Lynne McKenney Lydick has been an active volunteer at Abby’s House for over 20 years, serving on our Board of Directors and its Human Resource and Nominating Committee and working on the Abby Gala (the precursor of Spring-Tacular). She was instrumental in the successful execution of the 40th Anniversary Gala held at Mechanics Hall and continues to play an active role in planning special events. She has worked vigorously to raise funds for the women and children of Abby’s House and upon request shares her talents to perform Yours for Humanity – Abby, a one-woman play which honors our namesake, Abby Kelley Foster under the Worcester Women’s History Project’s auspices, for new members of the Board and for Abby’s residents. Lynne has given generously of her time and talent to promote the mission of Abby’s House throughout our community and beyond.
Not only is Lynne an active volunteer with Abby’s House, but she has also shared her time and talents with other wonderful organizations, including the Worcester Public Schools, the League of Women Voters, almost 20 years with the Jane Fund of Central Massachusetts, a reproductive justice organization and for the last twenty-two years, the Worcester Women’s History Project which celebrates and documents women’s contributions to the history, social fabric and culture of Worcester and beyond. It is through Lynne’s passion and dedication to social change that she has received many accolades including the 2019 Jane Fund of Central Massachusetts’s Judith Fleming Henshaw Award, the Central Massachusetts YWCA’s Katherine F. Erskine Award for Arts and Culture, and the 2020 Alden Kindred of America’s Speak for Thyself Award, which honors women who stand up and make a difference as a pioneer, advocate, community leader and/or business leader.
As a public historian, educator, and actor Lynne has traveled throughout New England and New York, Illinois and Ohio bringing historically significant women to life in her one-woman programs which present a framework within which to see our present and future worlds through the lives, work, words and deeds of remarkable, inspiring women.
And so in this historic year for women with the passage of the 19th Amendment, it is fitting to recognize Lynne, who has done so much to raise up Abby Kelley Foster both locally and nationally through her powerful one-woman performance and her fierce efforts that resulted in Abby being admitted to both the National Women’s Hall of Fame and the National Abolition Hall of Fame.
It is with gratitude for her work in securing the name of Abby Kelley Foster as a local and national historic treasure that we are honored to present the 2020 Annette Rafferty Award to Lynne McKenney Lydick. Congratulations, Lynne!