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Virginia Wrage winners named

Grants presented by Zonta Club of Santa Clarita Valley at meeting

Posted: January 10, 2013 2:00 a.m.
Updated: January 10, 2013 2:00 a.m.

Cher Gray, right, chairwoman for Zonta's Virginia Wrage Grant Committee, presents award checks to this year's recipients, from left, Alison Driggs Bailey, Suzi Pilarski, Debbie Martin and Nadine Teter at the club's December meeting.

 

Four Santa Clarita Valley women have received Virginia Wrage memorial grants from Zonta Club of the SCV at the group’s December meeting.

The winners will share a total of $8,000 after the committee reviewed grant applications and interviewed the top candidates, according to Committee Chairwoman Cheryl Gray.

The winners include:

Alison Driggs Bailey, a single mother of three girls ranging in age from 12 to 16, lost her home and all of her belongings while she was in a hospital recovering from surgery.

Although not expected to live, she fought her way back to health for the sake of her daughters.

She currently is enrolled in the Medical Administration, Billing & Coding program at Charter College and plans to graduate with honors next May.

She will use her grant to pay her college tuition and school loan payment.

Debbie Martin is the adoptive mother of a special needs child who has returned to College of the Canyons to complete an education that was put on hold when her second daughter was diagnosed with epilepsy. She is majoring in Recreation Management and is looking forward to a career developing outdoor programs for youth or the elderly. The Virginia Wrage grant will help alleviate the expenses of completing her education while raising a small special needs child.

Nadine Teter made newspaper headlines in 2006 when she became the victim of a crime. That experience drove her to pursue a degree in sociology, which she plans to use for a professional career as a Victim’s Advocate.

Her goal is to dedicate her life to advocating for those who directly and indirectly are impacted by criminal behavior.

After completing two years at College of the Canyons, she plans to transfer either to UCLA or California State University, Northridge.

She will use her grant to help with college expenses.

Suzi Pilarski was the final recipent.

The honorees were presented with their grants at a Zonta business meeting with a supportive audience of family members and school officials also attending.

The grants are given to mature women who have faced a life-changing crisis and need a hand to become self-sufficient again.

The grants are named for Virginia Wrage, a Zonta member who faced a life crisis and was forced to make a midlife career change.

Wrage pursued her goal of becoming an airline stewardess and traveled the world for two years before being diagnosed with cancer.

Before her death, she agreed to allow Zonta to administer a grant in her name, to be awarded to mature women who also were in need of help to make a midlife career change.

Nearly 60 women have received the grants since the program’s inception, allowing them to become independent and self-sufficient.

The Zonta Club of SCV was founded in 1974 and is an organization of more than 70 members who represent the core of community volunteers in the SCV.

For more information about membership in Zonta and meeting information visit www.scvzonta.org.

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