The Atlantic County Charitable Corp. is sponsoring the American Association of University Women Atlantic County Chapter’s annual Woman of Distinction Banquet on March 17. Meghan Wren, the founder and past executive director of the Bayshore Discovery Project, is this year’s honoree.

While an Environmental Studies student at the former Stockton State University, she decided, at age 23, to create the Bayshore Discovery Schooner Project. Wren rallied a group of local supporters to transform an old oyster dredger into the AJ Meerwald, now recognized as New Jersey’s official tall ship. This project led to the creation of the Delaware Bay Museum and the annual Bay Days.

Wren’s commitment to community involvement, along with her expertise in garnering the financial and technical assistance needed to complete and maintain the project, led to the Bayshore Discovery Schooner Project being able to serve 50,000 residents annually through its shipboard programs.

Wren has won numerous awards, including Excellence in Historic Preservation by the N.J. Department of Environmental Protection. She has been a founding member of many organizations whose mission is to protect the Delaware Estuary and is president of the Port Norris Rotary Club.

This year’s event, open to the public, will be held noon March 17 at the Linwood Country Club. The fee is $45, and all proceeds from the social and luncheon will be donated to a scholarship fund for local women. For information or to register, see Deadline for registration is March 10.

The Woman of Distinction award was initiated in 2002 by then AAUW President Berenice Connor Kennedy to honor and recognize area women who have made contributions to their communities. Past recipients have included women in the fields of technology, science, nursing, philanthropy, community activism, youth activities, music and education.

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