Above / Sandy Benson, a devoted grandmother who loves to read to her granddaughter, will be honored as “Woman of the Year” by AAUW Naperville Area Branch on Sat., May 13.

Sandy Benson is feted for her dedication to the annual Silent Samaritans Breakfast, an idea she initiated for SamaraCare, formerly Samaritan Interfaith Counseling Services.

The AAUW Naperville Area Branch will celebrate Sandy Benson as their “Woman of the Year” for 2017 at a brunch on May 13, 2017, at Cress Creek Country Club in Naperville.

Every year the AAUW Naperville Area branch selects a woman who has demonstrated through her actions an exceptional level of commitment to the community, supported the advancement of equity for women and girls, and is recognized by the community for her leadership and accomplishments.

Benson truly exemplifies all of that and more.  She is recently retired from her position as Community and Government Relations with Edward Hospital, a job she held for 25 years.  She has served on the board of Trustees of the Naperville Public Library and been a member of the Rotary Club of Naperville as well as an active member of the Naperville Area Chamber of Commerce.

Showing her concern for Women’s mental health issues, Benson has served on the Board of Directors of Samaritan Interfaith Counseling and founded their Silent Samaritans Program which is dedicated to raising funds to ensure that every woman who comes to Samaritan Interfaith seeking counseling will receive that help, regardless of her ability to pay.

Benson has been a dynamic leader in the Naperville community. Her long list of service in a variety of helping organizations includes the Naperville Park District Foundation, Naperville United Way, Naper Settlement Museum board and others.  In addition, Sandy has still found time to devote to her church, St. Raphael’s Catholic church where she has served as Chair of the Church Pastoral council and Liturgy Commission.

The brunch also will honor an individual from the branch for their service to the AAUW Naperville Area Branch and the local young college women from Benedictine University and North Central College selected to receive scholarships to attend the National Conference for College Women Student Leaders.

Story submitted by Lee Eastman for the AAUW Naperville Area Branch. (PN File Photos)

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