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Kamenetz to Recognize Three Baltimore County 'Women of the Year'

Towson, Maryland (March 5, 2014) – Baltimore County Executive Kevin Kamenetz will recognize this year's winners of the Baltimore County Commission for Women's 32nd Annual "Woman of the Year" awards. Honorees include a nurse who has worked tirelessly for decades to feed hungry people, a prominent education leader and a high school senior who is already making her mark in the field of medicine.

Ceremony on March 27

The awards will be presented at a ceremony on Thursday, March 27, at 6 p.m. in the Baltimore County Council Chambers of the Historic Courthouse, located at 400 Washington Avenue in Towson.

The Commission named Elizabeth "Betty" Cain the 2014 Woman of the Year; Francesca "Franny" Brancati the 2014 Young Woman of the Year; and Debra Moriarty, Ph.D., the recipient of the "LaFrance Muldrow Woman Making a Difference" award. These awards are presented to female County residents who have enhanced the lives of citizens and made significant contributions in the community, workplace, or schools to further the interests of women and children.

A Passion for Helping Hungry People

For six decades, Woman of the Year winner Betty Cain, a licensed practical nurse from Halethorpe, has been an activist in her community combating hunger. Working primarily through her parish, Lansdowne United Methodist Church, Cain has organized teams of volunteers in southwest Baltimore County to help feed low-income families and elderly shut-ins. She has organized dozens of initiatives to provide meals regularly at various locations for anyone in need of food. Collaborating with the Riverview Community Association, the Wilkens Police and Community Relations Organization and others, she has inspired ongoing support from the community to aid her efforts to feed the hungry.

Introducing the 'LaFrance Muldrow Woman Making a Difference' Award

This is the first year that the Baltimore County Commission for Women is honoring an outstanding woman in the community with the "LaFrance Muldrow Woman Making a Difference" award. Muldrow, a retired Baltimore County social worker, community activist and longtime member of the Baltimore County Commission for Women, made enormous contributions in Baltimore County during her four-decade career. In both professional and volunteer capacities, she served to improve the welfare of socially and financially disadvantaged children and families, always promoting social, educational and cultural opportunities. She passed away in July 2013 after a long illness.

The first awardee of the "LaFrance Muldrow Woman Making a Difference" award is Debra Moriarty, Ph.D., vice president of Student Affairs at Towson University. Moriarty is being recognized by the Commission as a creative innovator who has provided executive leadership in a multitude of areas, including: student parent programs; African American and Latino student development and support; the university's Women's Center, Career Center and Veterans Center; the Dowell Health Center; LGBT support; mentorship and scholarship programs; student disability support and civility education. For many years, she has been an active community volunteer and leader promoting the importance of education through community collaborations. She established the University Relations Committee of the Greater Towson Council Community Association and has been instrumental in developing collaborative relationships between Towson University, County government and local businesses.

Young and Inspiring

This year's Young Woman of the Year honoree is Franny Brancati, a Dulaney High School senior, who is recognized as an exceptional student, an award-winning editor of her school newspaper, an essayist, musician and athlete. Notably, she served as a summer intern lab assistant at Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, during which she participated in research projects potentially leading to groundbreaking cancer therapies. Recognized as a proven leader and an inspirational young woman, she plans to pursue a medical degree in college.