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Scholarship Foundation earns grant

Xi Nu Zeta presents $3,000 to Scholarship Foundation

Posted: June 6, 2009 5:35 p.m.
Updated: June 7, 2009 4:55 a.m.

Evie Leslie, standing, presents a bouquet of flowers to Mary House.

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Education has always been the passion of the Xi Nu Zeta chapter of the Beta Sigma Phi sorority in the Santa Clarita Valley. It shouldn't be a surprise because most of the members are retired school teachers.

At the recent Mothers and Others May Day Luncheon the group presented the Santa Clarita Valley Scholarship Foundation with a check for $3,000. The money benefited the Xi Nu Zeta scholarships passed out during recent high school graduation ceremonies in the SCV.

Sally Coss, Xi Nu Zeta president, presented the check, earned from the group's Lasagna Dinner, to Judy Riley who represented the Scholarship Foundation.

"The scholarship foundation is near to the hearts of Xi Nu Zeta. We will celebrate the 50th anniversary of our chapter in June so our contribution to the scholarship foundation goes back probably 47 or 48 years," said Coss. "We've been able to donate $3,000 every year to help the students on their way."

Judy Riley, a past president of the SCV Scholarship Foundation, accepted the check from Coss.

"This organization and the scholarship foundation seem like sister organizations because they go back together so far," she said. "It's very special to come and share this with you."

Riley then shared some of the inspiring and touching stories of the scholarship recipients, without naming names, hoping to keep the awards under wraps until graduation ceremonies were complete.

The program, held at the Odyssey Restaurant in Granada Hills, began with a welcome form Gerry Morey and invocation by Susie Hilton.

After the luncheon was served, musical guests from California Institute of the Arts Sarah Hodges on flute and Erick Klerks on guitar entertained the more than 60 guests which included members of Xi Nu Zeta and their invited guests, mostly daughters and grandchildren.

Evie Leslie, Woman of the Year 2008, named the winner of the Xi Nu Zeta Woman of the Year 2009, Vivian Wrightman. Wrightman was visibility shocked at the honor.

"We have 20 wonderful members who could be Woman of the Year," said Leslie. "This is the highest honor our sorority awards."

Leslie was called forward again to announce the Xi Nu Zeta Special Award for 2009 which was made to long-time member Mary House.

Leslie said House's 90th birthday has been celebrated at several events.

"She really knows how to throw a party," said Leslie. "Mary is so special to all of us, she cares for others, has a great sense of humor, a hard worker, a special listener and true friend. I admire her so much."

The audience then sang "Happy Birthday" to House who smiled and beamed as she accepted a large bouquet of flowers.

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