Gerri McCorkle improves the status of women.
Some of Gerri McCorkle’s strongest community service has been dedicated to building character and success for girls, so it is appropriate that Zonta Club of Santa Clarita Valley has named McCorkle winner of the annual Carmen Sarro Award for Improving the Status of Women Through Community Service. The award is named for Carmen Sarro, a founding member of Zonta who lost a battle with cancer after leaving a legacy of service throughout the community.
McCorkle, who is a deputy sergeant with the Sheriff’s Department, received the award as the highlight of Zonta’s annual Status of Women Celebration. She was one of 12 women nominated for the award by service organizations throughout the Santa Clarita Valley and honored at the brunch program. McCorkle was nominated for the honor by Girl Scouts, where she has been a leader since 1999. She also serves as a Radkids instructor, teaching self-empowerment and self-defense to girls across the valley between the ages of 6 and 13.
McCorkle was a Girl Scout herself for 12 years and has been an adult leader for eight years. She serves on several committees which plan events to keep older girls interested in Scouting, and also is a mentor to several older Girl Scouts who are working toward the Gold Award.
Through her job as community liaison with the Sheriff’s Department McCorkle has worked on many collaborative projects, not only with the Girl Scouts but also with such organizations as the Michael Hoefflin Foundation, Single Mothers Outreach, Boys and Girls Club and local schools. She recently reached out to 50 junior high age girls through a Girl Scout career day, encouraging them to set their goals and standard high and then work to achieve them.
Before McCorkle was announced as the Carmen Sarro Award winner, Zonta introduced each of the 12 honorees and saluted the organizations which nominated them. Event co-chairs Judy Penman and Karen Maleck-Whiteley presented each with a yellow rose, the symbol of Zonta International. McCorkle received the Carmen Sarro Award from Christine Sexton, Sarro’s daughter.
“We are pleased that 12 diverse organization submitted nominees this year,” mistress of ceremonies Marla Khayat told the audience. “It is evident when going through the applications that the Santa Clarita Valley is blessed with so many giving people.” She noted that Zonta Club of SCV has been honoring service to the community for more than 20 years and found it appropriate that the award honors Carmen Sarro, who shared her time and talents with many community organizations in addition to Zonta.
The 12 outstanding women saluted at this year’s ceremony, and their nominating organizations, are Dorothy Anderson, SCV Friends of the Libraries; Colleen Shaffer, Circle of Hope; Tera McHugh, Women Entrepreneurs of Santa Clarita Valley; McCorkle; Barbara Stearns-Cochran, Daughters of the British Empire and Child and Family Center Foundation; Shelley Hann, Betty Ferguson Foundation and Henry Mayo Newhall Hospital Guild; Rosie Smith, Henry Mayo Newhall Hospital Auxiliary; Jill Mellady, Michael Hoefflin Foundation; Terri Lee Cadiente, The Ragdoll Restoration Foundation; Melanie Sedam, Soroptimist International of Santa Clarita Valley; Jorja Harris, Domestic Violence Center of Santa Clarita Valley; and Kelly Burke, American Association of University Women.