Last week, Congressman John Garamendi (D-CA) honored 44 women from the 3rd Congressional District of California who are leaders and visionaries in their communities during his eighth annual Women of the Year event.
Among the many recipients this year was Orland resident Dorothy “Dottie” Tefelski.
“Every year I have the honor of recognizing the achievements and service of these distinguished women,” Garamendi said. “These leaders come from a variety of backgrounds, but every one of them has made a real difference to their communities and the people around them. It’s a privilege to be able to honor them.”
Nominated by their peers, Garamendi said these women and the leadership they have provided are being recognized for playing an integral and crucial role in improving the lives of everyone in their communities.
“The service and dedication each honoree has shown their community is deserving of recognition, and by receiving this award, their work will be commemorated and chronicled at the Library of Congress in Washington, DC,” said Garamendi.
According to Garamendi, last year marked the 100th anniversary of the passage of the 19th Amendment, which guaranteed and protected women’s constitutional rights to vote.
“Since then, our nation has seen women take great strides in every American industry from business to politics to the arts,” Garamendi said as he addressed the honorees during the ceremony at Woodland Community College Nov. 9. “Many women before you have fought for the independence and rights you have today, and I thank you for continuing their legacy. Though there is much work to be done to ensure that all women have equal pay, flexible work schedules and affordable education, each one of you will be a vital part of the work to get there. I am inspired by each and every one of you here today and firmly believe that when women succeed, America succeeds!”
Tefelski, nominated by Janet Lacey, long devoted herself to honoring the many war veterans of the Glenn County community.
Working with Wreaths Across America, a non-profit organization that coordinates veteran wreath-laying ceremonies at over 2,500 locations across the United States, she drives the gathering of donations and organizes the distribution of wreaths placed in Orland Cemetery District’s four cemeteries.
“Dottie has dedicated countless hours to extensively researching the history of local veterans and has identified over 1,350 local veterans from wars dating as far back as the Civil War,” read a statement released about Tefelski. “When the wreaths arrive, she personally sorts them for each cemetery, tagging them to indicate where they are to be laid. The wreaths are then placed by volunteers from various civic organizations, making the effort a true community project.
According to the statement, Tefelski also serves as a Trustee on the District Cemetery Board and has been instrumental in securing multiple grants to help with projects by the Friends of the Orland Cemetery. She is also an active member of the Orland Women’s Improvement Club, which seeks to better the community through fundraisers that benefit other local causes such as the Volunteer Fire Department, the K-9 Police fund, student scholarships and domestic abuse prevention.
“All of these efforts would be impossible without the contagious energy and unparalleled organizational skills that Dottie brings as she oversees volunteers,” read the statement. “Dottie’s positive attitude and dedication to recognizing the service of others make her a true jewel of the Orland community.”