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2002 Mary Cudmore Award for Caring and Optimism

Weight Watchers leaders from New York and Pennsylvania and a trainer for that organization in Massachusetts are the 2002 recipients of the Mary Cudmore Award for Caring and Optimism.

Mary Cudmore, who lived in Glenville, New York, was known to thousands of people in the Northeast as a trainer, manager and leader for Weight Watchers International. She died in 2001 after a three-year battle with colon cancer. The award program is designed to keep Mary's memory alive and honor those who were influenced by her in a positive way.

Each award recipient received a framed certificate and a $200 U.S. Savings Bond in a ceremony July 21. In announcing the winners in alphabetical order, Bob Cudmore, Kathleen Cudmore Bokan and Bob Cudmore, Jr. included brief quotes from the people who nominated them.

  • Joanne Butts (left) of Erie, Pennsylvania, is a Weight Watchers leader who "was very much influenced by Mary's guidance" and who has grown "and flourished in her leadership role and has touched thousands of lives."
  • Brenda Carter (right) of Clifton Park, New York, was Mary's last Weight Watchers leader "who speaks often of Mary."
  • June Salminen (center) of Worcester, Massachusetts, a Weight Watchers trainer, was Mary's best friend on the training team. Since Mary's passing, June's "caring and optimism have been elevated to a new level with Mary's handprint upon her actions."

Also nominated for the award and receiving Honorable Mention are:

  • Janet Bergkessel of Erie, Pennsylvania, a Weight Watchers trainer who displays "all Mary's qualities -- her loyalty, willingness to help all, her passion for life and family, for Weight Watchers and her sense of humor."
  • Bob Cudmore, Kathleen Cudmore Bokan and Bob Cudmore, Jr., who were nominated for being the "foundation" that supported Mary in her Weight Watchers career.
  • Kaye Majerek of Waterford, Pennsylvania, a Weight Watchers leader who "has a passion for life and leads it to the fullest."
  • Sharon Riguzzi of Ardsley, New York, the head of the Weight Watchers training team, who turned the "sad situation" of Mary's death "into a eulogy of praise and positive thinking about Mary and all the inspirational techniques she had taught each of us."

For information on the 2003 award program, contact













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