HollyPicHolly Walter Starts her Term as President of the Ladies of Charity of the United States

We all know Holly as a Spiritual Moderator for the Buffalo Association of the Ladies of Charity (LOC) and President of the St. Mary’s of Lancaster Parish group.  But Holly has been involved at the National level with Ladies of Charity for many years.  And this year she has started her term as President for the Ladies of Charity of the United States.  We wish her well and pledge our support and prayers!  Thank you Holly for your dedication to the Ladies of Charity’s mission and organization.  May God Bless you!

We are including Holly’s letter to the Ladies of Charity membership:

January 30, 2023

President’s Message for Start of New Term in 2023

We begin the new year of 2023 on a note of optimism for our continued growth as an organization. We are all back together again after a difficult few years to continue our work to help the poor and marginalized of our communities and nation and to meet with each other to share ideas and resources in that effort. This year I begin a two-year term as your president and offer myself as your humble servant in order to keep alive the purpose and vision of St. Vincent de Paul, St. Louise de Marillac, and St. Elizabeth Ann Seton.

I first became a Lady of Charity in 2008 after a very patient leader in our parish of St. Mary’s in Lancaster and the Diocese of Buffalo, waited until I graduated from Christ the King Seminary in East Aurora New York with a Masters Degree in Pastoral Ministry. Mary Faulhaber persuaded me to join at a Ministry Fair at St. Mary’s and come to my first LOC meeting in September of that year. After a few months of attendance, I became the parish treasurer and eventually the president of our local group. Soon I joined our local Diocesan board as the Spiritual Moderator because our Daughter of Charity, Sister Mary Grace Higgins, was transferred out of Western New York. I was elected to the LCUSA Board in 2017 at the urging of Kathy Sieracki, an LCUSA board member at the time and an active leader in our Diocesan group, and have been on the board ever since as a Director in the Northeastern Region and President elect. I have had many jobs on the board including Nominations chair and Madagascar chair.

My own background before the Seminary was in education. I taught math, social studies, religion, and reading in Catholic schools for thirty-five years until I retired completely in June of 2015. I also taught religious education for a number of years at my home parishes of St. Joseph’s in North Tonawanda and St. Mary’s in Lancaster. I loved being a teacher and especially enjoyed being with the kids. I also am a Eucharistic Minister, a Lector, and a cantor at two local parishes. I have two children with my husband Mike, a daughter Michelle who is a doctor at Roswell Park Memorial Cancer Institute and a son Christopher who is the head computer technician at Windsong Radiology here in Western New York. I also have two wonderful grandchildren, twins Alexander and Evelyn age seven and a half, who are the “apple of grandma’s eye.” My husband Michael is a retired public librarian here in Erie County and we have been married for forty-eight years.

My goals for this year are to see an increase in our membership across the country. Like all volunteer organizations, we lost many members in the COVID Pandemic years, not just because of illness and death, but because of being shut down and not being together for meetings and events including our National Assembly held every year in a different region. 2022 was our first year back to an in-person assembly in Knoxville Tennessee and it was a wonderful start. We all need to work on bringing back those who have not resumed their membership and attract new members. This will be a process but we need to stick with it and make the effort to let other ladies in our parishes and communities know of what we do and why we do it. Another goal is to expand the organization and implementation of Junior Ladies groups. Not only are Juniors our future but they are also our present. I have our own Juniors here at St. Mary’s as a perfect example of how hard the young ladies work to help those in need in our area. I would encourage all associations to begin the process of finding leaders to recruit and advise a Junior Ladies group. A third goal is to find ladies willing to be Advocacy representatives or liaisons for their region. Having someone to serve in this role is advantageous in finding causes and people to speak up for and support. Our own advocacy representative in the Northeast region, Marie Copeland in Albany New York, has done an outstanding job of communicating different issues and opinions and the local and federal agencies that support helping those who need a voice. Every region in our organization should have an advocacy liaison to help facilitate our efforts to support those in need. A fourth goal is to help clarify just how the National LCUSA board can help every association and parish group across the country. I find that there is often a disconnect between local and national representatives with the local groups, at times, not fully understanding just what the LCUSA does or can do to offer assistance, direction, and support for their local projects and activities. Serving on the National board is not just an honor but is a responsibility to help all Ladies of Charity groups recover from the pandemic and get back to full strength and purpose to approach their projects with vigor and commitment. If members of Ladies of Charity have questions they should be answered. A fifth goal is to have Ladies of Charity work closely with other organizations such as St. Vincent de Paul society for example, to better serve those in need in our communities.

