SPRINGFIELD, Ill. — State Rep. Tony McCombie, R-Savanna, welcomed Whiteside County Public Health COO Beth Fiorini and Ann McCarrell of Helping Hands in Port Byron to Springfield on Tuesday for a women’s brunch that honored the contributions of emerging female leaders from throughout the state.
“Ann and Beth are amazing women who are making a huge impact on our communities,” said McCombie. “It is my pleasure to recognize their contributions to the 71st District, and promote their causes to my colleagues in the State Capitol.”
McCarrell founded Helping Hands after being a school nurse at Riverdale School District in Port Byron for 22 years. She initiated an annual fundraiser to raise money for needy families in the district. She has used these funds to provide school supplies, Thanksgiving food baskets, clothing and Christmas presents.
Fiorini, Chief Operating Officer for the Whiteside County Health Department and the Whiteside County Community Health Center, has served the public health needs of Whiteside County for 29 years. She led the initiative to bring a progressive medical home to Whiteside County residents. Each year the Community Health Center sees over 13,000 unduplicated patients in their medical, dental, behavioral health, and substance abuse programs.
“It was my honor to provide these women a platform so they can champion their causes to my fellow Representatives in Springfield,” McCombie stated. “We heard from dozens of female community leaders, and it was a great to learn from leaders from all over the state.”
McCarrell and Fiorini joined almost 90 female leaders from across the state who are each taking bold steps to make Illinois a better place to live and work, McCombie said. In addition to the recognition brunch, the group participated in a discussion about what issues are important for Illinois women, and how the General Assembly can create policy that reflects their priorities.
The contributions of these women were further recognized by House Republican Leader Jim Durkin in a speech on the House floor.