Assemblymember William Colton held his annual Women of Distinction Awards as part of International Women’s Month on Sunday, March 24 at the United Progressive Democratic Club at 29 Bay 25th Street in Bensonhurst.
The pol, whose assembly district includes Bensonhurst, Gravesend, Bath Beach and Dyker Heights, asked that all nominations for prospective honorees be submitted no later than March 15. From that group, over 50 extraordinary women were chosen and recognized for helping to make their communities better.
Colton, in conjunction with United Progressive Democratic Club President Nino Magali and 47th Assembly District Leader Nancy Tong hosted the ceremony and luncheon.
Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr., a representative from U.S. Rep. Max Rose’s office, Zunera Ahmed, and Ari Kagan from Scott Stringer’s New York City Comptroller Office were among the over 150 people who came to celebrate the honorees.
For the first time this year the event included a showcase from the Pesvebi Georgian Cultural Center with dance school students as young as four years old performing traditional Georgian dances such as the Adjaruli.
“I am very proud that the 2019 Women of Distinction Awards ceremony was so diversified and that we had so many extraordinary women as our honorees,” said Colton. “I was astonished with the performance of the Pesvebi Georgian Cultural Center. Once again the event showed that no matter what your background is, if we work together and learn more about each other’s culture, it would keep us all unified.”
Magali was pleased to help organize the presentation. “I had the honor and privilege to put this event together, and I am very excited that we were able to honor so many amazing women,” said Magali. “This celebration brought together a diverse group of distinguished women to be recognized for their achievements. I am looking forward to unifying our communities. What we do in this life echoes in eternity, and as a woman and a mother I strive to be an exemplary role model to our future generation.”
Colton attributed the continued success of the event to the diverse residents of the Bensonhurst neighborhood. “This event basically symbolizes what has always been the climate of Bensonhurst, bringing together people of diverse backgrounds,” Colton told this paper. “And the more we can encourage people to come together and share each other’s traditions and values, the better opportunity we have to make Bensonhurst a great neighborhood for all the people.”
As far as the selection process for this year’s honorees, Colton said that the criterion was that they were all very active within the community. “Some of the women being honored are teachers, others may be involved in community organizations or senior centers, but the one thing that they all have in common is that they very much want to improve the quality of life in the neighborhood. And they deserve to be recognized for that because what they do makes Bensonhurst a better place for everybody.”