On the Town: Soroptimists install their new officers

Celebrating their 70th year of service to the community, the Glendale Soroptimists installed their 2013-2014 slate of officers in style last Thursday at the Glendale Hilton.

New president Susan Hunt took over the reins. Her theme, "Women in History and Our Future," was represented in the installation handled with aplomb by Lynne Raggio, assisted by Julie Beers.

Raggio compared Hunt with Eleanor Roosevelt. As executive director of the Glendale Educational Foundation, Hunt knows her way around leading an organization. Proud mom Betty Crancer was Hunt's No. 1 supporter at the installation luncheon.

A partial list of new Soroptimist officers includes past president of the Glendale Commission of the Status of Women Paula Devine, installed as president-elect. Dr. Carol Ann Burton is first vice president for programs. Kathy Lefkovits is second vice president for fundraising. Sandy Doughty, executive director of the Glendale Assn. of the Retarded, was installed as third vice president of membership.

Lefkovits has another claim to fame. As the brains behind the Soroptimists' popular annual fundraiser, "Bras for a Cause," Lefkovits was, in part, responsible for raising the gross proceeds of $71,000 from the event. Net proceeds of $41,000 were donated to breast cancer services.

Among the lucky recipients were Maryann Robertson, representing Glendale Memorial Hospital, Nick Martinez of Glendale Adventist Medical Center, and Yulanda Davis-Quarrie, representing Verdugo Hills Hospital. Davis-Quarrie is the hospital's foundation president.

Each recipient received $7,000. That's an increase of $2,000 from last year's hospital grants.

Also recognized with the Soroptimists' prized Laurel Society Award was Margo Bottcher. The award was presented by past president Liz Mirzaian, standing in for absent immediate past president Gayle Craig.

Kudos must also be given to installation luncheon co-chairpersons Liz Mirzaian and Lou Rhodes.

The month of June also represents giving of another sort — scholarships to deserving students. Last Thursday at the venerable Castaway in Burbank, hundreds of scholarships and awards were presented to Glendale Community College students as part of the 2013 honors and awards program banquet.

Some of the scholarships were given for the first time.

Welcoming about 300 supporters were Jim Riggs, interim superintendent/president, Lisa Brooks, foundation executive director, and Mike Haney, foundation president.

This annual event is sponsored by the Associated Students, the scholarship office and the Glendale College Foundation.

Among the inaugural scholarships presented was the Chief's Scholarship given to three students by campus Police Chief Gary Montecuollo. His recipients were Glendale Community College student Mark Newborg, 19, and new graduates, Silvia Avetisian, 20; and Michaela Cardenas, 23.

Newborg is currently a cadet with the Glendale Police Department. According to Montecuollo, "The scholarships will encourage those students in public safety, including fire science and nursing students."

The chief generously donated $1,000 in total to the three students.

After the inaugural scholarships were given, Dr. Paul Schlossman introduced the annual scholarship sponsors and their recipients. Among those was the Geraldine Manus Anson scholarship for re-entry program students. It was won by Nina Kanga. The sponsor was yours truly.

In this time of state budget cuts for higher education, these scholarships and awards were all the more valuable.


RUTH SOWBY may be reached at ruthasowby@gmail.com.

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