Zonta Women in Service Awards

L-r, Nancy Coulter receives her Women in Service nomination plaque from Judy Penman (r), president of Zonta Club of SCV. Courtesy photo

Gene Dorio, Santa Clarita Contributor

After four days of storms and clouds surrounding Santa Clarita, the weather cleared with a sunburst on the early spring morning of March 24.

Celebrated that morning was the Zonta Club’s 34th Annual Women in Service awards at the Hyatt Regency in Valencia.

Seventeen women were nominated by their organizations for the Outstanding Women of the Community Carmen Sarro Award.  This award honors the memory of Zontian Carmen Sarro who was known “for her dedication to and enthusiasm for service” to the Santa Clarita Valley.

Each nominee shared their volunteer experience with the audience and the role their group plays in the SCV.  One stated “we are the patchwork of a quilt that holds the community together.”  Others provided personal motivation after a life-altering challenge.

Nominees were multi-generational, inspiring the celebrants of how volunteer women have strengthened the backbone of our community and set the groundwork for the future.

Nancy Coulter from the American Cancer Society was honored with the award.  For decades she has provided loving care for those afflicted with a daunting disease, bringing comfort and assistance to patients and families.  She has not only devoted time in her efforts, but also expertise with a sprinkle of compassion and empathy for Santa Clarita cancer patients.

Other nominees were:

Women in Service nominees are (standing, l-r) Kim Kurowski, Suzanne Buncombe, Shana Criner, Gayle Abril Nolet, Nancy Butler, Robin Clough, Lluvia Partida, Susan Beesley, Lisa Eighman, Laura Kirchhoff, Carolyn Orozco Hernandez, and Holly Hanlin and (seated l-r) Lorraine Murphy, Tess Carlos-Miku, and Nancy Coulter, winner of this year’s Carmen Sarro Community Service Award. Not shown are Sheryl Schultz and Penny Upton. Photo courtesy of Terry Hoard

Gayle Abril Nolet, Assistance League

Susan Beesley, Henry Mayo Newhall Hospital Foundation

Nancy Butler, Thank a Vet Golf

Tess Carlos-Miku, SCV Senior Center

Robin Clough, American Association of University Women

Shauna Criner, SCV Junior Chamber International

Suzanne Duncombe, Domestic Violence Center

Lisa Eichman, WISH Education Foundation

Holly Hanlin, Henry Mayo Newhall Hospital Auxiliary

Laura Kirchhoff, Circle of Hope

Kim Kurowski, Soroptimist International of Greater Santa Clarita

Lorraine Murphy, SCV Rotary Club

Caroline Orozco Hernandez, Samuel Dixon Family Health Center

Liuvia Partida, Boys & Girls Club of SCV

Sheryl Schultz, SRD – Straightening Reins

Penny Upton, SCV Safe Rides


On this fresh spring day, the sun shone brightly on those who indeed are the patchwork of a quilt that holds the Santa Clarita Valley together.



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