Unsung Heroines honored: Borden, Parsons among 125 women honored at State House

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PITTSFIELD — The 125 Massachusetts Commission on the Status of Women Unsung Heroines of 2016 were honored Wednesday in a ceremony at the Statehouse in Boston.

The women, including Kim Borden of Pittsfield, hail from cities and towns across the commonwealth and each has been recognized for outstanding contributions to their organizations and communities.

Each year, the commission recognizes women who don't always make the news but make a difference. The Unsung Heroines are women who use their time, talent and enthusiasm to enrich the lives of others and make a difference in their neighborhoods, cities and towns, according the commission.

In addition to being recognized today, Borden was also recognized by state Rep. Tricia Farley-Bouvier, D-Pittsfield, and Mayor Linda M. Tyer June 14 in City Council chambers, and a local reception for Borden, her family and friends followed.

Also honored at the Statehouse on Wednesday was Diane M. Gallese Parsons of North Adams.

Borden serves as a state Department of Children and Families Foster Parent Liaison, facilitating a local foster parent support group. She has been a foster parent since 2003, having hosted many placements in her home and ultimately adopted three children, all of whom have special needs. In her role with foster parents, she is able to guide other parents through the challenges and hurdles associated with being a foster parent.

Her work for the Berkshire County Regional Housing Authority involves assisting imminently at-risk households to ensure they don't become homeless. Brad Gordon, BCRHA executive director and Borden's supervisor commented: "She is doing outstanding work in this role. Kim's understanding and knowledge of housing and homelessness dynamics as well as domestic violence issues are second to none."

Gordon added, "She has an amazing ability to develop effective collaborations with every conceivable community resource, which provides tremendous benefit to the households she works with. She is truly one of the most empathetic, intelligent, relatable, hard-working, and kind individuals I have ever had the pleasure of working with. Clearly, there could not be a more deserving candidate for this award."

The Massachusetts Commission on the Status of Women is an independent state agency created through legislation in 1998 to advance women of the commonwealth to full equality in all areas of life and promote their rights and opportunities.

For more information on the MCSW, call 617-626-6520 or visit mcsw@state.ma.us.


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