In closing, I would like to say that I am looking forward to meeting as many ladies as I can, particularly at the upcoming Assembly in Buffalo New York in September of this year. A wonderful three days is being planned for everyone including a Day of Reflection led by our National Spiritual Advisor, Father Dick Gielow, to start things off. We sometimes forget that we are also ladies of prayer as well as ladies of action who work hard to meet the needs of the poor in our communities. Action without prayer is just work that needs to be done until it is. Our work as Ladies of Charity will never be done as long as the poor exist in our area, our country, and our world. Jesus told his disciples that “the poor will always be with you”. We need prayer and the support of God Our Father, Jesus His Son, and Mother Mary to continue what we do in every endeavor. St. Vincent, St. Louise, and St. Elizabeth Ann fully understood this and developed their ministries around their undying faith in the Will of God and the power of prayer to achieve their goals. Let us do the same.

Yours in Humility, Simplicity, and Charity,

Holly Walter
LCUSA President


On November 16, 2022, Ladies of Charity observed World Day of the Poor at the Russell Salvatore Food Pantry and Outreach Center in Lackawanna.  The day began with a prayer service led by Holly Walter.  Approximately 45 ladies were in attendance.  Following the prayer service 600 gift bags were assembled to be distributed by Catholic Charities to the homebound.  Included in the gift bags were several personal items, small blankets, word search books and many items that were homemade by our Ladies of Charity. The Enchanted Taste Catering, of Depew served a hot lunch which included salad, breaded chicken, crispy potatoes and dessert.  Many thanks to all the workers especially Carolyn Stewart, Julie Lulek, Kathy Roseti, Janice Ferguson and Marion Snyder for planning, purchasing and setting up the products and assembly line for the gift bags.  There was a spirit of friendship and service for the poor felt by all.
2022 Mass of Remembrance and Enrollment of New Members

A Mass of Remembrance and Enrollment of New Members was held on May 12, 2022, at Sacred Heart of Jesus Shrine.  Over 60 women attended.

We enjoyed a morning of full sunshine and light breezes as we participated in a Mass held outside at the Shrine, celebrated by Fr. Lukasz Kopala, Pastor.  We remembered all of our deceased members who passed during the past year.

Fr. Kopala, along with President, Kathy Roseti; and Membership Chair, Linda Hall; enrolled several new members and presented them with the Ladies of Charity cross and service manual.  Each woman was also given a beautiful rose.

Afterwards, we walked to the nearby Parish Center in Chesterton Academy for a superb lunch of Chicken salads, breadsticks and wonderful homemade cupcakes, all provided by caterer “An Enchanted Taste,” located on Transit Rd., Depew. The beautiful table centerpieces were crafted and donated by Dianne Sippel.  A lucky person at each table won the centerpiece to take home.

Diocese of Buffalo Association of the Ladies of Charity celebrates 80 years on September 1, 2021!
80th Insert has more information.

Mass of Remembrance, Enrollment of New Members and Retirement Luncheon
June 17, 2021


Row 1:  Holly Walter, Mary Kuhn, Peggy Keene, Irene Siedlarcyk, Joanne Randles, Marilyn Sowinski
Row 2:  Eileen Nowak, Anita Castilio, Joan Piecuch, Mary Ann Dulski
Row 3:  Rev. Lukasz Kopała, Rev. Roy Herberger  Missing from photo:  Beverly Sikora

Our annual Mass of Remembrance was held on June 17th at the Sacred Heart of Jesus Shrine in Bowmansville. It was con-celebrated by Father Roy Herberger and Father Lukasz Kopala, pastor of Sacred Heart Church. Deceased members were honored and remembered fondly for the many years of service to the poor. Father Roy’s homily spoke of the impact our volunteers have on the lives of those living in poverty. He also acknowledged of the work Eileen Nowak began 30 plus years ago as Director of the Ladies of Charity and the impact her work has had on our community. LCUSA President Peggy Keene, Northeastern VP Irene Siedlarczyk, Mid Atlantic VP Karen Radu and Fran Simkulet, outgoing president of the Binghamton Ladies of Charity were our honored guests. Peggy and Irene joined Father Roy, Kathleen Roseti and Linda Hall in the investiture of new members present at the Mass.

