After an hour and a half of what must have been very tedious waiting, Marcia Bliss finally heard her name announced.
Monday, following a gourmet dinner and entertainment from singing group Serendipity, the Jamestown Interclub Council announced its 57th woman of the year.
"If you were to sit down with our recipient tonight, they would (act modestly), but she has pages upon pages of accomplishments," said Russ Diethrick. "For many years, she has given her time and talent to this community in a way which helps this community blossom. She exhibits care and compassion for the people in this community. Please bring Marcia Bliss over here, because she's the Woman of the Year."
Marcia Bliss is greeted by friends, family and Russ Diethrick following the announcement that Bliss is the Jamestown Interclub Council’s 2012 Woman of the Year.
P-J photo by Remington Whitcomb
Though Bliss eventually was able to say a few words of gratitude following her receipt of the award, she was initially rendered speechless by the surprise.
While Bliss searched for words, four congratulatory letters from Mayor Sam Teresi, State Sen. Cathy Young, Assemblyman Andrew Goodell, and County Executive Greg Edwards were read to her.
At the conclusion of the letters, Bliss had finally found her voice.
"I just feel privileged to be able to serve," said Bliss. "Whether it's been The Resource Center or the Child Advocacy Program, they're just near and dear to my heart."
While Bliss is currently a certified public accountant, she still finds time to serve for several organizations. Although the spotlight was solely upon her for the night, Bliss couldn't help but promote the Child Advocacy Program instead of soak in the congratulations.
"I really appreciate the honor of being Woman of the Year," said Bliss. "I don't know what to say, other than I want to invite everyone to the Child Advocacy Program's Diamond Dinner on April 20. Just make sure you're at the Diamond Dinner."
2011 WINNER SPEAKS TO GUESTS
To begin the presentation, Jane A. Winter, Jamestown Interclub Council president and winner of the council's 2011 Woman of the Year award, gave an introduction as the previous Woman of the Year recipient. Nineteen previous award winners are surviving, and 11 of those were present at Monday's ceremony.
"A lot of people have asked me, 'What does it feel like when they call your name?'" said Winter. "I'd guess it's like winning the lottery. I don't know I've never won the lottery. Your head is swimming, your heart is beating, and everyone is standing up and applauding. I remember all of a sudden seeing my daughter come in with my mother and my son-in-law. What really did it was when Dr. George Connor came in he was the man who did my breast cancer surgery 25 years ago and saved my life. It was because of him and that second chance that I've been able to do a lot of things (such as being named Woman of the Year)."
Following Winter, an introduction of the judges for the award was given. These judges include: Tory Irgang, United Way of Southern Chautauqua County executive director; Suellen Carlson, Lutheran director of volunteers; and Joni Blackman, Fenton History Center executive director.