Steuben County named a New York State Senate “Woman of Distinction”


State Senator Tom O’Mara will honor Pauline “Polly” Holbrook, a longtime stalwart of civic affairs in the city of Hornell and the Canisteo Valley, as his 2019 New York State Senate “Woman of Distinction.”   

Holbrook will represent O’Mara’s 58th District at the Senate’s 21st Annual “Women of Distinction” awards ceremony on Tuesday, May 7 in the Legislative Office Building in Albany.  

She will join more than 60 other honorees representing senatorial districts from throughout New York.

The daughter of Irish immigrants, Polly and her older sister were featured Irish dancers who promoted war bonds for the United States government during World War II.

Holbrook raised six children and was a substitute teacher in the Hornell City School District and is an active member in several organizations: the American Association of University Women/Alfred University Chapter (where she recently received the 65-Year Award), St. James Mercy Hospital, St. Gerard’s Guild, Steuben ARC Board of Directors, Hornell Arts Council, the Ladies of Columbus, Fortnightly Women’s Book Club, Meals on Wheels, and the Hornell American Legion Post 440. 

“Pauline Holbrook exemplifies a commitment to family, community and country that highlights her recognition this year as a ‘Woman of Distinction,’” said O’Mara. “From childhood, she was instilled with a strong sense of citizenship that she has passed on to her own family and that has guided her, for over six decades, to enjoy a remarkable standing within the Hornell community and across the Canisteo Valley. She has remained devoted to a life’s work of raising her family and serving her community as a teacher, and a tireless and giving friend, neighbor and volunteer.  It has been a life well lived, and I am truly looking forward to this opportunity to pay her a well-deserved and well-earned tribute of appreciation and gratitude.”     

The Senate’s annual “Women of Distinction” program, which began in March to coincide with Women’s History Month in New York State, allows senators statewide to select one honoree from their respective legislative districts for this distinguished, statewide tribute.


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