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Riverhead school board president Ann Cotten-DeGrasse is named ‘Woman of the Year’ by EEWN

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The East End Women’s Network is honoring Ann Cotten-DeGrasse of Jamesport as its “Woman of the Year” for 2013, the networking organization announced this week.

“Since its inception in 1981, EEWN has continued its annual tradition of honoring a local East End woman who has exhibited solid leadership responsibilities, commitment to her goals, and achievements in her professional life as well as personal character and service to her community and her colleagues,” the organization said in a news release.

Cotten-DeGrasse was a teacher in the Riverhead Central School District for 30 years, while also serving for five years as president of the Riverhead Central Faculty Association, representing more than 400 teachers. Twelve years after her retirement, she was elected to the Riverhead Board of Education. She is currently board president.

Earlier this month, Cotten-DeGrasse announced she is seeking the Democratic nomination for Riverhead Town supervisor. See story.

Cotten-DeGrasse, with her husband Antonio, founded the North Fork Breast Health Coalition in 1998. She served as president of the coalition from 2005 to 2012. During that time, the Coalition raised over $500,000 for direct financial assistance to breast cancer patients on the North Fork. Under her leadership the Coalition has expanded its services to offer support groups, massage therapy, reflexology, and yoga.

The East End Women’s Network will honor Cotten-DeGrasse with a dinner and ceremony at Giorgio’s on Monday, May 20. Tickets are $60 for EEWN members (with reservations) and $75 for nonmembers. Cocktail hour is at 5:30 p.m. with the dinner and award presentation beginning at 6:30 p.m. To make a reservation visit the EEWN website  or email info@eewn.org