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Celebrating this year’s Canandaigua ATHENA recipients

An estimated 400 of Canandaigua’s most inspiring leading women and their ardent supporters gathered Friday to celebrate 16 ATHENA Leadership and ATHENA Young Professional Leadership nominees.

At the 34th annual event, two of the 16 received highest honors: Marge Donhauser and Jennie Erdle.

Like their fellow nominees, Donhauser and Erdle were hailed for their contributions to community, their professional achievements and the ways they mentor women. They were celebrated for embodying the eight tenets of the ATHENA Leadership model: learning, collaboration, relationships, fierce advocacy, authentic self, giving back, courageous acts, and celebration and joy.

The Nov. 16 gala event, hosted by the Canandaigua Chamber of Commerce and the Professional Women of the Finger Lakes, was held at Finger Lakes Community College. Emcee Stephanie Kunes presided over the evening with her signature style and humor. Maggie O’Brien delivered an inspiring message as Canandaigua ATHENA Leadership/Professional Women of the Finger Lakes High School Gold Scholarship recipient.

This year’s ATHENA Leadership recipient, Marge Donhauser, was selected from among 10 nominees.

“I just think it’s marvelous,” said Donhauser after hearing her name called. “I’m just a country girl, and they all are remarkable women. It’s hard to pick someone because they all have amazing stories.”

For more than 30 years, Donhauser has focused her volunteer efforts and professional nursing career in the areas of hospice and geriatrics, dedicating her life to the care of the elderly and people with disabilities.

As the owner of Donhauser Nursing Services, she has provided high-quality, affordable at-home services, allowing her clients to live their remaining days with respect and dignity.

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