It was a big day at the Hart's Hill Inn this afternoon as eight women were recognized for their work in the community by YWCA Mohawk Valley.

More than 400 people attended the annual Salute to Outstanding Women Luncheon, honoring women in several categories, including education, health care and as an "unsung heroine."

One of the women recognized was Oneida County Assistant District Attorney, Dawn Lupi, in the "professions" category. She says the awards provide young women with something to aspire for.

"It's a wonderful thing for younger women to see what can be accomplished," Lupi said. "The one thing my parents taught me when I was growing up was that I could be anything I wanted to be, and I think an event like this reinforces that message."

YWCA Executive Director, Natalie Brown, agreed, saying she's proud to offer a chance for people to see their compatriots' accomplishments.

"Most of these women and those that have been recognized in the past... they're known in the community," Brown said. "They're known either very publicly or they're known in a small circle, and this community really enjoys a good, positive event."

The luncheon also proves to be one of the organization's biggest events. Brown stressed the importance of the month of April, as it serves as sexual assault and child abuse prevention month.

"It is our largest fundraiser to support our sexual domestic violence services and our prevention education, but it really is a positive event," Brown said.

Since the event's inception 25 years ago, the organization has recognized 209 women in the community, including Holland Farms' co-owner Marolyn Wilson, former Assemblywoman RoAnn Destito and Reverend Maria Scates.


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