Melegrito was Kiwanis Club's first female president
Mimi Melegrito of the Ithaca Youth Bureau's Big Brothers, Big Sisters program will recieve the 2011 Laura Holmberg Award.
Melegrito is seen here Monday with Kent Goetz of Ithaca, who is a volunteer Big Brother in the program for the second time. / SIMON WHEELER / Staff Photo
"Mimi is a superhuman youth worker," said Youth Bureau Director Allen Green.
For all of her
efforts, the Women's Fund of the Community Foundation of Tompkins County
is honoring Melegrito
at its annual luncheon Tuesday at Ithaca College.
Melegrito will receive the Laura Holmberg Award for her volunteer work and service to the Ithaca community, according to Karen Macier, chairwoman of the Women's Fund Advisory Committee.
Melegrito has been a member of the Kiwanis Club of Ithaca-Cayuga since 1988 -- shortly after women were permitted to join -- and became the club's first woman president in 1994, a distinction she remains proud of.
has been instrumental in starting outreach programs for senior citizens and Kiwanis-sponsored youth programs at Cornell
and Ithaca College.
In 2005, she became a Kiwanis lieutenant governor for New York and received the prestigious Hixson Fellowship Award.
was also instrumental in starting a multicultural after-school program.
"I'm an ordinary citizen who likes to make a difference," she
On lunch breaks, Melegrito
plays the piano and sings for senior citizens at area nursing homes.
Having supervised volunteers for many years, her
favorite part of the job is getting them excited about becoming involved in the community.
"Whether it's volunteering for Loaves and Fishes, visiting nursing homes, or the SPCA, many tell me that volunteering three hours a week doesn't feel like a chore," she