JOYFUL RECOGNITION: Dorothy Button accepts her certificate from Senator Catharine Young on May 13 at the annual Women of Distinction ceremony. Photo provided by Senator Young’s office.
DISTINGUISHED HONOR: West Valley resident Dorothy Button, center, stand with Senator Catharine Young and Button’s husband Larry Nagel after receiving her Women of Distinction award in Albany. Photo provided by Senator Young’s office
West Valley resident Dorothy Button has quite the list of accomplishments, ranging from 20 years in the United States Coast Guard all the way to a past chair member of the Cattaraugus County Fire Advisory Board, and as of last week, she was able to add Woman of Distinction to her resume.
Button was awarded the Women of Distinction honor on May 13 in Albany after being chosen by Senator Catharine Young for her service and accomplishments.
“Dorothy is an obvious choice for this recognition,” said Young in a press release. “She has done so much for her country and community over the years and never asked for anything in return. She exemplifies what the Woman of Distinction recognition is all about.”
Button spent 20 years with the Coast Guard Reserve at the Coast Guard Station in Buffalo where she secured ports and harbors, served two years of active duty protecting the American homeland after 9/11 and a two week tour in Louisiana aiding in Katrina recovery efforts. During her time in the Coast Guard, Button received over 20 awards and decorations for her service and devotion to the country. Button is a member of the American Legion Ashford Memorial Post 1576 where she has served in many leadership roles within the post, county and district level. She served as the first woman commander for the American Legion’s eighth district and the second woman to serve as the Cattaraugus County Legion Commander. A member of the Seneca Nation of Indians, Button is the director of the Seneca Nation’s Veterans Department where she assists Native American veterans in receiving the services they have earned.
Locally, Button has been a member of the West Valley Volunteer Fire Company for 22 years, as both a firefighter and EMT. She is fire commissioner for the West Valley District One and a director of the Southwestern Volunteer Firemen’s Association. In addition, Button is currently serving as secretary of the American Red Cross Southwestern Chapter Board of Directors and is a member and past treasurer of the Southwestern Regional EMS Council.
“I was a little surprised and honored to receive the call [from Young’s office],” Button said.
Button attended a ceremony in Albany with 57 other women from the state who were also being recognized for the distinction. Each woman was announced and her accomplishments were read off by their districts Senator.
“I was second to last, because they do it alphabetically by the Senator’s last name,” Button said. “It was amazing to hear about all these other women. We have so many [women] helping, not just in their community and state but all over the world.”
Button said she enjoys volunteering and being involved in so many organizations because it keeps her busy and has no plans to slow down in the near future.
“As an official New York state Senate Woman of Distinction, Dorothy Button’s life of selfless and generous service to others will receive the recognition it deserves,” Young said. “Dorothy is worthy of our deepest respect, admiration and heartfelt thanks.”
The New York State Senate Woman of Distinction honor was created in 1998 to pay tribute to women in the state who demonstrate remarkable character, initiative and commitment in serving their neighbors, strengthening their community and acting as role models for others.[photo2]