Volunteer of the Month

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December 30, 2012
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January 29, 2013
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Volunteer of the Month

Harold and Henrietta O'Grady on the trails in the Preserve

Henrietta and Harold  O’Grady on the trails in the Vischer Ferry Preserve – photo by Matt O’Grady.

Let me introduce Henrietta O’Grady, Executive Secretary to the Mohawk Towpath Scenic Byway Coalition.  Henny, as her close friends call her, has been a volunteer with the Byway since its early advocacy days back in the late 1990’s.  She has compiled the minutes of the organization’s meetings since it became incorporated in 2002.  She helped guide the organization through the state designation process in 2005, edited many proposals including the one that obtained our designation as one of America’s Byways®, helped tirelessly through ten duathlon events, and assisted as we developed and delivered a presentation to other national byway leaders on our best practices.  You will find her in the Byway’s booth or participating at many local events along the Byway.

Henrietta is retired from N Y S Legistative staff.  I was impressed the handful of times that we went down to the Capitol to meet with our legislative delegation.  She was quite comfortable in that situation and has a good sense of protocol.  Further she knows who to visit about our Byway issues.  Her knack for diplomacy serves our Byway well.

Why does she volunteer for the Byway?  “I have been using parts of the old Erie Canal for outdoor recreation for more than fifty years,” brags Henny. “My children and now my grandchildren have also enjoyed many fun times along the old canal way. We hike, observe wildlife, cross country ski the towpaths and sometimes even ice skate the frozen waters in the Vischer Ferry Preserve. It is a peaceful, close by oasis near our home — a place where you can spend 30 minutes or three hours at a last minutes notice, year ’round.”

Henny and her husband Harold live on the Byway in the Town of Halfmoon.  When she’s not busy with Byway business she values the time she and Harold spend with their grandchildren.  Her favorite trips are an annual pilgrimage north to the Olympic venues and cycling in and around the Mohawk Towpath Byway corridor.

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