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Bedford 2020 Co-Founder Named Woman of Distinction

BREWSTER, N.Y. — Bedford 2020 co-founder Mary Beth Kass was among more than 30 local women honored Friday by Sen. Greg Ball (R-C-Patterson) for community service, as part of the senator’s first Women of Distinction Hall of Fame.

“The women who are here today were nominated by their communities, handpicked because they chose a path of leadership, living a life of service before self,” Ball said at the event. “Each one of these women here today is so well-deserving of this honor because they have built a reputation of action, compassion and integrity, a path that that stands as an example to all.”

Kass is co-president of Bedford 2020, an energy-saving environmental initiative that was integral to the implementation of the town’s climate action plan, introduced in 2010. The plan helped secure $2.6 million in federal funds to launch Energize Bedford, the town’s home energy efficiency program. The ultimate goal of Bedford 2020 is to reduce the town’s greenhouse gas emissions by 20 percent by the year 2020.

Kass has held a number of other volunteer positions over the years, serving as president of the Katonah Village Improvement Society, program coordinator for Family University and events coordinator for the Katonah Chamber of Commerce.

Bedford Supervisor Lee V.A. Roberts was there to support Kass at the ceremony, which was held at the Putnam County Emergency Services Center.

The leadership of each city, town and village within the Ball’s 40th District was asked to nominate a woman for commendation.

Keynote speakers at the event included former Congresswoman Sue Kelly, New York State Senate 2008 Woman of Distinction Honoree, and Putnam County Executive Mary Ellen Odell, who was chosen as the 2011 state honoree.

Kelly praised the exceptional volunteer work of the honorees. “There isn’t anyone being honored here tonight that hasn’t expanded our sense of community,” said Kelly. “Because of all the volunteer work they’ve done, every community that is represented here today is indebted to these women.”

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