The YWCA Darien/Norwalk is pleased to announce the six honorees for the 2017 Women of Distinction Awards and Luncheon on May 4, at Woodway Country Club in Darien. The distinguished honorees are Kara Nelson Baekey, Mindy Garcia, Catalina Horak, Lisa Koorbusch and Leslie Pennington Cohen.  Katie Schorr will be honored as a Young Woman of Distinction, recognizing the outstanding accomplishments of a woman under 21 years of age.

The Women of Distinction Award is bestowed in recognition of the outstanding achievements of a select group of women. Local residents and business owners nominate women who live or work in Darien and Norwalk whose significant and unique contributions have made a difference in our community. The YWCA Darien/Norwalk Women of Distinction Nominations Committee reviews the nominations and selects the honorees.

This event is open to the public. Tickets for the luncheon are on sale now and can be purchased at ywcadn.org/wod. For further inquiries about this event or to become a sponsor, please contact wod@ywcadn.org .

Mindy Garcia

Mindy Garcia is being recognized on behalf of the hundred staff members, clinicians and countless patients families she has touched at Norwalk Community Health Center for over ten years.

Mindy´s title at Norwalk Community Health Center is the Husky Outreach Eligibility Specialist and Eligibility Manager. Her role goes far beyond her title. She is completely committed to serving low-income women and children, often going into her own pocket to assist a patient when they are in need.

Referred to as the “Angel of Norwalk” by the Norwalk Fire Department, Mindy was asked this past December to ride with the firefighters to deliver Christmas gifts to a recently widowed woman, Yosley Lopez. They especially wanted Mindy to be there, because she was the first person to reach out and advocate for Ms. Lopez. When Mindy said she couldn’t get away, they sent a fire truck to pick her up.

Mindy constantly addresses concerns and engages the firefighters and others in the community to provide assistance. Recently there was a disabled child that was having transportation problems. The girl’s wheelchair needed a repair that enabled her to ride in the van, but the family did not have the means to do so. By bringing this to the attention of the firehouse, they were able to quickly make a replacement part.

A passionate advocate for all, Mindy is not one to turn anyone away. She is invaluable in her advocacy for women, particularly single parents. She shares with them the tools with which to navigate the school system. This information is especially impactful for those with special needs and gives them the encouragement and means to thrive and survive. Patients that are lucky enough to encounter Mindy Garcia benefit from her continual selflessness.