Avid community volunteer honored

Sen. Farley's Woman of Distinction pick from Niskayuna

A lifelong Schenectady County resident, Bonnie Daggett, was honored by State Sen. Hugh Farley as a Woman of Distinction for her years of activism for people with disabilities.

The awards ceremony for women, sponsored by the Senate, was held Tuesday, May 24, at the Legislative Office building in Albany. The even seeks to honor distinguished women who have done commendable work to better their community. Daggett, a Schenectady native and Niskayuna resident, has volunteered for many organizations throughout her life, but her biggest drive has been advocating on behalf of Wildwood Programs.

Ms. Daggett has worked tirelessly for more than 30 years on behalf of people with disabilities, said Farley, R-Glenville. "I admire her dedication and selflessness. I was truly honored and proud to bestow the award of Woman of Distinction to Ms. Daggett."

Her involvement at Wildwood began when her daughter, Audrey, entered kindergarten at the organization, which led her to volunteering in her daughter's classroom. Wildwood serves a range of individuals, from children with complex learning disabilities struggling in school to an adult with developmental disability, and has support services for families.

"I just felt I needed to learn as much as I could to help my daughter," said Daggett. "I just did a variety of volunteer activities over the year and that was a huge part of our life."

Daggett said that Wildwood has been her "passion," and over the last 10 years she has served on the Wildwood Foundation Board, which raises funds for the organization. She also served on the cabinet for the Capital Campaign and on the Legislative and Advocacy Committee.

If Wildwood didn't exist, she said her daughter and family would not have the quality of life they enjoy.

"My daughter is a very complicated person, like almost every child and adult that Wildwood services is multi-disabled and complex individuals," she said. "We just feel the need to give back to Wildwood and do as much as we can to make sure Wildwood is strong and will be there when we are not around any longer."

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