YWCA honors 2014 women of the year



The MDI YWCA 2014 Woman of the Year, Ruth Eveland, left, at an awards presentation with 2014 Young Woman of the Year Angela Balacco, center, and YWCA director Jackie Davidson. PHOTO COURTESY YWCA

The MDI YWCA 2014 Woman of the Year, Ruth Eveland, left, at an awards presentation with 2014 Young Woman of the Year Angela Balacco, center, and YWCA director Jackie Davidson.
PHOTO COURTESY YWCA

BAR HARBOR — Two area women were honored for their contributions to the community and their achievements in work and life at the YWCA’s annual Woman of the Year award ceremony Oct. 25 at Kebo Valley Golf Club.

Ruth Eveland, the director of the Jesup Memorial Library and former town council chairman, is the 2014 Woman of the Year. She was presented with flowers, a gift and a silver bowl. Angela Balacco, the director of healthy living at the MDI YMCA, is the 2014 Young Woman of the Year.

Eveland said this week that she was quite surprised by the award, and that anything that she has managed to accomplish has been due to the hard work of those around her.

“I just need to make sure that everyone understands that whatever ‘I’ have accomplished was actually a result of many people’s efforts. I don’t work alone on anything,” Eveland said. “Lots of people have just as much right to that lovely silver bowl as I do.”

In presenting Eveland’s award, Jesup board of directors president Judith Swazey highlighted her excellent leadership skills and her contributions to the community both on the town council and through other organizations.

“Exemplifying her commitments to good citizenship and governance, she devoted a vast amount of time to town matter, dealing (as council chairman) with a number of contentious issues and skillfully moderating often stormy council sessions calmly and patiently,” Swazey said. “With great dedication to her work and to Jesup and with prodigious energy and talents, Ruth has spearheaded the library’s growing role as a vital center for the Bar Harbor community.”

Angela Balacco is the director of healthy living at the MDI YMCA and is involved with several local organizations, including Local Solutions and the Hancock County SPCA. Her energy and commitment to community are very impressive and are two of the main qualities that attracted the attention of YWCA officials, YWCA director Jackie Davidson said.

“She has been like a human dynamo since she got to the YMCA. She has gotten the YMCA connected with every organization going,” Davidson said. “She just has real community spirit.”

Ballaco said that she was “shocked” to receive the award, and that she is very appreciative of it.

“I was so thrilled and touched and excited to have my hard work acknowledged,” she said.

The Woman of the Year awards have been given out by the YWCA since at least 1979. They are meant to honor women who are residents of the area and who embody outstanding leadership, active community involvement, outstanding career or scholarship accomplishments, outstanding personal progress, performance of a great deed or service for human kind, and demonstration of a life in accordance with the YWCA purpose of promoting peace, justice, freedom and dignity for all, Davidson said.

Award ceremony attendees enjoyed a slide presentation acknowledging various award winners from over the years and took in a presentation from Dorothy Nyong’o, the managing director of the Africa Cancer Foundation.

 

Robert Levin

Robert Levin

Former reporter Robert Levin covered the people, businesses, governmental and nonprofit agencies of Bar Harbor. [email protected]
Robert Levin

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