The YWCA Darien/Norwalk has announced the six honorees for the 2017 Women of Distinction Awards and Luncheon on May 4, 2017 at Woodway Country Club in Darien. The distinguished honorees are: Kara Nelson Baekey, Mindy Garcia, Catalina Horak, Lisa Koorbusch and Leslie Pennington.  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.

Each week, The Darien Times spotlights two of the women of distinction. 

Kara Nelson Baekey grew up in Riverside, attending Greenwich public schools and Greenwich Academy. She studied communications at Tulane University, and graduated from Arizona State with a bachelor's degree in broadcast journalism.  Her career in advertising has taken her from New York City to Boston and back to NYC, and most recently to Norwalk, where she resides with her husband Andrew, daughter Charlotte and son Benjamin.

On the morning of December 14, 2012, Kara’s life was forever changed. The shooting at Sandy Hook hit close to home; her son was in first grade in their elementary school in Norwalk. She realized gun violence can happen anywhere, and to anyone. Instead of focusing on her sadness, Kara was moved to action. She connected with Shannon Watts, a fellow mom who shared her passion for change. Ms. Watts founded what is now known as Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America. Kara founded the Fairfield County chapter, now the Connecticut chapter. Kara has been the CT Chapter Leader for over 4 years.

In addition to educating her community on the necessity for common sense gun reforms, Kara has been raising awareness by advocating that parents ask about the presence of guns in the homes of friends.  Too often there are unsecured guns on a playdate that can result in tragedy.  

Kara has been involved in rallies for change and has spoken at many events, all in an effort to get the messages out for Mom´s Demand Action.  Prior to the Women’s March in January, Kara attended a rally in Stamford with approximately 500 attendees, including Congressman Jim Himes. She spoke passionately about the continued need to fight for gun safety in the face of the incoming administration.  

Kara continues to fight tirelessly against gun violence, each and every day.

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