Mary Herlihy Gearan will be honored by Lake to Lake Women during its dinner celebrating National Women’s History Month on Tuesday, March 20. The group, formerly Geneva Business and Professional Women, will recognize Gearan for her volunteerism in the Geneva community.
As vice chair of the Happiness House/Finger Lakes Cerebral Palsy Association Board of Directors, Gearan has been a major force in the creation of the Happiness House Gala, which has raised more than $200,000 for children’s services in the Geneva community. She and her husband, President of Hobart and William Smith Mark D. Gearan, served as honorary chairs of the 2003-07 capital campaign and, as such, were instrumental in the efforts to raise $1.5 million toward a new Happiness House building and a 4,500-square-foot expansion project. In 2011, Happiness House presented her with the “Happiness is Helping” Humanitarian Award.
As an active volunteer with numerous local organizations in Geneva, Herlihy Gearan works with the Boys and Girls Club of Geneva, the Geneva Public Library, the Geneva School District, Our Lady of Peace Parish, the Women’s Conference, the Annual Festival of Nations, and Day of Service. She was among the outstanding women across New York State who were honored at the 2011 “Women of Distinction” ceremony held at the State Capitol. She was nominated for this honor by State Senator Mike Nozzolio (R-Fayette). In 2010, she was named Citizen of the Year by the Geneva Chamber of Commerce. In the same year, the Catholic Charities of the Finger Lakes presented her with a Sharing the Light award.
The International Student Association at HWS also created an award in her name, honoring her longstanding commitment to recruit and provide support for students from abroad.
Gearan holds a B.A. in political science and economics from Emmanuel College in Boston and a JD from George Washington University in Washington, D.C.
She worked for Congressman Robert F. Drinan in his Massachusetts District Office and Congressman Joseph Moakley on Capitol Hill.
Following the completion of her law degree, Gearan worked in the Office of the General Counsel at the Office of Personnel Management in Washington, D.C. She was also a fundraiser, national delegate liaison and California Field Desk Officer on the Michael S. Dukakis presidential campaign. She then was named vice president at the Wexler Group, a government relations firm in Washington, D.C.
The dinner will take place Tuesday, March 20, at the Ramada Geneva Lakefront. Networking begins at 5:30 p.m. and dinner will be served at 6 p.m. The cost is $25 per person, including tax, gratuity, soda and coffee. Reservations may be made with Jessica Bacher, 315-781-2035.