On Saturday, March 17, at 10:30 a.m., the National Scenic Byway Foundation will name the late Teresa Mitchell as the first recipient of the National Scenic Byway Foundation's first lifetime achievement award. The presentation will be made in the third floor ballroom exhibit area of the Great Lakes Seaway Trail Discovery Center at 401 W. Main St., in Sackets Harbor.
Deborah Divine, co-executive director of the National Scenic Byway Foundation, will visit Sackets Harbor from Salina, Kan., to present the inaugural award to Teresa's family: her husband Joel, daughter Marcy, and son Michael.
Future recipients of the award will receive the National Scenic Byway Foundation Teresa Mitchell Lifetime Achievement Award.
Teresa earned this honor with a lifetime of service to New York state's tourism industry and promoting the concept of byways as an American touring tradition and as a vital economic engine for local, state and national economies.
As president and CEO of Seaway Trail Inc., Teresa guided the Great Lakes Seaway Trail to become America's leading model of byway development. She served from 2005-10 as the inaugural chairperson of the NSBF, which she helped form in 2005 on behalf of all of America's byways nationwide.
In addition to Deborah Divine, speakers at the award ceremony will include Seaway Trail Foundation Chair Alexander "Pope" Vickers, a hospitality and tourism professor at Jefferson Community College, Watertown; Seaway Trail Inc. Chair John Hall of Cannon Design, Grand Island; and Teresa's longtime colleague Greg Marshall, senior vice president of VisitRochester, Rochester.
The presentation is part of the Great Lakes Seaway Trail War of 1812 Bicentennial Quilt Show, developed by Teresa Mitchell as a cultural heritage tourism event promoting travel of the 518-mile national scenic byway in New York and Pennsylvania. A collection of Teresa's own quilts will provide a speakers' backdrop.
The annual event has expanded to include three early 19th-century historic venues and costumed living history interpreters. Along with 1812 period-correct quilts from 18 U.S. states and across Canada, there will be a vintage reproduction sewing implement exhibit, demonstrations and vendors.
The event is co-sponsored by Orleans County Tourism and the Country Barn Quilt Trail loop off the Seaway Trail starting at Kendall.
Learn more about the Great Lakes Seaway Trail at www.seawaytrail.com.