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Mount Mercy Academy's Annual Mercy Honors Dinner

                Mount Mercy Academy will honor six deserving individuals at its nineteenth annual Mercy Honors Dinner.  The dinner will be held on Thursday, November 15, 2018 at six o’clock in the evening.  This year Mount Mercy Academy is pleased to host the prestigious event at the school.  Well-known caterer Frontier Catering will be preparing the dinner. Four alumnae will receive the Catherine McAuley Distinguished Alumna Award and two individuals, including an alumna, will be honored with the Spirit of Mercy Award.

                Dr. Colleen Mattimore, Class of 1977, Attorney Sharon Porcellio, Class of 1975, Stephanie Hnatiw, Class of 1966 and Catie Burke Gavin, Class of 1993, have been selected to receive the Distinguished Alumna Awards.  This award honors alumnae who have distinguished themselves as women of faith, knowledge, integrity and compassion. The woman who is honored with this award reflects the legacy and mission of Catherine McAuley, the Foundress of the Sisters of Mercy in all aspects of her life, family, community and career.

                Mattimore is a physician and partner at  Western New York Pediatrics for more than twenty-five years.  She also serves as the current President of Medical Health Associates of Western New York, a collaboration of seven local pediatric practices whose mission is to be recognized as the preeminent provider of pediatric medical and wellness services in Western New York.  Dr. Mattimore has received numerous honors for her role in advocating vaccinations. Dr. Mattimore has been recognized by the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) New York Chapter 1, by the Western New York Pediatric, Adolescent and Adult Immunization Coalition and by the Erie County Department of Health for her work to protect the children of Western New York.  She is active in many charities as well.

              Porcellio is a partner with the firm Bond, Schoeneck and King, focusing in the areas of business and litigation, labor and employment, intellectual property and technology, as well as health care. She has been admitted to many Courts, including the U.S. Supreme Court, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit and for the Federal Circuit, as well as the U.S. District Court for the Northern, Southern and Western Districts of New York and the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Western District of New York.  Porcellio has been recognized by The Best Lawyers in America for Litigation - Labor and Employment, Legal Elite of Western New York, Buffalo Business First Legal Elite and was named a New York Super Lawyer in 2018. She also serves on the Buffalo Ignation Volunteer Corps Advisory Council, an agency whose goal is to provide mature men and women the opportunity to serve the needs of people who are poor, to work for a more just society and to grow deeper in Christian faith helping to make a difference in our community.

              Hnatiw is the Executive Director at the Bethlehem, Pennsylvania YWCA. She has devoted her life to nonprofit work and community organizations that strive for women’s rights and equality. Seeing that women in executive roles needed each other's support, Hnatiw created the Chamber of Commerce’s Executive Women's Task Force in Allentown, PA. She currently serves on the Board of Directors of Quilts for Kids and the DaVinci Science Center’s WISE (Women in Science and Engineering) Executive Council.  Hnatiw was the youngest person ever to serve on the Lehigh County Board of Directors of the United Way. She has also served on committees at United Cerebral Palsy and the Mercy School for Special Learning. She has been honored for her work with the C. David Goff Memorial Award for her fund raising role with the YMCA of Philadelphia, the Racial Justice Award from the YWCA Mid-Atlantic Regional Council, the Gateway to Equity Award from the American Association of University Women and the Athena Award from the Greater Lehigh Valley Chamber of Commerce.

              Burke-Gavin is the First Deputy Commissioner of Family Wellness for the Erie County Department of Social Services, overseeing all Child Welfare and Adult Protective Services. Burke-Gavin has dedicated her life to serving the most vulnerable members of society, including working as a Child Protective Service Investigator, as a home finder at a local non-profit and working for the NYS Office of Children and Family Services investigating  allegations of maltreatment. Burke-Gavin is also a dedicated community servant and volunteer, chairing various fundraising events for her sons’ schools and sports teams, as well as serving as a youth hockey manager. She has been the Event Chairperson for the SMART Fundraiser for the past ten years as well as the Bishop Timon-St. Jude Parent Guild President for the past two years.

