Immaculata Academy's 17th Mater Christi Award Gala will honor Bishop Edward U. Kmiec; Cheryl Kemp Klass, president of Women & Children's Hospital of Buffalo; and Judy MacDonald, principal of Southtowns Catholic School, for their community service, at 6 p.m. Oct. 7, in Michael's Banquet Facility, Town of Hamburg.
Kmiec, the 13th bishop of the Diocese of Buffalo, provides spiritual leadership to Catholics in the eight-county diocese, ministering to 690,000 people. Studying theology in Rome, he was ordained to the priesthood five days before Christmas in 1961 in the Vatican's St. Peter's Basilica. He currently serves on the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops' Nominations Committee, the Bishops' Advisory Committee to the Maryknoll Fathers and Brothers, Board of the Northeast Regional Office of Hispanic Affairs, and the board of trustees of SS. Cyril and Methodius Seminary in Orchard Lake, Mich.
Klass, who graduated from Immaculata Academy in 1973, is recognized for her commitment to health of women and children. Klass was named president of Women & Children's Hospital of Buffalo and vice president for Kaleida Health in 2004. She has an extensive background in hospital operations, particularly in women's and children's services. Begining her tenure at Women & Children's Hospital as a staff registered nurse in the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit, Klass earned her nursing degree from Niagara University and her MBA from the J.L. Kellogg Graduate School of Business at Northwestern University. She has volunteered for the American Heart Association, serving on the board of directors.
Klass also served on the Buffalo Prenatal-Perinatal Network and the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children boards of directors. Currently she is on the D'Youville College board of trustees, and the Irish Classical Theatre Company board of trustees.
MacDonald holds a master's degree in administration and supervision from Canisius College, as well as a bachelor's degree in professional studies degree from Empire State College. She has been a longtime advocate for Catholic education.
Four women have been a named to the board of directors of the Western New York Affiliate of Susan G. Komen for the Cure, the world's largest grass-roots network of breast cancer survivors and activists. They are Marylou Borowiak, Karen Stanley Fleming, Mary B. Montani and Heather Ochs-Balcom.
Borowiak is the CEO of the Food Bank of Western New York. She was recently re-elected to the Meals on Wheels Foundation board of directors and is also a board member for Homespace. In the past she served on the board of directors for the University at Buffalo School of Management and UB's Alumni Association. Borowiak initially became involved with the local Komen effort as a Race for the Cure volunteer.
Fleming also serves as chairwoman of the First Shiloh Youth Foundation, Community Health Center of Buffalo Expansion Committee, Michigan Street African-American Heritage Corridor Commission. She also served as vice president of the Erie County Chapter of the Links. Fleming is the financial administrator for the City of Buffalo.
Montani has been involved with the Komen WNY Affiliate for the past two years. Following her breast cancer diagnosis, she formed a team and ran the area Race for the Cure. She subsequently joined the Survivor Luncheon committee. Montani has served on many boards including the Mount St. Mary's Hospital Foundation, Niagara Falls Country Club and the Porter Cup Executive Committee.
Ochs-Balcom, a Ph.D who works at the University at Buffalo's Department of Social and Preventive Medicine, was recently awarded funding from the Komen National Research Grants Program to study the genetics of breast cancer. She has volunteered for Dine out for the Cure, Race for the Cure and the American Heart Association Heart Walk. She also serves as co-chairwoman of the Komen WNY grants committee.
These three will support the goal of the Susan G. Komen for the Cure -- to save lives and end breast cancer by empowering people, ensuring quality care for all and energizing science to find the cure. Komen represents the world's largest private funding source for breast health and breast cancer screening, education and treatment support programs. The area affiliate has raised more than $3 million since its first Race for the Cure in 2001. As a result, hundreds of thousands of dollars in grants have been awarded to fund improved health care access for the underserved, education for diverse populations as well as national research focused on a cure for breast cancer.