A luncheon followed at Joseph’s Banquet Center in Depew to recognize and honor retiring director, Eileen Nowak. In addition to the messages by Peggy and Irene, tributes by Kathleen Roseti and Kathleen Sieracki highlighted the many people Eileen has helped through her work with Catholic Charities and the Ladies of Charity and the positive impact on our organization. Eileen gave a heartfelt message on her personal experience with our organization but especially our members, many who became her friends. She thanked everyone for a perfect and unexpected day as well as the gifts presented to her. We will be forever grateful for her leadership and friendship and wish her well on her next adventure!

Thank you!


The Ladies of Charity thank Eileen Nowak, Director of the Ladies of Charity who retires after 31 years.  She worked tirelessly to helping those living in poverty throughout Western New York.  The Ladies of Charity was able to help thousands of people annually due to the leadership Eileen provided to our organization and to Catholic Charities.  We wish Eileen well as she enters the next chapter of her life!  God Bless!


Ladies of Charity Welcomes our new Director
Julie Lulek started with Catholic Charities three years ago as Director of School-based Services. She has been directly responsible for the oversight, management and expansion of all of the Catholic Charities school-based programs, Last year, she also took on additional oversight and responsibility of Catholic Charities Care Coordination Services.
Julie has a background in public health and has worked in various sectors of healthcare, but always with a focus on low-income and marginalized communities. She holds a BA in Biology and a Master’s in Public Health.

Buffalo Ladies of Charity World Day of the Poor

World Day of the Poor The Diocese of Buffalo Association of the Ladies of Charity celebrated  the third annual World Day of the Poor on November 14, 2019. The program for the day included presentations by Holly Walter, Spiritual Moderator, Kathleen Roseti, President, Eileen Nowak, Director, Catholic Charitiesof WNY (CCWNY) Parish Outreach and Advocacy Department and four of her employees:  Carolyn Kwiatkowski, Outreach Specialist, Jen Pitisi, Service Corps Program Director, Laura Steuerman Nutrition Educator and Cassie Fee, AmeriCorps.
Holly Walter began the day sharing Pope Francis’ message explaining his designating November 17thas “World Day of the Poor’ three years ago.  Pope Francis designated this year’s theme “The hope of the poor shall not perish for ever.” Holly shared a beautiful reflection, prayer, advocacy information to help the poor and all sang “Hear the Cry of the Poor” together..  Begin to Weave and God Will Provide the Thread Kathy Roseti then introduced this year’s LCUSA Assembly theme “Begin to Weave and God Will Provide the Thread”. Kathy spoke of our organization relating it to the weaving of a tapestry. She explained how if you only had the warp, or vertical lines, the tapestry would be very limited in its effectiveness or strength.  The tapestry needs the woof, or horizontal lines.  She asked everyone to picture the threads of the woof and warp weaving together, up and over each other.  The tapestry resulting from weaving these two threads together is strong, functional, rich with color, perhaps even has a creative design. Ribbons were then distributed to each member who were asked to let their ribbon represent them as individuals. Kathy spoke of how each of us is an individual, a family member, a member of a community and a lady of Charity. Each of us brings different interests, talents, skills, beliefs, education and experiences to LOC. The way in which these skills, talents, experiences etc. are used as members LOC was then highlighted.  Perhaps sewing elastic into a crib sheet, reading to a young child, advocating for someone without a voice, feeding the hungry, praying, helping a thrift store customer find a pair of winter boots, doing physical work, speaking Spanish etc. Kathy pointed out how we are each individuals with our own experiences, interests and skills but when we work together through collaboration, we make LOC stronger, more successful and more effective in our mission. Individually we are good, but together just like the warp and woof, we are stronger. Together we weave the tapestry of our ministries to help those living in poverty.  Members then took time during the day to weave their individual ribbons into the warp to be displayed at the Center on Broadway.
CCWNY Parish Outreach and Advocacy
The CCWNY Department of Parish Outreach and Advocacy was recently awarded a grant to assist them in educating those living in poverty with nutritional education. Jen Pitisi, Laura Steuerman and Cassie Fee gave a power point presentation explaining their new program, “Nutrition –Simply Said”. They shared their goals of helping individuals and families make good healthy food choices.  They spoke about educating their clients on meal planning, nutrition awareness and substituting healthier ingredients, especially if dealing with weight, cholesterol and diabetes issues. They demonstrated the preparation of a healthier cookie choice, Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies, sharing the cookies once they were baked with the audience.  Jen and Carolyn also gave overviews of their program responsibilities and the results of LOC’s collaboration with Catholic Charities, sharing volunteer hours and other information on the number of people impacted with our ministries. Eileen Nowak gave an in-depth explanation of the client-caseworker referral process and the many services offered within her department at CCWNY.  She answered many questions posed by LOC members.  All found it very informative. Carolyn shared a personal story involving her own father who after a tour of our LOC Center and knowing Carolyn’s involvement with the Christmas toy donations, motivated his place of workplace to collect toys for LOC’s toy distribution this year! A perfect example of “Begin to Weave and God Will Provide the Thread”.


