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Single Mothers Outreach announces Empowering Hearts Honorees of 2014

Social Causes

Posted: June 22, 2014 10:00 a.m.
Updated: June 22, 2014 10:00 a.m.

Single Mothers Outreach announced June 5 the Empowering Hearts Honorees.

Empowering Hearts is an annual celebration of women who have changed lives and shaped their communities. The event aims to bridge the worlds of social action and artistic expression in an annual arts competition.

The 2014 honorees are spotlighted below.

Kiki Hacker

Kiki Hacker has partnered, supported, donated and volunteered for many local nonprofit organizations, including the College of the Canyons Foundation, Child & Family Center, The Michael Hoffelin Foundation, Boys & Girls Club of Santa Clarita Valley, Domestic Violence Center, FRIENDZ and The Painted Turtle.

In her thirty years as a Santa Clarita resident, Hacker has made it a priority to lift children and their families out of poverty, protect them from abuse and ensure their access to education and health care.

She considers it her honor to be able to assist struggling families to become self-reliant.

Linda Hafizi

Linda Hafizi is the co-publisher of “The Magazine of Santa Clarita” and “Elite Magazine,” but many know her as the woman who stands side by side with nonprofit organizations.

Through her publications, Hafizi also has been able to support nonprofit organizations American Cancer Society, Boys & Girls Club of Santa Clarita Valley, Single Mothers Outreach, Domestic Violence Center, Assistance League, Circle of Hope, the Zonta Club of SCV, Soroptimist of Greater SCV, Michael Hoefflin Foundation and many others.

In 2009, Hafizi co-created and developed the “Dancing With Our Stars” event, which in its inaugural year, raised more than $75,000 for 12 local nonprofit organizations.

Now in its fifth year, the Dancing With Our Stars event has raised more than $600,000 to benefit local nonprofits.

Through her work, Hafizi is spreading awareness of local nonprofit organizations and is a key partner in sustaining them and the people who need their help.

Adele Macpherson

Adele Macpherson has been helping the Santa Clarita community for more than 30 years.

Macpherson began with work for the American Red Cross. During her time there, she embraced her calling in disaster preparedness.

Macpherson also headed the Blue Ribbon Task Force, which provides information and education to the community about teen alcohol/drug/tobacco use.

She served as president of the Zonta Club of SCV group and is a founding and 20-year board member of the Children’s Dental Health Foundation.

Macpherson is a long-term board member of both the Samuel Dixon Family Health Center and the Child & Family Center. As of late, Macpherson has brought her energy and tireless efforts to assist the Domestic Violence Court Advocacy Program.

Deborah (Debbie) Rio

Deborah Rio has overcome incredible obstacles to become the successful woman and mother she is today.

She raised three children as a single parent after an abusive marriage and contentious divorce.

Following her divorce, Rio went back to school to earn her Associate of Arts in liberal studies, a Bachelor of Arts in English and a Master of Public Administration.

Rio went on to join College of the Canyons as the director of admissions and records and is now the dean or enrollment services.

But in addition to the tough job of raising a family, going back to school, working and starting over, Rio was recently diagnosed with breast cancer. Not surprisingly, she approached this with her amazing spirit and bravery.

While the months of treatment were grueling, Rio maintained her spunky attitude and is back at work.

Rio’s spirit and tenacity is multiplied by her can-do attitude. She is active in her community and has served as a past Single Mothers Outreach board member.

She is an astounding example of resilience.

Kacey Surratt

Kacey Surratt is the mother of five. When her oldest was just 13, Surratt found herself as a single parent.

Surratt struggled financially and found that each day was more challenging than the one before. But, instead of burying her head in the sand, she took the brave step to reach out and ask for help.

Surratt found Single Mothers Outreach and became not only an active part of the program but is now paying it forward by mentoring SMO single mothers.

And in turn, by reaching out and helping others, Surratt created a remarkable role model for her five children.

All five children have grown up to be outstanding members of society, a tribute to the love and care these children received from their mother. Each child gave back to SMO by donating time, effort, clothing and toys.

Racquel (Rocky) Turner

Rocky Turner is mother to four boys and two girls.

She established Mothers Fighting for Others (MFFO) in 2006.

MFFO is dedicated to providing orphans and vulnerable children with opportunities their parents would have provided, if they only could: a loving and nurturing environment and a quality education, so they can learn, thrive and achieve their highest potential.

In addition to raising six children, Turner volunteers both locally and abroad. She makes frequent trips to Kenya in support of her organization and does everything she can to spread the word that children deserve to reach their highest potential no matter what the circumstance.



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