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Shining stars of the SCV

Zonta Club of Santa Clarita Calley hosts its 24th annual Women in Service celebration.

Posted: April 10, 2008 6:26 p.m.
Updated: June 11, 2008 5:04 a.m.
Thirteen of the 15 nominees for Zonta Club of the SCV's Carmen Sarro Award. Thirteen of the 15 nominees for Zonta Club of the SCV's Carmen Sarro Award.
Thirteen of the 15 nominees for Zonta Club of the SCV's Carmen Sarro Award.
You'd expect a nice service club brunch at the Valencia Country Club to be a charming, sedate affair where the speakers might not even need a microphone to be heard above the occasional clink of fork-on-plate.
Well, not so with the Zonta Club of Santa Clarita Valley's Women in Service brunch on Saturday.

These ladies can make some noise.

Whenever guest speaker Michelle Armstrong asked the audience members to turn to their neighbor and comment - well, you couldn't have heard a 747 landing in the lobby.

But it only makes sense. Zontians have the energy, will and means to make some noise in the community. And this brunch was dedicated to honoring just those kinds of women - those whose service to the community goes above and beyond. Fifteen women, nominated by 14 organizations, were brought before their friends and fellows and the good works they do proclaimed. At the end, one nominee was presented with the Carmen Sarro Award for improving the status of women through community service.

Those nominees were: Cheryl Carlson, nominated by Assistance League of Santa Clarita; Robin Clough, nominated by the American Association of University Women; Judy Cox and Marjanne Priest, nominated by the Betty Ferguson Foundation; Joan Desmore, Henry Mayo Newhall Memorial Hospital Auxiliary; Mindy Duffy, Beta Sigma Phi-Xi Tau Tau Chapter; Judy Fish, Child and Family Center Foundation; Ann Koretz, Family Day Care Association of Santa Clarita Valley; Angela Muhl, Michael Hoefflin Foundation; Gail Rocco-Mack, Soroptimist International of Santa Clarita Valley; Agnes Russell, American Cancer Society; Louise Schultz, Circle of Hope; Nancy Starczyk, Santa Clarita Valley Youth Project; Cheryl Wasserman, Golden Oak Adult school; and Jennifer Zimmerman, Pleasantview Industries.

As it turned out, Judy Fish and Nancy Starczyk were unable to make the event. Adele Macpherson accepted honors for Fish and Kim Goldman for Starczyk.

Inspirations all
With an inspiration and pledge offered by Chris Miller, introductions by JoAnn Rodriguez and a delicious brunch under the belt, Michelle Armstrong spoke on "The Power of You." (Afterward she gave out and signed free copies of her book "Manage Your Mind, Master Your Life.") The point of her presentation was perfect for this audience of difference-makers as she offered tips on how to be effective by staying focused in the moment, and then noted how everyone present could make a difference with even the small things they do.

Karen Maleck-Whiteley and DeAnne Joy then took over and it was time to present the nominees. Each nominee was given a plaque and a yellow rose - the latter being the Zonta International symbol of friendship - and their service to the community extolled. Then they had the opportunity to address the audience and express their thanks.

Angela Muhl noted that, "According to surveys, the No. 1 fear people have is public speaking, and the No. 2 fear is death. That means more people would rather die than be up here - and I'm one of them."

When all of the deserving nominees had been presented, Christine Sexton, daughter of the late Carmen Sarro, presented the award. Nancy Starczyk was the recipient. However, Kim Goldman accepted the award in her stead. This included an impressive collection to carry - the rose and plaque, plus the award and certificates from our local government officials.

Mayor Bob Kellar was called to the podium and offered some heart-felt thoughts, first noting that it's these kinds of volunteers that enhance our city. "Nancy (Starczyk) is the consummate professional, and I know how worthy she is and all the nominees are," he said.

JoAnn Rodriguez then led the "Zonta Collect," and it was time for the press of well-wishers to congratulate the nominees.

"We were so incredibly pleased to honor these amazing women and to spotlight all the organizations and volunteers of our valley," Maleck-Whiteley said.

"The caliber of the nominees this year was really outstanding," DeAnne Joy said. She noted that this was an opportunity to not only honor the nominees, but to recognize the level of service that all the volunteers and service organizations in our community provide.

The SCV Zonta Club meets on the second Wednesday of each month at the Hilton Garden Inn, 27710 The Old Road, Valencia, 91355 - 6 p.m. social time; 6:30 p.m. meeting. For information call (661) 252-9351 or visit


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