In 1978, the Human Services Planning Council (HSPC) established the Katherine S. Rozendaal Award to honor a person whose volunteer leadership and activities have had a positive impact on the Schenectady Community. YWCA NorthEastern NY is proud to continue the presentation of this prestigious award and invites the community to recognize the valuable contributions of volunteers.

In order to be eligible for the award, the following criteria must be met:

  • the nominee must be currently serving as a volunteer in Schenectady County; 
  • the nominee should be one whose leadership and activities have had a positive impact on the community and those served as demonstrated through creativity, delegation, management skills, recognition by peers, and interpersonal skills;
  • the nominee should be one whose activities are diverse and who has demonstrated commitment over the years; and
  • the activities for which the individual is being nominated may not be part of a paying job.

2018 Katherine S. Rozendaal Awardee

Millie Gittinger

Many Schenectady families have been touched by Millie’s kind heart and healing hands. At 88, Millie is a wonder. She is still an active, enthusiastic volunteer ski instructor at the Double H Ranch, an adaptive winter sports program for children ages 6-16 dealing with chronic and life-threatening illnesses. She has volunteered there for over 20 years. She is a mentor to junior instructors, a comfort to families, and her enthusiasm is an inspiration to the senior instructors. Prior to Double H, she was a volunteer with the adaptive sports program at Windham Mountain.

Millie is also a life-long advocate for protecting our environment and for the vital role outdoor recreation plays in building healthy families. A regular participant and sustaining member of ECOS, Millie is a voice for preserving outdoor spaces here in Schenectady. And as a correspondent for the 46-ers, her words of encouragement inspired numerous hikers to complete their goal of climbing to the highest 46 peaks in the Adirondacks.

A lover of the arts, Millie is a life-long supporter of the Schenectady Light Opera and other local arts groups. She is also a leader in her church, serving as a vestry member, in the women’s guild, and as a reader. Millie is also known for her famous chocolate chip cookies – she bakes them for the participants at Double H Ranch and for various silent auctions at fundraisers supporting the causes about which she cares.

Millie is also a retired Occupational Therapist. She was the second OT professional to be licensed in New York state and a leader in advocating for professional standards and accreditation in the field of Occupational Therapy.

Millie enthusiastically shares her knowledge and her commitment to other in a way that strengthens family and community.


Previous Katherine S. Rozendaal Awardees

2017 Carole Merrill-Mazurek
2016 Cheryl Cufari
2015 Deneen Palmateer
2014 Shirley Readdean
2013 Malinda Myers
2012 Shannon Kelly
2011 Denise Murphy McGraw
2010 H. Jean & John W. Wilkinson
2009 Miriam Butzel
2008 Dr. Arnold Ritterband & Dr. Clifford Tepper
2007 Edna Scheper, Marsha Mortimore, & Cristine Cioffi
2006 Israel “Jake” Jacobs & Carolyn Micklas
2005 Margaret Mardy Moore & Helen Quirini
2004 Chauncey Williams & Kevin Karpowicz
2003 Karen Johnson
2002 Robert Ludwig
2001 Cathy Lewis
2000 Nancy Lange & Mary D’Ercole Pritchard
1999 Helga Schroeter
1998 Michael Iacobucci
1997 Penny Pajak
1996 Esther Swanker
1995 Irene Prazak
1994 Anne Phillips & Julia Burgess
1993 Rev. Carl Taylor
1992 Maxine Borom
1991 Evelyn Holmblad & Alfred Lowe
1990 Wallace Campbell
1989 Marie Pletenik
1988 Marcia Liebich
1987 Helen George
1986 Marion Grimes
1985 Kathleen Selfridge Chesbrough
1984 Eldon Springsted
1983 Doris Aiken & Benjamin Wollner
1982 Edwin Sweeney
1981 James Stamper
1980 Peg Lordi & Marie Gorman
1979 Gertrude Purcell