ALBANY – From the PTA and ski clubs to local colleges and historical associations, Francie Potter has done it all for a variety of groups in Allegany and Cattaraugus Counties. For that very reason, she has been selected by Senator Catharine Young (R,C,I-Olean) as the New York State Senate’s 2013 Woman of Distinction for the 57th Senate District.
“Francie Potter’s life-long history of giving back to her community is inspiring to us all. She is the type of person where those who cross paths with her always remember her wit, sense of humor and smile. Given the many hats she wears, Francie deserves our gratitude and recognition. Thank you and congratulations to Francie and all of the other honorees from across the state,” said Senator Young.
Since moving to Allegany, Francie Potter always has been a major part of the community and devotes her time and talents to a wide variety of organizations.
Francie was born in Ann Arbor Michigan. She lived there for 20 years and attended the University of Michigan, where she met her husband, Bob. In 1956, they moved to Allegany where Bob was from so they could both help with the family business, Potter Lumber Company. Three of her children now run the business, which has been in family hands for over 100 years.
Francie and Bob had six children together, and as they became involved in activities, Francie became involved in supporting them. In what she calls her “first gig,” Francie was the president of the Parent Teacher Association at Allegany School District. Several of her children began ski racing competitively at the Wing Hollow Ski Area, which pulled Francie into the Niagara Frontier Ski Council as a board member. This group was charged with governing the ski races that took place in WNY.
Because of her husband’s love of cars, Francie helped run the Allegheny Valley Sportscar Association. She held the title of secretary and wrote and edited their monthly newsletters. She also helped organize their monthly rallies.
Francie was also a board member and past president of the Mental Health Association in Cattaraugus County. This group ran summer camps and care services, and they provided support for those with mental illness.
She is the current president of the Allegany Area Historical Association, having held the position for the last 15 years. In addition, she is a trustee and the editor of the association’s newsletter. In this role, she also serves as the chair of Allegany Heritage Days, a yearly festival with vendors and entertainment that coincides with the Allegany School District’s reunions.
She has been a parishioner at St. Bonaventure Church in Allegany for over 55 years and served as a trustee for 14 years. She is currently a lector and Eucharistic minister.
Francie served on the board of the Jamestown Community College Foundation for 14 years. She also served on the board of the Olean Child Development Center, which provides after-school and all-day programs and classes for children.
She has been a volunteer at the Regina A. Quick Center for the Arts at St. Bonaventure for the last 18 years and often gives tours to school groups.
Francie could not attend the event in Albany, so a ceremony will be held in the 57th Senate District in the upcoming months to honor her.