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New leader set to guide National Women’s Hall of Fame to new era

2019 promises to be an interesting year for the National Women’s Hall of Fame; in fact, just 3 1/2 months in, it already has been.

The Hall will celebrate the 50th anniversary of its 1969 founding with a move to the renovated first floor of the old Seneca Knitting Mill this summer and also will induct a new class of 10 women on Sept. 14. That class, which includes Jane Fonda and Angela Davis, also has sparked controversy

Overseeing it all is a new president and Board of Directors chairwoman to lead the organization through the milestones, the debates and beyond. Kate Bennett of Rochester took over from Betty Bayer of Geneva April 1.

She was immediately thrown into the fray when, the next day, a large and passionate crowd attended the Seneca Falls Town Board meeting for debate on a proposal from Supervisor Greg Lazzaro to deny town support for the Hall to protest its planned induction of Fonda.

Bennett and Bayer both urged the town board to reject the proposal, which eventually it did, voting down the resolution, 3-1.

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