More photos are in the Photo Gallery

Ladies of Charity Annual Dress for Less Style Show and Luncheon
“A Rainbow of Fashion”

Buffalo LOC’s 19th Annual Style Show was held on Saturday, September 28, 2019.  This is our largest fundraiser of the year.  Approximately 300 members and friends attended where they were able to purchase name brand clothing, pursers and jewelry donated to the Ladies of Charity Thrift store in Buffalo, NY. Attendees were also able to take part in theme basket raffles, a split club, silent auction and drawing for a quilt handmade by LOC member Mary Carroll.  The Style Show was coordinated by a cast of many with Susan Ward and Nancy Ortolano servings Co-Chairs. Our commentator was Mary Alice Demler, a local Buffalo newscaster.


More photos are in the Photo Gallery

Ladies Day Out – A Visit to Yorkshire
Wednesday, July 24, 2019


The annual outing for the Buffalo Association of the Ladies of Charity took them to Corfu, NY, and Yorkshire Hall to experience a Luncheon/Play entitled: “Don’t Blame the Chef!”  A delicious meal was served to the Ladies and their guests as the play unfolded.  Before arriving at Yorkshire Hall, a stop was made at Kutter’s Cheese Factory Store in Corfu where we were treated to wine tasting and an opportunity to purchase cheeses and many other items.  Following the luncheon and the play we visited Oliver’s Candy Store in Batavia.  54 Ladies and their guests attended.  A split club took place on the way home along with a drawing for movie tickets to 10 lucky winners!

More photos are in the Photo Gallery



Thanks to the generosity of Ladies of Charity Diocese of Buffalo members, the First Communication
celebration of these five girls at Ss. Columba-Brigid Parish, Buffalo, on June 6 was made more special. LOC
donated vouchers for their outfits.

2019 Out of Town Day
Tuesday, June 4, 2019


On Tuesday, June 4, many of our local Ladies of Charity traveled to Bergen, NY, to spend time with the Ladies of Charity members of St. Brigid Church. We began the visit with Mass celebrated by Fr. Matthew Phelan, Ide M. Ladies from Bergen and Buffalo assisted as Lector, Eucharistic Ministers, gift bearers. Beautiful guitar music was provided by Kathleen Fink of St. Brigid’s and Holly Walter from Buffalo was cantor for the Mass.

Afterwards, the Ladies from St. Brigid put on a delicious luncheon with several salads and a vegetable/antipasto tray, capped off with luscious homemade desserts.

Our speaker was Sister Marie Schober, who gave us an inspiring talk about our being present to God and recognizing God’s presence in all people in our lives and in all nature around us. She gave us many helpful handouts to assist us in realizing God’s presence in every aspect of our lives. She also presented us with suggested prayers for us to use in our daily prayers.

Many thanks to Jan Bausch, President, and to all of the Ladies of Charity of St. Brigid Church for their exceptional hospitality.

