Being the presenter of the Carmen Sarro Award has a special meaning for Christine Sexton, other than it being in her mother’s namesake.The award is given each year for “improving the status of women through community service” and Sexton believed it did that and more.
“It’s wonderful that everything that she did in service, and all the volunteering and the meetings that she did for 30 years, is being continued,” said Sexton. “The Theatre Guild, the hospital, even the city of Santa Clarita, she was a founding member of that. And so it’s important to me to see that live on, her name live on.”
The presentation of the award was the keynote event of Zonta Club of Santa Clarita Valley’s 28th annual Women in Service celebration on Saturday, which also included introduction of the year’s honorees — 20 in total.
Zonta is an international organization of professionals that aims to empower women through service and advocacy. The SCV chapter was formed in 1974.
Nicole Miller, president of Zonta SCV, said the event’s main purpose is to honor these women, but it’s also to forge new relationships and strengthen existing ones.
“It’s great. It’s almost like a reunion or a time to get together with everyone and to collaborate on projects and just kind of check in with what they’re doing and just forge further fellowship amongst the organization,” said Miller.
City Councilwoman Laurene Weste, who was in attendance, said as a former Woman of the Year, she likes to give back to the organization whenever possible.
“They do wonderful work with the community, with youth, they help young women. I am extraordinarily impressed by them, always have been,” said Weste. “The fact is that they’re one of the most beloved organizations in our community that do an amazing job. So proud to know them, proud to join them, proud to support them in any way I can.”
The winner of the Carmen Sarro Award was Holly Hanlin, a member of Soroptimist International of Greater SCV. The national anthem was performed by the Canyon High School Madrigals Choir.