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Weiss wins '09 Carmen Sarro Award

Posted: April 1, 2009 6:42 p.m.
Updated: March 31, 2009 8:00 p.m.
Stephanie Weiss has been an active volunteer in the Santa Clarita Valley since 1971, so it is appropriate that she was named winner of the Carmen Sarro Award, which is presented by Zonta Club of the Santa Clarita Valley to a woman who advances the status of women through community service.

The award was announced at Zonta's annual Women in Service Celebration brunch on Saturday at Robinson Ranch, where 20 outstanding local volunteers were honored for their service to the community as Women in Service nominees.

"For the past nine years, Stephanie has supported the ACTION Parent & Teen Support Group Program with all areas of her skill, knowledge and expertise," said ACTION founder Cary Quashen in submitting her nomination for the Carmen Sarro Award. "By her very actions as an ACTION Parent & Teen Support Group volunteer, she shares her mentorship skills and experience, strength and hope with women, men, boys and girls."

Weiss is a parent group facilitator with ACTION, working every Tuesday evening with parents of at-risk teens. She also works with at-risk teens themselves and is especially effective working with teen girls, according to Quashen.

She often advocates on behalf of the ACTION teen population and helps them return to school. She has worked with ACTION staff to start a support program in the Antelope Valley.

Weiss has been a working member of the City of Santa Clarita Mayor's Blue Ribbon Task Force since 2000, working on drug and alcohol education programs.

She has just joined the board of the SCV Education Foundation.

Other programs in which she has assumed leadership roles include Project Echo, a high school business development/education project at Canyon High School; Habitat for Humanity; SCV Celebrity Waiter Dinner, a fundraiser for the SCV Senior Center; SCV American Red Cross; and Joshua Tree Council, Girl Scouts.

She was an original member of the SCV Hotline We Care and served as a listener from 1971 to 1973.

Professionally, Weiss is president of Strategies for Success, a local public relations and marketing firm.

She previously worked for the Los Angeles County Office of Education, where she worked on the Educational Equity for Women Project and served as editor of an affiliated newsletter dealing with gender equity in education. She has used her expertise in public relations and marketing in support of many of her volunteer activities.

"Working with ACTION, she sets an example to women, young and adult alike," Quashen continued. "She advocates for women and assists them in honing their life skills to advance them educationally as well as in the workforce."

Before Weiss was announced as the Carmen Sarro Award winner, event co-chairs DeAnne Joy and Diane Goddard introduced each of the 20 honorees, saluted the organizations which nominated them and presented each with a yellow rose, the friendship symbol of Zonta International.

The Carmen Sarro Award was announced by Christine Sexton, Sarro's daughter, who follows in her mother's footsteps as a member of Zonta and active community volunteer.

"We are pleased that 20 diverse organizations submitted nominees this year, which I think is a record number of honorees in the 25-year history of this event," Joy said. "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 25 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 200 guests attended the Saturday morning program.

The 20 outstanding women saluted at this year's ceremony, and their nominating organizations, are Onyekachi Amadi, Boys & Girls Club of SCV; Terri Cadiente, Soroptimist International SCV; Jeannie Carpenter, Assistance League of Santa Clarita; Vicky Cooke, Family Day Care Association of SCV; Nancy Coulter, American Cancer Society; Judy Delaney, Samuel Dixon Family Health Centers.
Also, Cris Embleton, Mending Kids International; Liisa Froggat, Girl Scouts of Greater Los Angeles; Kathy Hefferon, Help the Children (formerly Hunger Defense Fund); Debbie Heys, Child and Family Center Foundation; Elizabeth Hopp, Michael Hoefflin Foundation; Tricia Gaye Jones, Santa Clarita Community Development Corporation; Jenny Ketchepaw, Single Mothers Outreach.

Also, Wendi Lancy, SCV Rotary Club; Tera McHugh, Betty Ferguson Foundation; Judith Poppe, Circle of Hope; Tiffany Ray-Michaels, Ragdoll Restoration Foundation; Joanne Timmerman, Henry Mayo Newhall Memorial Hospital Auxiliary; Stephanie Weiss, ACTION Parent & Teen Support Group; and Dora Zavala, Soroptimists International Greater SCV.


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