More photos are in the Photo Gallery

2019 Mass of Remembrance, Enrollment of New Members and Volunteer Luncheon, May 16, 2019
rememberance mass 5

Mass of Remembrance and Enrollment of New Members was held on May 16, 2019 at Ss. Columba-Brigid Church with 75 members in attendance. Father Roy Herberger was our celebrant and enrolled 5 new members. We were fortunate to have Debbie Chadwick, LCUSA President, Irene Siedlarczyk, VP Northeast Region, Fran Simkulet, President Elect of the Binghamton Association and Margaret Hanson, Parliamentarian and past LCUSA President as our guests. Holly Walter, Director Northeast Region, served as Cantor for the Mass. Debbie and Irene women spoke on the need to seek new members. Debbie talked about her father playing professional baseball in Buffalo when she was a child. She likened our membership need to baseball; LOC needs to have the “bench warmers” who will be ready to continue our ministries when we are no longer able to. The Catholic Charities staff hosted a delicious Volunteer Appreciation lunch following Mass with a short report on the programs of Ladies of Charity

Party Saturday
April 13, 2019

party saturday 5

PARTY SATURDAY, held on Saturday April 13, 2019, was a great success! There were over 100 participants and many volunteers to make this event fun for everyone. Nine regular rounds of 4 drawings for gift cards valued at $25 or more were sold at $2 a ticket, and one special raffle of 6 drawings of gift cards valued at $50

Pizza, soft drinks/coffee, and dessert were served for lunch. Also, there were over 70 theme baskets. Additionally, raffle tickets were sold for the beautiful quilt on display, which was hand made by Mary Carroll. The winner of quilt raffle will be drawn at our annual Style Show to be held in September of this year. There is still time to purchase raffle tickets for the quilt!

Many thanks to all businesses, members and parish groups for their donations of gift cards and gift baskets and to all the volunteers who helped make it a success.

More photos are in the Photo Gallery

All Babies Cherished benefits from Mary Immaculate Parish Ladies of Charity
One of the ministries of the Mary Immaculate Parish Ladies of Charity in Pavilion, NY, a Diocese of Buffalo parish group, is making blankets for All Babies Cherished (ABC). ABC provides Christ centered assistance during pregnancy, offering “emotional support, encouragement and guidance throughout pregnancy, early childhood or the option of adoption for both mothers and fathers”.
Pictured are their members displaying one of their blankets: 
Row. 1…Ann Hackett, Pat Torcello, Rae Snyder.  Row 2…Pat Tiede, Ursula Fuest, Cathy Johnson, Donna Mellander, Carol Pursel, Mary Shaughnesy, Evelyn Taylor.
Mary Immaculate LOC


Congratulations to Celine (Sally) Kingsley who is a Recipient of the Presidential Service Award on March 28, 2019.

Sally received the highest award level, known as the “Called to Service Award” which recognizes individuals who have given 4,000 hours or more of volunteer service in a lifetime. The ceremony was held at a luncheon on March 28, 2019 at the Statler’s Erie Room at E.C.C. North Campus. On hand to present the award was Erie County Executive, Mark Polancarz and Timothy Hogues, Commissioner of Senior Services.

Along with the ultimate honor of presidential recognition, Sally received a personalized certificate, an official pin and a congratulatory letter from the president of the United States.

Congratulations Sally!

Sally RSVP Presidential Service Award

A visit from the National St. Vincent DePaul Society Northeast Region VP!

Irene Frechette, Northeast Region Vice President of the National St. Vincent DePaul Society recently visited the Ladies of Charity Center and her husband Armond.  Irene was hosted by Holly Walter, LOC Spiritual Moderator.

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Patra Mangus provided a tour of the Buffalo Center showing Irene and Armond our Thrift Store, Fresh Start department, donation sorting area, Christmas Toyland and more!  Armond, Irene and Holly also enjoyed lunch at Chef’s Restaurant, a Buffalo favorite.  They were joined by Kathleen Sieracki (pictured with them) and Kathy Roseti.

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World Day of the Poor
November 15, 2018

Ladies of Charity in response to Pope Francis World Day of the Poor, held a day of service.  Holly Walters, Vincentian Spiritual Moderator began the day with a prayer service and song.  Approximately 40 ladies participated in this project, filling more than 450 bags for the homebound.  Bags, decorated by the Junior Ladies of Charity, were filled with cleaning supplies, toiletries, Christmas cards and throws.  The service day ended with lunch and fellowship.

