International Women’s Day Celebrated in Haverhill

Posted by Spalding Hurst

March 6, 2024

The Massachusetts North Shore Italian Women’s Lodge hosted a special event to mark International Women’s Day, featuring speakers Anne Marie O’Shea, SCN, and Ann Whittaker, SCN. The celebration, attended by over 100 participants, highlighted the Italian tradition of La Festa Della Donna, a practice initiated in 1946 by activists Rita Montagna and Teresa Mattei to honor women’s resilience and strength, symbolized by the mimosa flower.

More photos here.

The event showcased the significance of the mimosa, a flower that, despite its delicate appearance, embodies strength and resilience. This tradition has evolved to include the sharing of mimosa-themed cakes, desserts, and beverages as a tribute to women’s enduring spirit.

Notable attendees included Haverhill’s first female mayor and her aide, alongside the Director and Team of the Greater Northeast Domestic Violence Program. The latter presented crucial information on domestic violence, advocating for support and healing for affected women. The event also successfully raised over $2,000 for domestic violence programs, collected uniquely in a fireman’s boot under the campaign “Let’s give the Boot to Domestic Violence!”

Highlighting the contributions of influential Italian women, O’Shea and Whittaker spoke on the legacies of Mother Frances Xavier Cabrini, Maria Montessori, and Geraldine Ferraro, emphasizing their roles as feminists, pioneers, and icons in their respective fields.

The celebration commenced with a toast using mimosa beverages and featured a luncheon accompanied by a diverse selection of mimosa cakes, cupcakes, and trifles, all crafted by members of the Italian Lodge. The venue was adorned with mimosa flowers, creating a vibrant atmosphere for the festivities.

Aligned with this year’s UN theme for International Women’s Day, “Inspire Inclusion,” the event served as a reminder of the beauty, strength, courage, and compassion of women worldwide, encouraging a global celebration of these qualities.


  1. Tess Browne

    La Festa Della Donna. 🇮🇹Thank you Ann and Anne-Marie, for accompanying our sisters in Haverhill, in such an inspiring and philanthropic celebration of Women’s History Month, and anticipating International Women’s Day. Adelante mujeres con animo.🍞🌹🌹🌹

  2. Eugenie Coakley, scna

    Ann and Anne Marie – you weaving together the stories of three great women in your talk I am sure was an inspiration and learning experience for all in attendance.! The entire event looked really inviting and joyful – and impactful $2,000 for DV prevention. Wonderful!

  3. Rose Mary Gerlica, SCN

    Thankyou, Ann and Anne Marie for sharing your many talents.

  4. Linda Soltis, SCN

    It sounds like such a wonderful event honoring the strength and resilience of women. How fitting that the two of you who certainly have those great qualities were guest speakers.

  5. Sister Ann Susan SCN Villa

    Ann and Annmarie
    Thank you for being our super SCN!

  6. Sister Ann Susan SCN Villa

    Ann and Annmarie,
    Thank you for being a super inspiration to all of us! I am so very proud you are an SCN.

  7. Julie Driscoll

    Thank you both for sharing your rich gifts and the wonderful way you lift up vital issues like the dignity of women. I feel sure that I’m not the only one who’s proud of you.

    • Louise Smith

      What a nice informative event! I am very happy of the names you highlighted. Thank you for sharing. Blessings!!!

  8. Martha Borders

    Looking great Ladies! 😀

    Thank you for your many good works and ways you communicate with others via birthday cards, etc.

    Love to you both … ❤️🙏

  9. Marian Stenken, SCn

    Thanks so much Ann and Anne Marie! You are such an inspiration to so many. It looked like a lot of fun!!

  10. Annette Skees

    So proud of you both for your contribution to this celebration. You never fail to inspire others!

  11. Christine Beckett

    So grateful you were such a significant part of this celebration!!!

  12. Jacqueline Aceto, SCN

    Thank you Ann and Anne Marie for standing with and up for women. What a inspiration you have been to me and many others.

  13. Clare

    Thanks to you both for ever standing for and with women.


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