Conservancy chief lauded by Wiawaka board

LAKE GEORGE - More than 250 men and women hailing from the Capital Region and the Adirondacks attended the annual fundraiser luncheon June 28 for Wiawaka House, the nation's oldest retreat for women.

Honored at the luncheon was Nancy Williams, Executive Director of the Lake George Land Conservancy, who received the 2010 Wiawaka Ladies of the Lake Award for her significant work towards the preservation of Lake George. Jean Bolgatz was presented the "The Great Spirit of Women" award in recognition of her devoted service and long-time support of Wiawaka.

Monday, Williams said the award was appreciated and it reflected her organization's ongoing mission.

"I'm honored to have received this award from Wiawaka in recognition of my work, and the work of the Lake George Land Conservancy, to preserve this beautiful lake and its forests," she said.

The guest speaker for the event was therapist, lecturer, and former teacher Sister Anne Bryan Smollin. She is the well-known author of "Tickle Your Soul: Live Well, Love Much, Laugh Often and God Knows You're Stressed." The book details simple ways to restore the balance in one's life.

Wiawaka House has provided a respite for women of all walks of life and economic means since 1903. Located on the shores of Lake George, it is the nation's oldest, continuously operating women's retreat.

Money donated through the luncheon, silent auction and sponsorships help the group's mission in a variety of ways, Wiawaka officials said.

They help Wiawaka offer scholarships to an increasing number of women, provide enrichment programs focusing on health, wellness and life skills, maintain Wiawaka's facilities which are listed on the National Register of Historic Places and help restore Wakonda Lodge, a historic lodging for artists.

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