Twenty-three women representing local community service organizations will be honored at the annual Women in Service Celebration sponsored by Zonta Club of the Santa Clarita Valley. This year's brunch will be held Saturday, March 20, at Robinson Ranch. Registration opens at 9:30 a.m., and the program will begin at 10 a.m.
Each of the 23 honorees will be celebrated for her contributions to the local community and given an opportunity to explain the mission of her nominating organization. One outstanding honoree will be presented with the Carmen Sarro Community Service Award, named for the charter member of Zonta who personified the ultimate community volunteer before she passed away some years ago.
"We are excited to honor a diverse group of extremely qualified women at this year's event," said event co-chair Donna Schmidt. "Even though we can only choose one to receive the Carmen Sarro Award for outstanding service in our community, we do honor every nominee at the event. There are 20 organizations from our community represented, and we will be sharing information about each of them in our program."
In addition, keynote speaker Pina De Rosa will offer tips to help local women live up to their fullest potential. De Rosa is an educator, life coach and author of "Living With Grace and Passion." The CD series is designed for busy women worldwide who are the next generation of feminine, powerful leaders.
This year's honorees and their nominating organizations include Christine Miller, Daughers of the British Empire; Maria Gutzeit, SCV Committee on Aging; Doreen Hawbecker, Betty Ferguson Foundation; Debbie Marquez, Pet Assistance Foundation; Lisa Kaminsky, Michael Hoefflin Foundation; and Hannah Langley, Boys & Girls Club of SCV.
Also Dawn Abasta-Hovhannisyan, Single Mothers Outreach; Linda Cormack, Circle of Hope; Ellie Laks, The Gentle Barn; Deborah Estes, Family Child Care Association of Santa Clarita; Jackie Hartmann, Special Olympics; Jeri Seratti Goldman, Providence Holy Cross Foundation; and Donna Kreutz, Soroptimist of Santa Clarita Valley.
Also DaAnne Smith, Single Mothers Outreach; Jean Albrent, Domestic Violence Center of the SCV; Jackie Hamby, Assistance League of Santa Clarita; Michelle Witkin, Ph.D., Child & Family Center Foundation; and Dora Zavala, Soroptimist International of Greater Santa Clarita Valley.
Several organizations nominated teams of women who work together in community service. Santa Clarita Valley YMCA nominated the team of Peggy Gelpi and Wendy Downs. Gerri McCorkle, Jan Fear and Corinn Miklosovic were nominated at a team by the G.R.A.N.D.S. (Giving Respect and Nurturing to Deserving Seniors.
Several Zonta members have been nominated by outside organizations for their service to the community outside of their Zonta activities. Club members will be saluted along with the other nominees but are not eligible to receive the Carmen Sarro Award. The award will be presented by Zontian Christine Sexton, Sarro's daughter.
Zonta is expecting close to 200 guests at Saturday's brunch, including friends and supporters of the nominees. This is the 26th year Zonta has been saluting outstanding local women with this program.
"It looks like we will have one of the largest turnouts ever for the Women in Service Celebration," said event co-chair Chris Miller. "Guests will have an opportunity to find out about service organizations in the Santa Clarita Valley, and meet some of the people who make such a difference in our area."