Sue Reynolds, president of Soroptimist International of Greater Santa Clarita Valley, has received the Carmen Sarro Community Service Award from Zonta Club of the Santa Clarita Valley. Reynolds was selected from a slate of 15 local women nominated by Santa Clarita Valley non-profit organizations for the honor at Zonta’s annual Women in Service brunch this Saturday at Robinson Ranch.
(Reynolds, at right, with Zontians, event chair Karen Maleck-Whiteley and Sarro's daughter, Christine Sexton)
All 15 nominees were honored during the program before Sarro’s daughter, Christine Sexton, announced the final winner and presented the award to Reynolds. A Zonta committee selects the Carmen Sarro winner each year as the nominee who best epitomizes the commitment to volunteer service that Sarro maintained throughout her lifetime.
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Reynolds has contributed to improving the lives of women through her professional volunteer work with the SCV Chamber of Commerce Women in Business Group and the Association of Women Entrepreneurs. She has added her support to a whole new generation of women through her participation in the Valley Industrial Association's VIA Star (Students Teaming to Achieve Results) program, Connecting to Success business conference for high school juniors, and the SCV Education Foundation.
She and her two-year-old Doberman, Nudel, have been certified for Search and Rescue and certified as therapy dog workers. As a therapy dog team, she and Nudel visit the SCV Senior Center and Wiley Canyon adult day care facility weekly to support local seniors.
As Soroptimist president, she has been active in her club's Wine Affair, Simply Irresistible Fashion Show and the High Heel-a-Thon to "stomp out domestic and teen dating violence." Under her leadership, her club has donated thousands of dollars to the Sheila R. Veloz Breast Imaging Center and to the breastfeeding resources room at the new Henry Mayo Newhall Memorial Hospital neo-natal intensive care unit. and to ZOE Children International to fight trafficking of women and girls, SCV Domestic Violence Center, Break the Cycle (which concentrates on teen dating empowerment) and the Valley Trauma Center.
Before Reynolds was announced as the Carmen Sarro Award winner, Mistress of Ceremonies Carol Rock introduced each of the 15 honorees, saluted the organizations which nominated them and presented each with a nominee’s award. Each honoree received a yellow rose corsage, the symbol of friendship for Zonta International.
“We are pleased that 15 diverse organizations submitted nominees this year, representing thousands of hours of community service,” said Karen Maleck-Whiteley, event chair. “It is evident when going through the applications that the Santa Clarita Valley is blessed with many giving women.”
Maleck-Whiteley noted that Zonta Club of SCV has been honoring service to the community for 28 years with this year’s brunch and found it appropriate that the top award honors Carmen Sarro, who shared her time and talents with many community organizations in addition to Zonta. More than 100 guests attended the Saturday morning program.
The 15 outstanding women saluted at this year’s ceremony, and their nominating organizations, are M.J. West, American Association of University Women; Leila Rosenberger, Assistance League of Santa Clarita; Jaci Hoffman, Boys & Girls Club of the SCV; Laina McFerren, Child & Family Center Foundation; Judy Penman, Circle of Hope and Jorja Harris, Domestic Violence Center of SCV.
Also Brendie Heter, Foundation for Children's Dental Health; Michele Eusebi, Girl Scouts of Greater Los Angeles; Rose Stoffer, Henry Mayo Newhall Memorial Hospital Auxiliary; Jill Bondy, L.A. County Community & Senior Services/SCV Service Center; Mary Ellen Kearney, SCCDC – Bridge to Home; Margie Altman, SCV Senior Center/Committee on Aging; Margo Miller-Hudson, Single Mothers Outreach; Susan Reynolds, Soroptimist International of Greater SCV; and Sandi Naba, Soroptimist International of SCV.
Nominees take a photo break at the beginning of Zonta’s Women in Service ceremony. Shown (front row, l-r) M.J. West, Margo Miller-Hudson, Sandi Naba, Jaci Hoffman and Margie Altman, (middle row, l-r) Jill Bondy, Brendie Heter, Mary Ellen Kearney, Laina McFarren and Jorja Harris, and (back row, l-r) Sue Reynolds, Leila Rosenberger, Michele Eusebi, Judy Penman and Rose Stoffer.
CAPTION (CARMEN SARRO AWARD WINNER) – Zontian Christine Sexton (r) presents the Carmen Sarro Community Service Award to Sue Reynolds, nominated by Soroptimist International of Greater Santa Clarita Valley. The award, given to a woman who exemplifies Sarro’s devotion to community service during her lifetime, is named for Sexton’s mother and longtime Zonta member Carmen Sarro. At right is Karen Maleck-Whiteley, Zonta chair for this year's celebration.