Evelyn Benton, Patricia V. Counsellor, Diana Rutala, Lenora Slaughter Frapart, Lydia E. Munoz, Kathy Urbon

Evelyn Benton - Volunteerism

Evelyn Benton moved to Atlantic County in 1981 to pursue her interest in cooking in Atlantic City’s casino industry in 1989 she graduated with top honors from the Academy of Culinary Arts program at Atlantic Community College.

Utilizing her 13 years of experience, she became director of the Community FoodBank of New Jersey. The FoodBank is a non-profit organization that distributes groceries to charities serving the needy.

Evelyn has become an active member of the Atlantic County community. Her work with Habitat for Humanity, Kiwanis service clubs, Zonta, and various other non-profits and community organizations is her way of honoring the good fortune she feels that God has bestowed upon her. She sees it as a personal responsibility to do what she can to help those less fortunate.

Patricia V. Counsellor - Medicine/Health Sciences

Born in Mount Airy, NC, Pat was raised in Penns Grove/Swedesboro, new Jersey. She graduated from Our lady of Lourdes School of Nursing with an RN Diploma and from Stockton College with a B.S. in Business Administration. Pat received her Masters in Hospital Administration from St. Joseph’s University in Philadelphia.

In 1967 Pat moved to Ocean City where she joined the Ocean City Police Department and she started at Shore Memorial as a critical care nurse. Pat rose through the ranks to become Vice President of Professional Services, Vice President of Operations and Senior Vice President. During her tenure she established one of the first hospital-based Women’s Centers, combining preventative health and maternal/child health. Pat has dedicated her career to caring for patients and bringing healthcare at Shore Memorial into the 21st century. She is associated with numerous professional organizations including: * National Association of Female Executives * Association of Healthcare Executives of New Jersey * New Jersey Women in Health Administration * American College of the national M.S. Society.

Pat has received the Woman of Distinction Award from the American Association of University Women, the NJHA Distinguished Service Award and the Soroptimist Club’s Women Helping Women Award.

Lenora Slaughter Frapart - Humanitarian - Posthumous

Lenora Slaughter Frapart’s passion was the miss America Pageant. In the 1920s, Miss America Pageant organizers worked to make it a sophisticated event, but most of the women who entered the pageant had hopes of landing a Hollywood or stage career. In 1935 Lenora Slaughter was hired to produce an event that was respectable and legitimate. Slaughter came to the Miss America Pageant on a six-week leave of absence and ended up staying in the Atlantic City area. In time, she became Pageant Director, in a reign that lasted until 1967.

Lenora Slaughter’s most significant legacy is the Miss America scholarship program. ‘I knew that the shine of a girl’s hair wasn’t going to make her a success in life,’ she wrote. By offering opportunities for advancement through education, she fashioned a pageant that appealed to the middle-class. She personally wrote about three hundred letters to businesses asking for scholarship money and initially raised $5000. In 1945 the Miss America Pageant became one of the first organizations in the country to offer college scholarships.

Lenora Slaughter died in December 2000 at the age of 94. By the time of her death, the Miss America Organization was the single largest contributor of scholarships to women in the United States.

Lydia E. Munoz - Services/Volunteerism

Lydia Munoz moved to South Jersey with her husband in the late sixties and began her career in the filed of human services. She started working with migrant workers as an outreach worker and also taught ESL at the migrant camps.

In 1974, Lydia had a vision to serve all Latinos in Atlantic County, Father William Collins invited Lydia to open and operate the Spanish Community Center. During her time there, she was able to secure funding from the Division of Youth and Family Services and began to offer and provide multi-services in the western part of Atlantic County and an office in Cumberland County. Lydia has represented the Hispanic community on local boards and state commissions.

Diana Rutala - Government/Public Service

A Native of New Jersey, Diana (McClain0 Rutala was born in Pleasantville. Ms. Rutala has been a resident of Atlantic County most of her life. She is a graduate of Richard Stockton College where she earned a Bachelor degree in Political Science with Highest Honors and program Distinction. She briefly lived in Washington, D.C. while working for then Congressman Hughes.

Diana began her professional career in 1985 when she was employed by the Atlantic County Department of Administration. She immediately began working with the county budget, a function she has continued throughout her twenty-one years of service. Her skills were recognized, however, and Ms. Rutala was promoted to a position in Regional Planning and Economic Development and later moved on to become the Director of Budget and purchasing. These positions gained her a broad understanding of County Government and she was promoted to Department Head of Administrative Services, the support department for all of County government. In 2005 Ms. Rutala was appointed to the position of Deputy County Administrator with the Department of Administrative Services and the Division of Facilities Management reporting to her.

She is a past member of the United Way’s Financial Allocation Committee. Ms. Rutala has continued her education and is currently working toward a Masters in Business.

Kathy Urbon - Social Services/Volunteerism

Born in California, Kathy Urbon attended Harbor Junior College, Occidental College and graduated from California State University at Long Beach with a BA in Education. She went on to teach 5th grade in Los Angeles schools for one year.

The Urbon’s have lived in Atlantic County since 1961. In her first (10) years in Northfield, Kathy was involved with bringing the library into the new City Hall. Kathy also became active at Central Methodist Church, teaching Sunday School, was active in the untied Methodist Women’s organizations, served on the outreach Board and was head of the Ushers.

Kathy is a Past President and current member of the Board of Child Federation for 34 years and is an active volunteer at their weekly clinic for children. She is a member of the Charity League, the Tri Delta Sorority Alumnae Chapter, which raises money for the Donny Fund of Atlantic County and the Brendan Borek Fund of Cape May. For the past four years she has served as Chairwomen of the Skybox Committee for the LPGA. Past activities include Linwood Mother’s march of Dimes, Mainland Sports Boosters, Linwood Historical Society, Red Cross Blood Drives and various mainland High School parent committees.