YWCA Honors Darien, Norwalk Women Of Distinction

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Honorees at the Darien/Norwalk Women of Distinction luncheon were: (front, left to right) Katie Farren, Babs White and Susan Schorr and back (left to right) Ciara Thurlow, Rita Ferri, Louise Berry and Novelette Peterkin. Photo Credit: Cathleen Stack
Ellen Kirby, executive director of the YWCA, meets Deirdre McGovern. Photo Credit: Cathleen Stack
Julie Forsyth presents an award to Babs White. Photo Credit: Cathleen Stack
Julie Forsyth presents an award to Ciara Thurlow. Photo Credit: Cathleen Stack
Julie Forsyth presents an award to Louise Parker Berry. Photo Credit: Cathleen Stack
Julie Forsyth presents an award to Novelette Peterkin. Photo Credit: Cathleen Stack
Julie Forsyth talks about HInldey School principal Rita Ferri. Photo Credit: Cathleen Stack
Darien High School senior Katie Farren was one of the honorees. Photo Credit: Cathleen Stack
Sueann Schorr was another of the honorees. Photo Credit: Cathleen Stack

DARIEN, Conn. -- The YWCA hosted the fourth Annual Darien/Norwalk Women of Distinction Luncheon on Thursday at Woodway Country Club in Darien.

The event honored and celebrated the achievements of women who stand out in the community for their efforts to make a difference. The women honored embody the ideals held by the YWCA organization of eliminating racism and empowering women and recognize their accomplishments as role models, leaders, pioneers and mentors, the group said.

Ellen Kirby, executive director of the YWCA Darien/Norwalk, welcomed more than 300 business, community and family members to the luncheon. Dawn Crouch, Kristin Calve and Erin McMurray-Killealea were co-chairs for the event. Jeanne Yurman and Julie Forsyth presented the honorees.

Darien Rowayton Bank was a sponsor; William Raveis Mortgage, Real Estate and Insurance was the title sponsor. 

Honorees were: 

  • Katie Farren,18, was awarded the Young Woman of Distinction Award. A Darien High School senior heading off to Notre Dame in the fall, she has numerous community and political interests and involvements. She is a National Merit Commended Scholar and served as captain of the school’s cross country team.
  • Rita Ferri has worked for 18 years in the Darien Public Schools, first as an elementary school teacher and for the last five years as principal of Hindley School.
  • Sueann Schorr is a commander in the U.S. Navy Reserves specializing in meteorology and oceanography. A mother of three, she is also active in local community organizations including the Darien Girl Scouts, Darien (MOPS) Mothers of Preschoolers and teaches religion at St. John’s Church.
  • Louise Parker Berry has served as executive director of the Darien Library for 34 years. During that time has led the Darien Library to national and state recognition and championed the concept of “Extreme Customer Service." She was the first female president of the Darien Rotary Club and recipient of the Paul Harris Fellow Award. 
  • Ciara Thurlow is the Wilton High School varsity coach and coach of the Darien Youth Lacrosse eighth grade travel team. She is also a volunteer for many local organizations, including the Children’s School, the Darien Town Republican Committee and the Darien Library.
  • Novelette Peterkin is executive director of the Carver Foundation of Norwalk and serves many community initiatives, including the 33-member Norwalk Collaborative for Youth Success and as an adviser to the Norwalk Board of Education in its search for a new superintendent.
  • Babs White has been keeping Darien’s past alive for more than 40 years through her involvement as a volunteer curator at the Darien Historical Society, monthly contributions to the Darien Architectural Review Board and as a member of the Darien Garden Club.
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