              Karen Connors Erickson, Class of 1963 and Robert (Bob) Hughes will be honored with the Spirit of Mercy Award. This award is presented to individuals who demonstrate commitment and dedication to their community in both their professional and personal lives.  They are truly ministers of Mercy who "live justly, act in tenderness and with humility journey with their God" (Micah 6).

                Erickson has been a tireless volunteer, both in her community of Angola and at her alma mater.  For the past twenty years Erickson has provided, cooked and served the hot dogs at the MMA 5K race.  She has organized the Connors 5K Weiner Run to benefit the Boys and Girls Clubs of Lake Shore, in the past she has volunteered for numerous events and committees at Most Precious Blood School and today she still volunteers at MPB Parish.  She is active in politics, serving as the Deputy Supervisor of the Town of Evans for 12 years.  She has been honored as the Citizen of the year by the Evans-Brant Chamber of Commerce and by the MMA 5K.  She is also active in the Connors Hot Dogs, the family business.

                Hughes is the ultimate volunteer for Mount Mercy Academy, his parish Nativity of Our Lord and Orchard Park, his community.  Hughes, a Bishop Timon graduate is a Health Care Specialist in the Claims Department of Meritain Health.  He is a founding member and the current president of the Mount Mercy Academy Athletic Boosters, a group that works to raise funds to enhance the Mount Mercy athletic program.  He and his committee can be found volunteering at every Mount Mercy event.  He and his wife Meg have also served as the co-chair of the McAuley Gala.  He has coached softball and basketball and served as the athletic director at Nativity of Our Lord and has coached and volunteered for the Orchard Park Little League.  His love of athletics has kept him active as a spotter at UB football games, a member of the Connolly Cup committee and the coordinator of the Buffalo Diocesan Grammar School Girls Basketball Tournament.

                Alumnae, family and friends are all invited to attend this year’s dinner.  All proceeds will benefit the Mount Mercy Academy Alumnae Scholarship Fund.  For further information or to make reservations, please contact Tina Scarpello Webster ’91 at twebster@mtmercy.org.  On-line reservations can be submitted through the Mount Mercy Academy website, www.mtmercy.org.  The specific information may be found under the Alumnae tab under the section entitled Mercy Honors.

"Mount Mercy has positively changed my life forever. Through the inviting community, I was able to grow as a woman, as a daughter, as a friend, and as a member of society. Throughout my time here I have gained an education in both academic areas and life in general through the school's ongoing efforts to educate students on gender inequality, racial injustice, and environmental crisis'. Furthermore, Mercy has given me the space to gain confidence that 4 years ago I never would have guessed I would have. Mount Mercy has helped me take that initial step toward becoming the strong woman of color I am today. At Mercy you are more than just a student, you are whoever you wish to be."

Melina Courtney

Class of 2022

"My future, success, and the ability to be an empowered woman in society come from Mount Mercy. My school is a strong foundation for my role in life. From attending Mount Mercy, I can say with confidence, that I will graduate with the mindset that I can accomplish anything. Mercy is my home and my sanctuary to be whoever I want. Mount Mercy has been bringing forth generations of strong intellectual women into the world, and I am more than honored to be one of them. Mercy teaches girls more than academics, but also about the world around us. As a mercy community, we give back to the world because it is our home. From my four years at Mercy, I have been educated on pushing for equality and peace and the understanding that there is no limit to what I can do. I have the confidence to go out in the world and make a difference because being a Mercy girl has given me that opportunity. "

Cassidy Reid

Class of 2022

"Mercy is more than just a school. Mercy is my second home and a shoulder to lean on. Mount Mercy has given me the confidence and resources to pursue my passions and make the world a more inclusive place, propelling me to take strides into male-dominated fields. Mercy blessed me with an environment to grow intellectually and in the community, giving me the foundation to make a tangible impact while making lifelong friendships."

Adrianna Awald

Class of 2022

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