Giving freely of time and talents without thinking of the return is
how Florence Nos believes volunteers should approach their work.
Nos was named Woman of the Year on Nov. 13 at a tea by The Zonta Club
of Burbank Area at the First United Methodist Church of Burbank.
After receiving the honor, Nos said the volunteer spirit came to her
after watching her grandmother, mother and father.
The rewards of one’s endeavors, she said, will come someday but should
not be the motivation behind them.
“You will be rewarded and today is the day (for me) and thank you very
much,” Nos said.
Zonta President Julie Modglin told the 180 people in attendance that
Zonta recognizes leaders and projects providing service to humanity
through cooperative efforts. Zonta has served the Burbank area for more
than 63 years. “For We Believe that true leadership is vision expanded
into Action,” Modglin said.
The club’s motto, Vision Expanded Into Action, was created by leaders
of the now disbanded Women’s Council of Burbank, which founded in 1949
and ran the awards program until Zonta picked up the project four years
ago, according to Lee Bellis, chairwoman.
Nos showed outstanding leadership in all five possible categories,
Civic Achievement, Cultural Awareness, Educational Advancement, Religious
Activity and Society Welfare. She also received one of the five
categorical awards, the Civic Achievement honor.
Some of her volunteer responsibilities are serving as a board member
of the Burbank Leadership organization, a community development program
that includes education, business and economic development. She helps
people from the Hispanic and Vietnamese communities of St. Finbar Church
integrate into American life. She also is involved in the Time to Read
Program, tutoring sixth-grade students once a week to improve their
Other award winners were Gwen Flynn for Cultural Awareness; Lynda
Willner and Wendy Vecchiarelli, who tied for Educational Advancement;
Brenda Lantieri, Religious Activity; and Vilma Barron for Social Welfare.
Vecchiarelli told the group she learned volunteerism by example from
her mother. Lynda Willner felt the same, saying her mom and dad had
instilled volunteering early in their family’s life, her dad donating
skin to a burn victim.
Vilma Barron thanked her whole family for supporting her volunteer
Gwen Flynn served as president of the Human Relations Council for the
1997-98 year. She is founding chair of the Burbank Neighbors in Dialogue
project, which addresses the impact of the diverse cultural and ethnic
population changes in Burbank. Through her work as a facilitator of the
Dialogue Circle, two active community task forces were formed, Community
Diversity and Education and Youth.
Willner was appointed to the Burbank Civic Pride Committee by the city
and has acted as a liaison to the Public Service Department, assisting
with its 85th anniversary celebration. She came up with the Celebrate the
Millennium proposal, which resulted in the City Council’s decision to
create a Millennium Committee.
Vecchiarelli serves on the finance committee of St. Robert Bellarmine
Church’s Ministry Center Capital Campaign Subcommittee, whose goal is to
raise $1 million to remodel older buildings on the church property. She
also coordinates the efforts of volunteers for the church’s annual
Lantieri has visited and presented gifts to patients at Beverly Manor
for the last eight years as a member of the Burbank Noon Lions Club. At
Christmas time, she has raised funds to purchase food and gifts for large
families in Burbank.
Barron has been a member of the Burbank Emblem Club #86 for 47 years,
serving as rummage sale chairwoman, organizer of fund-raising nights at
local restaurants and prize chairwoman for the annual fashion show.
Nominees who received special recognition were Midge Centro, Ethel
McGee and Ricki Stambaugh.
From local government presenting commendations were Burbank Mayor
Stacey Murphy, Sen. Adam Schiff, Tanya Rosario representing Assemblyman
Scott Wildman and Lena Kamian representing Congressman Jim Rogan.
Councilman David Laurell also attended with his wife, Max.
Past women of the year attending were Tomme Lenz, Elaine Paonessa,
Florence Hill, Pat Gunn, Connie Dent, Marsha Jackson, Janet Diel, Patty
Reardon and Marcia Ramos.
JOYCE RUDOLPH is features editor. Her society column runs every
Saturday. To have an event covered, call her at 637-3241 or fax her at