Westchester Community Foundation’s 2012 Circle of Giving Honoree is Karen Schatzel and the League of Women Voters, Westchester

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Nonpartisan examination of Westchester County New York Housing Issues nets community leadership award for the Westchester League of Women Voters' VP Karen Schatzel.

Karen Shatzel was selected because she demonstrated courage and leadership in pushing for compliance with the 2009 housing settlement entered into between Westchester County and HUD.

As Karen Schatzel accepted the Westchester Community Foundation 2012 Circle of Giving Award on December 6, she acknowledged her long-time involvement with the League of Women Voters and her fellow leaguers in the audience “These are the people with whom I worked side-by-side. I couldn’t accomplish anything without their help and support,” she stated. Ms. Schatzel has chaired the League’s Housing Committee for the past 10 years and has developed in-depth knowledge of affordable housing issues.
She was selected for this award because she and the League of Women Voters demonstrated courage and leadership in guiding the League’s efforts to push for compliance with the 2009 housing settlement entered into between the County and U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. As a result of her efforts, the League continues to call for all parties concerned to put confrontational politics aside and to work together toward the goal of promoting fair and affordable housing in Westchester. The League’s long tradition of non-partisanship has allowed it to become a trusted voice-of-reason on this contentious issue.
Westchester Community Foundation’s Circle of Giving Award was established in 2007 to recognize the donors, professional advisers, and nonprofit leaders who strive to make Westchester a better place for all its residents. This year, in selecting an honoree, the Foundation sought an individual who has provided leadership by communicating his or her vision of a strong community made whole through cooperation and mutual respect. Past recipients include Frank William, White Plains Youth Bureau; Jim Bostic, Nepperhan Community Center; Carola Bracco, Neighbors’ Link; Ann Barringer Spaeth, Port Chester Council of Community Services; and Howard Smith, Superintendent of Tarrytown Schools. The award has, in some instances, recognized donors and professional advisers; including lawyers, accountants, and financial planners who have reached out to lend support to community organizations. The award is accompanied by a $10,000 grant to the recipients’ organization.

The League of Women Voters of Westchester is a nonpartisan political organization that encourages informed and active participation in government, works to increase understanding of major public policy issues, and influences public policy through education and advocacy. The League nationwide supports a vision of communities whose populations reflect the growing ethnic diversity of our society and which will foster equal opportunity for all. The League has received support from the Westchester Community Foundation for a variety of programs since 1998, most recently to support a leadership conference for young girls. Past grants have supported the publication and distribution of the popular Voter’s Guide and the League’s Fair Campaign Practices Committee.
    The Westchester Community Foundation was founded in 1975 to build a permanent source for philanthropy in Westchester County. Guided by a Board of Advisors composed of community leaders, the Westchester Community Foundation provides donors with maximum tax savings, professional staff support, in-depth knowledge of Westchester, and permanence within the community. Westchester Community Foundation donors benefit from the investment and financial management services of its parent, The New York Community Trust, an 85-year-old institution with assets of more than $2 billion.

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Susan Edwards
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