EXETER — Helen Brigido had the chance to celebrate her 95th birthday at Fox Hill Country Club on Wednesday night, March 11, surrounded by a group of professional women ready to honor her for her life in local business.
“I’m the oldest (chamber) member on Main Street,” Brigido quipped before the award ceremony at the Greater Pittston Chamber of Commerce Women’s Network’s annual St. Patrick’s Day Dinner.
Brigido and Lucille Maziarz received the Women’s Network’s first Distinguished Woman Award at the dinner Wednesday night. Maria Capolarella Montante, who introduced the award and Brigido, said she helped start the award to recognize Women’s History Month.
“It’s very thrilling to see women recognizing women,” Montante said.
Montante introduced and presented the first of the two awards to Brigido and spoke about Brigido’s exemplary life and career in business, first at Allen Shoe Store and later as owner and sales clerk at Quality Roofers and Builders on Main Street in Pittston.
“She has lived her life with loyalty, dignity and grace and is a shining example to all who know and love her,” Montante said of Brigido.
Brigido accepted the award with a bright smile.
“I am truly grateful and deeply humbled,” she said. “It’s a great honor, I never expected it, but thank you. Thank you,” she said.
Ann Marie Adonizio presented the second award to her cousin, Maziarz.
Adonizio detailed Maziarz’s career, first as a businesswoman alongside her late husband, Edward, then as a Duryea politician. She was the first woman elected to Duryea Borough Council in 1968 and later the Pittston Area School Board.
“She not only won the election first time out, she was the high vote-getter,” Adonizio said. “I don’t know how she did that, but she did it.”
Maziarz went on to serve in several political offices, including the state democratic committee, and was elected as a delegate to the national state convention, Adonizio said, but she still thinks of the sewer system in Duryea as one of her greatest accomplishments.
As she accepted the title of Distinguished Woman on Wednesday night, Maziarz thanked the women’s network and spoke about encouraging women to get into politics.
“I’ve tried very hard to get ladies to come to the table of politics,” she said, reflecting on her first campaign. “They were very supportive of me, unlike their husbands.”
She too thanked the women’s network for the recognition.
“I am very happy and humbled,” she said. “Thank you for all the support you’ve given me all these years.”
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