5 Exceptional Women 1 Inspiring Night

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Meet this year’s Callie Award honorees

By Jennifer Mellace  |  Photography by Casey Martin

This year the YWCA Gettysburg & Adams County honored five nominees at the 18th annual Callie Awards Celebration of Exceptional Women. Founded by the United Way of Adams County, and taken over by the YWCA in 2016, the Callie Awards recognize the significant achievements of exceptional women leaders in various fields of service, from business to environmentalism. In addition, one exceptional young woman is recognized each year for her accomplishments and positive influences in the community and awarded a $1,500 scholarship.

A Callie Award winner must demonstrate excellence, creativity, and initiative in her field, exhibit a significant level of commitment to and leadership in professional or community service, and show a commitment to serving Adams County and improving the quality of life for others.

“This year’s women are wonderful, but it’s not so much what I say but what we hear from community members and event sponsors,” says Deb Geesey, YWCA executive director. “Sponsors step up because of the work the honorees do and for the important organizations they volunteer for. These women are a great representation of all the good that is in our area.”

Business Award Winner: Kathy Gilbert

Owner of Gettysburg Day Spa, GARMA President, Operator of Laventide Salon & Spa at Liberty Mountain Resort and the Spa at White Oak at The Inn at White Oak

What started as a small nail salon—Nails & Details—in the spring of 2000 is now a full-service, sustainably conscious Green Circle salon and day spa (a recognition given to salons that divert salon and spa waste from landfills and waterways) with three locations. Through her success, Kathy Gilbert gives back to causes she believes in, including A Woman’s Purse with the Independent Living Program of Adams County Children and Youth Services in support of empowering young men and women aging out of the foster care system.

Gilbert’s advice for those looking to get involved with their community? “Always be aware of what is going on around you and be willing to put forth the effort to make the world a better, cleaner place, and know that you have the ability to impact the lives of others.”

Community Service Award Winner: Beverly Grazulewicz

Director of Scholarships and Administration of Adams County Community Foundation

After her husband’s transfer from New Jersey to Gettysburg more than 30 years ago, Beverly Grazulewicz worked part-time and volunteered for the Gettysburg chapter of Dollars for Scholars. Years later, when the Adams County Community Foundation was looking for a director for their scholarship program, Grazulewicz was a perfect fit.

Today, Grazulewicz works with volunteers and philanthropists to fund scholarships and supports organizations that provide educational and cultural entertainment to the community. “I am humbled to be considered part of [the Callie Award]group,” says Grazulewicz. “I never expected my volunteerism and love of this community would put me on this list, but I feel truly blessed to have met so many wonderful people. Don’t be afraid to take the first step and get involved. You never know who might nominate you for an award.”

Environmental Service Award Winner: Bicky Redman

Senior Planner of Environmental Services for Adams County

Hired as Adams County’s first solid waste/recycling coordinator in 1992, Bicky Redman was one of the few women in this field of work. But after 17 years in product research and development in industrial wastewater treatment and obtaining her wastewater treatment operator’s license and senior recycling certification, Redman was more than qualified. She has since helped Adams County with new technologies in composting and implementing the provisions of Pennsylvania’s Municipal Waste Planning, Recycling and Waste Reduction Act.

In addition, Redman was the founding member of the county’s Watershed Alliance and Land Conservancy organizations, both formed in the ’90s to bring awareness of water issues and preserving the area’s natural beauty. She’s also involved in the South Mountain Partnership, which protects the area’s woodlands and orchards. “I never thought of myself as receiving a Callie Award—I am honored,” says Redman. “It is such an important way of highlighting the important and varied roles women play in our community and their valued contributions.”

Education Award Winner: Shannon Harvey

Vice President of HACC-Gettysburg

Shannon Harvey’s professional experience includes 19 years as an academic administrator at HACC, four years as a lobbyist for the Public School Employees Retirement System, and two years as a graduate assistant in student and academic affairs at the University of Maryland. These years have helped shape her and given her the opportunity to work with others to enrich the community—something she finds “tremendously satisfying.”

Today, Harvey sits on the board of directors for WellSpan Gettysburg Hospital, the Hanover Area Chamber of Commerce, and the Adams County Economic Alliance, and is a board member of the Gettysburg Rotary Club. She has also been an overnight volunteer with Gettysburg C.A.R.E.S (Combined Area Resources for Emergency Shelter)—a collaborative effort by local churches and citizens to provide emergency shelter to those without housing during the winter months. “The paradox of volunteering is interesting—you quickly realize the more you give, the more you are given personally, psychologically, and professionally,” says Harvey. “For myself, I’ve discovered that helping others who have problems or needs far greater than my own provides a perspective about my own life that contributes to a more positive attitude.”

Young Woman Award Winner: Alexa Groft

Elementary Education Major at HACC-Gettysburg

Alexa Groft’s favorite quote is a popular one often associated with Mahatma Gandhi—“Be the change you wish to see in the world”—and it’s one she takes to heart. Born and raised in Adams County, Groft graduated from Bermudian Springs High School in 2015 and currently attends HACC-Gettysburg, majoring in elementary education. Her decision to follow this path was simple—she wanted to positively impact the lives of young students and teach them the importance of morals and values. She has made volunteering a priority in her life, focusing on several organizations that involve the elderly, animals, literacy, and education. “My desire to positively impact the lives of others is what drives me,” says Groft. “My greatest contribution is volunteering my time and spreading kindness everywhere I go, and I hope others will do the same.”

Submit Your Nominations!

In 2019, five new female leaders will be recognized with Callie Awards for demonstrating excellence in their fields. Share your exceptional nominee with the YWCA Gettysburg & Adams County at www.ywcagettysburg.org.

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