ALPENA - Susan Fitzpatrick is a strong believer in giving back to her community. The list of boards and committees she serves on is long and the volunteer work she does is geared toward making Alpena and the people in it better. On Wednesday Fitzpatrick was recognized for her generosity by being named the 2013 Zonta Club of Alpena's Woman of the Year.
Fitzpatrick has served as a board member for Friends Together and Northeast Michigan Community Foundation, Art in the Loft, and Alpena Community College Board of Trustees. Those are just a few of the local institutions that benefit from Fitzpatrick being involved and active.
After the announcement was made for this year's winner Fitzpatrick was overcome with emotion and shortly after her family and friends entered the banquet room at the Holiday Inn to congratulate her. She said she figured she would be celebrating the success of another deserving lady while at the party, instead it was her who was going to be celebrated by those in attendance.
"I'm just overwhelmed. I had no clue. I thought maybe I would be honoring a friend of mine," Fitzpatrick said. "I feel so fortunate to be able to have the time and resources to be able to volunteer and make a difference."
She said her family has been blessed by the people in Alpena and that is what drivers her to do what she does.
"My husband and I have worked very hard and I feel because we have been given so much I just want to give back," Fitzpatrick said. "I've been able to meet and work with a lot of friends. I just do these things as a way to give back for what the community has done for us."
Fitzpatrick was nominated for the award by her friend Julie Dietz, who said she is impressed with everything Fitzpatrick does for Alpena, and still is there to support her family. She said she is proud of Fitzpatrick's accomplishments and that she deserves a salute for them.
"Sue and I walk every morning and I listen to her talk about every committee and board she is on and she is a person that is not just a name on a board, but a worker for it," Dietz said. "She really puts her heart and soul into everything she does and she contributes so much. On top of all that she is a great mom, a great wife, a great sister, a great daughter and a great friend. She does everything 100 percent."
During the banquet Penny Boldrey was the mistress of ceremony and invocation was given by Mary Jane Thomson. Alpena Area Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Jackie Krawczak was the guest speaker.
Fitzpartick is the 46th winner of the award from the Zonta Club.
Steve Schulwitz can be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 358-5689. Follow Steve on Twitter ss_alpenanews. Read his blog, Upon Further Review ... at www.thealpenanews.com