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Chamber Awards Mary Jo Colligan "Person of the Year"

Dec 2, 2011

For the second consecutive year, the Irondequoit Chamber of Commerce is going to honor a Person of the Year at its annual holiday gala, coming up on Dec. 2.

This year, nominations were solicited from the community, and the honoree is going to be Angels of Mercy founder and director Mary Jo Colligan. Perhaps the charity’s best-known project is sewing dresses for the “Dress A Girl Around the World” program. To date, local women have sewn well over 15,000 dresses.

“This was the first time we put it out to the community, and we received several emails, letters and phone calls nominating Mary Jo,” said Florence Bianco of the chamber board. “She started the Angels with seven women and now has well over 100 volunteers ... and she impacts the lives of so many women — both in the Irondequoit community and around the world. She’s really someone this award was meant to be about — a person who makes a difference in the lives of people; she (Colligan) really has.”

Why you should attend

“I met Mary Jo (Colligan) a couple of years ago, when she made a presentation about the mission for Angles of Mercy,” said Bob Spatola, incoming president of the Irondequoit Chamber of Commerce. “I left that meeting inspired by her commitment to help young girls gain respect by simply providing them a dress. Her ability to identify a need and rally volunteers proves she is an  exceptional person. I am happy that the chamber has selected her as the Person of the Year.”

Plan to attend the chamber event to honor not only Colligan, but also the building award-winners, this year nominated by a committee that included Peter Kelderhouse, Rich Orczyk and Larry Heininger as members.

Other event highlights

The chamber’s holiday dinner traditionally includes an award for Best New Building in the community in the past year. This year’s honor is going to the East West Energy gas station and convenience store at 2575 Culver Road (across from Wambach’s).

The chamber’s holiday awards also include recognitions each year for Best Renovated Building and Best Landscaping, this year going to the East Ridge Professional Building owned by dentist Robert Buhite at 564 E. Ridge Road; and to Stanley Urbanski of the Urbanski Insurance Agency, 1134 Titus Ave., respectively.

Linda Quinlan - Messenger Post Media