International Women's Day was celebrated worldwide on Wednesday, and right here in the Hudson Valley!

International Women's Day has been growing since the first local celebration in Dutchess County in 2011. According to Linda Campbell of DC ARC and the Chairwoman of the local International Women's Day Committee, the annual event was previously held on the Walkway Over The Hudson where the participants were subjected to Mother Nature's whimsical weather, including 2016 when the temperature was around 8 degrees. Dr. Pamela Edington, President of Dutchess Community College has changed that by opening up DCC's Falcon Hall to allow the celebration to take place indoors.

International Women's Day (IWD) has been held around the globe in one form or another since 1914. Dr. Edington said that "the local energy around the international event is tremendous." When asked about the impact the IWD event has had on women's rights, the beaming college president said "we've made a lot of progress but we have a long way to go."

The event at DCC was put on by the Dutchess County Regional Chamber Of Commerce's Women's Leadership Alliance and was sponsored in part by several corporations including IBM and MidHudson Regional Hospital.

Frank Castella Jr., President of the DCRCOC said that the theme of this year's celebration is to draw attention to the plight of women around the world. According to Castella, there are millions of women around that world that are being suppressed when compared to the great number of freedoms that women experience in the United States.

In addition to several vendors and information booths, the event featured live music and three speakers; Dr. Pamela Edington, DCC President, Dutchess County Poet Laureate Bettina Wilkerson, and the keynote address by Kathleen Durham, the Executive Director of the Elanor Roosevelt Center at Val Kill.

More information about the Women's Leadership Alliance can be found at

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