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St. Gregory the Great Ladies of Charity 25th Anniversary Tea

The St. Gregory the Great Parish Ladies of Charity (LOC) held a Tea for current and future members to celebrate their 25th Anniversary. The first meeting of the St. Gregory the Great LOC was held on June 21, 1993. It was started by Margaret Gleason and Eileen Nowak, Director of Parish Outreach and Advocacy who forged a partnership to start the association in response to an article Margaret had read in the parish newsletter about the diocesan Ladies of Charity.

The Ladies were honored to have as their guests Father Leon Biernat, Father Francis Lombardo, Father Tom Mahoney, Father Paul Sygan and Sister Shawn Czyzycki. Father Leon recommitted our officers Susan Ward, President, Mary Ann Held, VP, Katie Ola, Secretary and Susan Ognibene, Treasurer.

Our current president Susan Ward shared a short history of the original members and the various ladies who have served as officers for the parish LOC and on the diocesan board.

Eileen Nowak presented the association a plaque from Catholic Charities in recognition of the time and treasure the parish Ladies of Charity have contributed to the Buffalo Association over the past 25 years.

Everyone enjoyed a variety of sandwiches and desserts, freshly brewed tea and iced tea. The event was co-chaired by Mary Joan Fix and Marilyn Leslie.

Read the article about Party Saturday from the Western New York Catholic here:

Today Show Shines Light on the Buffalo Ladies of Charity

Buffalo Ladies of Charity volunteer, Estelle Anderson, age 96, received a surprise visit from NBC Today Show Host Al Roker. Estelle was recognized by the Today Show and the Neighbors Helping Neighbors Program for her volunteer work improving the lives of those in need in the community.

State Farm Insurance Representatives, who sponsor the program, showered the Ladies of Charity with items to make it easier to continue their ministry in the Buffalo Community; including sewing machines, material, thread, diapers, blankets and clothing.

Estelle who was the 2017 Catholic Charities Volunteer of Year directs the Buffalo association’s layette program. When Estelle first encountered the layette program over 30 years ago, she found nothing but a few items in a donation box. An avid sewer and quilter, she agreed to deploy her skills for the program. Under her guidance, the program blossomed into much more than a simple donation box. Today, in-need mothers and their infants are supplied with essential crib linens, clothing and diapers.

At age 96, Estelle still volunteers 30 hours a month, assembling layettes and coordinating the donations received from baby showers held by both parish Ladies of Charity groups and others throughout the community. She began another effort eight years ago in which she and others sew tote bags for home bound adults and also grocery bags for patrons of eight Catholic Charities food pantries.

Estelle also gives educational lectures on quilting, discussing the connection between quilt symbols and the Underground Railroad. When asked what drives her to continue to volunteer and serve some of the most vulnerable people in Buffalo, Estelle says it is simply how she was raised, adding that she has always looked to the example set by her mother, who believed everyone has a responsibility to give back to their communities and to make it a better place.

Congratulations to Estelle Anderson who has been named
Catholic Charities USA Volunteer of the Year for 2017!

When Estelle first encountered the Ladies of Charity Layette Program over 30 years ago, she found nothing but a few items in a donation box.  An avid sewer and quilter, she agreed to deploy her skills for the program.  Under her guidance, the program blossomed into much more than a simple donation box.  Today, in-need mothers and their infants are supplied with essential crib linens, clothing and diapers.  At the helm, Estelle has aided an estimated 10,000 families in Buffalo and surrounding communities.

Now age 95, Estelle still volunteers 30 hours a month, assembling layettes and coordinating the donations received from baby showers held by both parish Ladies of Charity groups and others throughout the community.  Items donated at the showers are stockpiled and distributed as needed.  In addition, many volunteers meet weekly to sew needed items.  She began another effort eight years ago in which she and others sew tote bags for home bound adults and also grocery bags for patrons of eight Catholic Charities food pantries.

Estelle also gives educational lectures on quilting.  She spent afternoons at area churches in February, Black History Month, discussing the connection between quilt symbols and the Underground Railroad.  When asked what drives her to continue to volunteer and serve some of the most vulnerable people in Buffalo, Estelle says it is simply how she was raised, adding that she has always looked to the example set by her mother, who was the daughter of slaves.  Estelle said her mother believed everyone has a responsibility to give back to their communities and to make it a better place.

Congratulations on this well-deserved honor for Estelle.