Finger Lakes Catholic Charities honors six individuals for their community work

Catholic Charities of the Finger Lakes honored six individuals on June 21 at its annual Sharing the Light Award event. The winners are (left to right) Helen Delaney, Andrew Tyman, Ellen Wayne, Katharine Waye, Elizabeth Kenney Henderson and Joseph Mull Sr. (Photo courtesy of Rhonda Zettlemoyer)

The six recipients of this year’s Sharing the Light award come from a wide variety of professional backgrounds, but they all share one trait, according to Deacon Peter Dohr.

“This year’s recipients are each a positive example of human kindness and service,” said Deacon Dohr, executive director of Catholic Charities of the Finger Lakes. “They are generous, compassionate and have proven their commitment to improving our Finger Lakes region.”

Award given to those dedicated to improving their communities

Helen Delaney, Elizabeth Kenney Henderson, Joseph Mull Sr., Andrew Tyman, Katharine S. Waye and Ellen T. Wayne are the recipients of the 2022 Sharing the Light Award. Catholic Charities of the Finger Lakes presents the annual award to residents of Wayne Counties , Ontario, Yates, Cayuga and Seneca who dedicate their time and energy to improving their communities. The agency, which serves individuals and families in these five counties, established the award in 1995.

The 2022 winners received their awards at a dinner on June 21 at Hobart and William Smith colleges in Geneva.

“This event gives us the opportunity to take the time to recognize their hard work, care and dedication, and to share some experiences of the good work being done in our communities,” Deacon Dohr said.

2022 Share the Light Award Winners

Auburn Parish and Community Volunteer: Helen Delaney

Delaney is from the town of Throop in Cayuga County. She was educated in Catholic elementary and secondary schools in Auburn and later taught at St. Mary’s and Holy Family Schools in Auburn, as well as the Union Springs Central School District, and is listed in the Who’s Who Among America’s Teachers.

An active member of Auburn’s Holy Family Parish, Delaney said she feels blessed to be able to serve as a Holy Communion Minister Extraordinary. She has also volunteered with other organizations, including a soup kitchen and Auburn’s Chapel House homeless shelter, and recently helped collect items for relief efforts in war-torn Ukraine.

Founder of the Geneva Center of Concern: Elizabeth Kenney Henderson

A Geneva native, Henderson is a life member of Trinity Episcopal Church and has been involved in many congregational ministries and activities. She studied at Rochester Institute of Technology, Eisenhower College in Seneca Falls, and Finger Lakes Community College, where she then taught for six years.

Henderson founded the Geneva Center of Concern and served on its board for 45 years. She has been involved in many local organizations including Family Promise of Ontario County and the Geneva Community Lunch Program. She was the first woman to coach a local boys’ little league and also coached women’s teams and served on several local scholarship committees.

Fixture in Waterloo parish volunteers and CYO coach: Joseph Mull Sr.

A fixture in the Waterloo community, Mull is a longtime member of St. Francis and St. Clare parish and serves as an usher at St. Mary’s Church – one of two places of worship in the parish – all Sunday mornings. He often ferries elderly people to church and brings communion to homebound parishioners and those in nursing homes. Mull also works at the annual parish festival and coached Catholic Youth Organization basketball teams when his three sons were younger.

Mull frequently helps with the building maintenance needs of St. Francis and St. Clare, which is a good fit, as he has had his own contracting business for 30 years. He has also served on Waterloo City Council and is in his 14th year as the city’s roads superintendent.

Knight of Columbus and CEO of the Geneva Housing Authority: Andrew Tyman

In September, Tyman will retire after a 43-year career with the Geneva Housing Authority, where he had served as CEO since 1999. Under his leadership, many major projects were completed, including the redevelopment of the old St. Francis school into apartments. He has also held leadership positions in state and national organizations for directors of public housing authorities.

A longtime member of Our Lady of Peace Parish, Tyman is also a Fourth Degree Knight of Columbus. He is also a member of the Nestor Hose Fire Co. of Geneva, as well as the advisory board of the Salvation Army of Geneva and the local chapter of the NAACP.

Oversees college service projects and volunteers at a Catholic school: Katherine S. Waye

A Penn Yan native, Waye has worked at Keuka College since 1997 and currently serves as the college’s Director of Community Relations and Events. She frequently coordinates community service projects involving Keuka College and the local community. She is also co-chair of the Yates County Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors and a member of the Yates County Housing Board. Waye also sits on the boards or committees of several other local organizations.

Waye volunteers at fundraising events for Keuka Comfort Care Home as well as Yates County 4-H events. She belongs to the Our Lady of the Lakes Catholic community and frequently volunteers at St. Michael’s School in Penn Yan.

Ex-Catholic Charities executive now heads Department of Social Services: Ellen T. Wayne

Wayne has served as commissioner of the Wayne County Department of Social Services since 2019. She previously served as executive director of Catholic Charities of the Finger Lakes from 2007 to 2019, and prior to that held leadership positions at Cayuga Seneca Community Action Agency and in developing funds for the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra and Action for a Better Community in Rochester.

Wayne holds a master’s degree in public administration from SUNY Brockport and a doctorate in education in executive leadership from St. John Fisher College, where she has been an adjunct faculty member since 2014. She is an active member of St. Michael in Newark, where she sings in the choir and cantors. Wayne has also been involved in a number of community organizations and initiatives, such as the United Way Women’s Leadership Council and Family Promise of Ontario County.

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