Aer Lingus Irish Airlines for 2 decades, from 1978 to 1998, where she handled accounting and payroll for the company. She eventually moved to New Mexico, where she worked for the town and even had the opportunity to learn to drive a forklift. Dotty moved back to New York permanently in 2003 where she is a mother of three kids, and still cares for her mentally challenged son.
In 2011, Dotty organized a community yard sale that raised $15,000 for Habitat for Humanity. Her many volunteer activities include; driving for the senior center, driving for Neighbors to Neighbors, being a member of the Washingtonville Catholic Daughters, and is a counter at St. Mary where she counts the collections from the weekend masses.
Village of South Blooming Grove: Patricia Morrice
Patricia Morrice and her husband have lived in South Blooming Grove for 27 years together. They have raised two sons, Kenny who is 26, and William who is now 22. Her family has been active in community service of all kinds. Scott, her husband is a past fire chief and both of her boys are lieutenants for the South Blooming Grove fire department. Patricia herself has been a member of the auxiliary since 1996 and has been president of the auxiliary for the past 10 years.
Village of Chester: Michele Deshler
Michele Deshler was born and raised in the Village of Chester, following in her father’s footsteps as a lifelong resident and the desire to do good for her community. In 2016, Michele approached Mayor Bell with the hopes of doing a Holiday Parade in the Village of Chester. After he spoke with the board, it was agreed upon that this was an important initiative. The event was incredibly successful. Once the parade was over, another idea came about to raise money to replace the holiday lights across the village. With the help of her friends Jacquie and Gail, they were able to help form the Village of Chester Community Association.
Town of Chester: Sharon Conklin
Sharon Conklin is a life-long resident of Chester. She has worked for the Town of Chester for the past 33 years in various positions with 8 Supervisors, 3 Town Clerks, and a host of Board members. Currently, she is the Bookkeeping and Benefits Administrator for the Town. In this position, she is able to assist and offer employees and retirees medical claims and retirement issues. Sharon has also held the position of Treasurer for the Chester Fire District since 2014. Whenever asked to help out with a Town event or plan a retirement or Holiday party, she has always done this in her own quiet and unassuming way.
Town of Goshen: Sister Ann Daly
Sister Daly is originally from Astoria, Queens, and attended high school in Manhattan. She met the Sisters of the Blessed Virgin Mary and entered the convent after high school in 1958. Sister Daly taught third grade in Manhattan and was sent to St. John’s to teach third grade here in the District in the Town of Goshen.
Sister Daly was a nurse’s assistant for many years in Orange County and in 1982 she was a hospice coordinator of spiritual care, in 1983 she did that full-time. In 1988 she became certified in Orange County. Sister Daly is a Presentation Sister at the Mt. St. Joseph Convent in New Windsor, she is also a Chaplain for Hospice and for the Ladies Ancient Order of Hibernians, where she has served for over 10 years.
Village of Goshen: Marcia Mattheus
Marcia Mattheus and her husband moved to Goshen in 1976. They selected the Village of Goshen for the security and warmth of Goshen’s historic architecture and tree-lined streets. Their sons, Zach and Ari thrived in the village, surrounded by cherished friends. Marcia was Mayor of the Village of Goshen from 1999 to 2003, she served for ten years as president of the Goshen Area Resources Association, and proposed the legislation that ensured respect for historic design and an Architectural Design District. Marcia has been tireless in advancing the Village’s causes, serving the Village of Goshen on the Planning Board and as Village Board Trustee for over 10 years.
Village of Washingtonville: Celina Rofer
Celina Rofer has been an active member of the community since her days as a Washingtonville Wizard. With the support of her husband, Major Moye, two children Lola, age 7, and Gunner, age 4, and her family. Celina manages a successful Real Estate business of 15+ years, is the President of the Greater Washingtonville Lions Club, is a Taft PTA member, and most recently as the Chairwoman of the Village of Washingtonville Planning Board. Celina’s proudest project to date has been spearheading the development of the Greater Washingtonville Lions Club’s Inclusive Playground - a space designed to embrace children of all abilities.
Village of Woodbury: Desiree Potvin
Desiree Potvin has a lengthy professional career of giving back to her community. From 1997 to 1998 she served as the Woodbury Deputy Town Clerk. From 1999 to the present she has served as Woodbury Town Clerk. From 2000-present she has been the Secretary of the Woodbury Fire Departments, and from 2006-present as the Woodbury Village Clerk and Treasurer. A list of her professional titles ranges from President of the NY Association of Local Government Records Officers, Member of the Local Government Records Advisory Council. Trustee of the Archives Partnership Trust, Treasurer of the Woodbury Chamber of Commerce, and Treasurer of the Woodbury Historical Society. As for volunteering, Desiree is a member of the Woodbury Lions Club and Grant Reviewer for the NYS Archives Local Government Records Management Improvement Fund. She was previously awarded the New York State Town Clerk of the Year award in 2020.
Town of Woodbury: Maria Hunter
Maria Hunter was born in NYC, with both parents moving to Monroe in 1971. She graduated in 1977 from Monroe-Woodbury High School in 3 years with an NYS Regents diploma. Maria married Robert Hunter in 1979, where she moved to Highland Mills. Maria has served her community in many positions and roles; 1984 to 2001 Volunteer, EMT, Woodbury Community Ambulance Corps, 1989 member Woodbury Centennial Parade, 1994 Woodbury Lions Club, former member, 1995 Treasurer CSEA, MW CSD, 2000 Deputy Town Clerk for 10 weeks, 2000 Town of Woodbury Planning Board member, 2004 Woodbury Beautification Committee, Chair from 2005 to present, and over 35 years as an Orange County Election Inspector.