Chester County’s most accomplished women honored for work at March of Dimes

TAYLOR PLOEGERMarch of Dimes honorees (from left): Karen Simmons, Barbara Wadsworth, Mary Lou Enoches, and Karen Flynn.
TAYLOR PLOEGERMarch of Dimes honorees (from left): Karen Simmons, Barbara Wadsworth, Mary Lou Enoches, and Karen Flynn.

WEST CHESTER>> Four of Chester County’s most accomplished women were honored for their professional accomplishments, leadership and work in the community at The March of Dimes ‘Salute to Women of Achievement’ ceremony Thursday.

The March of Dimes’ fifth Lifetime Achievement Award in 27 years went to Mary Lou Enoches, who has been a part of the March of Dimes for 20 years and has worked hard to see the organization find success.

Enoches recounted how the non-profit got its start by raising money for polio research. “We had sleeves and you would actually put dimes in them. That’s where it got its name.”

Enoches is a past honoree but prefers working outside of the spotlight, claiming she likes to give the awards and isn’t big on receiving them.

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She is quick to praise the organization that means so much to her.

“This organization makes money to help make healthy babies,” she said. “Healthy babies are the future.”

Enoches says her favorite part of The March of Dimes is the work that they do for the good and health of children.

The Ellen Ann Roberts Business Award went to Karen Flynn, Senior Vice President of West Pharmaceutical Services Inc. “It’s an honoring experience to be surrounded by so many great women… I was so surprised!” says Flynn.

Flynn’s work in the community and with West Pharmaceutical Services Inc. inspired her peers to nominate her for the award.

Some of her community work includes serving on the advisory board for STEM Academy in Downingtown and participating on the board of directors for the Chester County Economic Development Council.

Prior to this event Flynn has not worked with The March of Dimes but looks forward to the opportunity to get involved in the future. Learning about the organization has encouraged her to help in the fight for healthy babies.

“I was very appreciative that my colleagues nominated me. It’s very special and humbling; it makes you want to do more,” says Flynn.

Barbara Wadsworth, Senior Vice President and Chief Nursing Officer of Main Line Health was the recipient of the Health Award.

Wadsworth is a giver. She enjoys lending her “time, treasures and talents” to the various organizations of which she is a member.

“You do these things because it’s important to you, so to be recognized is great,” she said.

Wadsworth has always been involved with The March of Dimes as a donor and has done the walk with her coworkers at Abington.

Wadsworth conveyed how she came from humble beginnings but always thought giving was important. She said the most important part of being in the non-profit sector is the people and the connections.

Karen Simmons, CEO and President of the Chester County Community Foundation was given the Public Service Award.

Simmons is also a strong advocator for giving back. She says that she always strives to make sure people have everything they need.

Simmons felt inspired by the people gathered for the event and described it as, “a nice gathering of women who are leaders in their field.”

She has been a donor to The March of Dimes for a long time and believes in their mission, though her real passion is in helping the Chester county community become a safer and more enjoyable place to work and play. She said her organization is going to bring citizens together to see how we can make Chester county a better place.

Thursday’s event also served to announce this year’s ambassador family for The March of Dimes. Michelle Sánchez represented her family at the event and told the story of her triplets who were born six weeks early.

The March of Dimes’ research helps babies born prematurely and babies born with diseases, making Sánchez’s narrative a perfect fit for the ambassador family title.

Sánchez has worked in the non-profit sector extensively and is always quick to help those in need.

“We were honored, we’ve never identified as a family that’d be up there,” Sánchez said.

The ceremony was hosted by Gawthrope Greenwood in their atrium in West Chester.Stacy Fuller, a partner at Gawthrope Greenwood, did most of the organizing for the event. Fuller has been with March of Dime for years and delights in helping the organization benefit people. Four years ago, Fuller found herself receiving help from The March of Dimes when her daughter was born premature.

She has since been a part of the organization and has served as the ambassador family for two years as well as held a chair of the march committee for two years.

The four honorees will again be acknowledged at a formal dinner in October.