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Oyster Bay ‘Women of Distinction’

Local winners recognized at special ceremony

Oyster Bay Town Supervisor John Venditto, together with members of the Town Board, honored eight extraordinary recipients at the 16th annual Town of Oyster Bay “Women of Distinction” Awards Ceremony, held at Town Hall on March 25. The award recognizes the outstanding achievements of women in eight different categories, who either live or work in the town, three of which represent this area.

“The ‘Women of Distinction’ Program has certainly proven to be a memorable tradition, honoring women who stand as role models for the younger generation in the Town of Oyster Bay,” Supervisor Venditto said. “These women are a shining example of the outstanding citizenship that has made the Town of Oyster Bay such a special place to live and raise a family.”

Denice Evans-Sheppard of Oyster Bay is the recipient in the government category. Evans-Sheppard has been the recipient of the New York State Arts Council Grant from 1997-1999 for providing a Multicultural Children Storytelling Program to the community. Additionally, she has received the 2012 Preservation, Historic and Education Award from the Oyster Bay Historical Society. Evans-Sheppard has self-published a non-fiction memoir of her family’s history, The Constant Struggle Within. In 1993, she began working under the Nassau County Juvenile Detention/Probation Department as an evening shift supervisor, where she works with incarcerated juvenile delinquents and offenders.  

In the community and civic affairs category, the honoree is Lisa Nola of East Norwich. Over the years, Nola has worked tirelessly to secure funding for projects so as to involve the community in beautification. Nola is the Director Emeritus of the East Norwich Civic Association and former Vice President of the Committee for the Beautification of East Norwich. Her activities are not limited to beautification as she also served as president of the PTA at Vernon School. She has shown years’ worth of dedication to the community, acting as a lead reporter for the Locust Valley Leader along with planning numerous community celebrations.

In the arts category, the recipient of the award is Yvonne Dagger, a Massapequa resident with an art studio, The Painted Pet, in Locust Valley. Dagger is an award winning artist who founded the Junior Rosary Society for St. Rose School. Dagger has used her experience as an artist to teach children arts & crafts. Artistic endeavors for Dagger have led her to paint many oil and acrylic paintings that have gained exposure in numerous venues. Paintings of shelter dogs and cats done by Dagger were showcased by Martha Stewart on her Pet Programs website. Along with her painting, she is an active volunteer for Canine Companions, going on to join the board of directors and is currently the acting president.