The Carmen Sarro Award
"for Improving the Status of Women through Community Service"
Carmen Sarro is the epitome of the spirit of volunteerism among Zonta members of the Santa Clarita Valley.
The award recognizes and celebrates the life of our dear member, Carmen Sarro, who had such a positive impact on the people and organizations in the Santa Clarita Valley.
Carmen was a two time president of the Zonta Club of Santa Clarita, a charter member of the Canyon Theater Guild, President of the Santa Clarita Arts Council and active in numerous charities including the Henry Mayo Newhall Memorial Hospital Foundation, the Santa Clarita Valley Senior Center and the Boys & Girls Club of the Santa Clarita Valley.
Photos from 2019 Women in Service Event
The 2019 Women In Service Celebration
Twenty-one Women Honored at Women in Service Celebration
Mary Jane Hartman, who has been volunteering with the SCV Senior Center since 1994, has received the Carmen Sarro Community Service Award from Zonta Club of the Santa Clarita Valley. Hartman was selected from a slate of 21 local women nominated by Santa Clarita Valley non-profit organizations for the honor at Zonta's annual Women in Service brunch recently at the Oaks Grill in Valencia.
All 21 nominees were honored during the program before Sarro's daughter, second generation Zontian Christine Sexton, announced the final winner. A Zonta committee selects the Carmen Sarro winner each year as the nominee who best epitomizes the commitment to volunteer service that Sarro maintained throughout her lifetime.
A former nurse, Hartman began volunteering with the Senior Center as a member of the Annual Health Fair Committee. She assisted with training numerous student nurses who came to the Senior Center for their service hours, guiding them through the program and assisting them with their assignments. Her compassion for helping others led her to the Senior Advisory Council, where she has served as the chairperson off and on throughout the last 30 years.
Her skills were also used throughout the years by the Support Services Department to assist with case management, regarding medication and disease education. Today, she continues to serve on the Senior Advisory Council, assists with blood pressure checks and continues to advocate for quality of life for local seniors.
In 1997, Hartman became a driving force on the SCV Committee on Aging's Board of Directors. She has supported the center's fund development through the Celebrity Waiter Dinner event, which she helped to bring to the senior center, and the Wine Auction, which successfully contributed to the ongoing programs and service of the senior center for many years.
With focused professionalism and compassion, Hartman has been instrumental in the ongoing operations of the SCV Senior Center Adult Day Care Program, the Annual Health Fair, the Senior Advisory Council, and SCV Committee on Aging. She has been influential in fundraising for the economically disadvantaged elderly women and girls of the Santa Clarita Valley.
"Mary Jane's contributions to the Santa Clarita Valley extend well beyond the SCV Senior Center," reads her nomination form. She has volunteered for other organizations such as the American Heart Association, St. Claire Church, SCV Homeless Shelter, California Association Health Services at Home, Quality Management Committee, Home Health Care Council of Los Angeles County, Sierra Hillbillies Square Dance Club and State of California Medicare Committee, Sisters in Time Committee and the Professional Advisory Committee for Care Management.
"Mary Jane is an altruistic volunteer to the community that makes the Santa Clarita Valley a special place to live," her nomination concludes.
Before Hartman was announced as the Carmen Sarro Award winner, Mistress of Ceremonies Marlee Lauffer introduced each of the 21 honorees, saluted the organizations which nominated them and presented each with a nominee’s award. Each honoree received a long-stem yellow rose, the symbol of friendship for Zonta International, and certificates of award from local elected officials. The program opened with Elisha Soronio, a Canyon High School graduate, singing the National Anthem. She was then joined onstage by her brother Marco, on guitar, for an inspiring musical piece.
"We are pleased that 21 diverse organizations submitted nominees this year, representing thousands of hours of community service,” said Mary Ree, event co-chair with Zonta Past President Judy Penman. “It was evident when going through the applications that the Santa Clarita Valley is blessed with many giving women.”
Penman noted that Zonta Club of SCV has been honoring service to the community for 35 years with this year’s brunch and found it appropriate that the top award honors Carmen Sarro, who shared her time and talents with many community organizations in addition to Zonta. More than 200 honorees and guests attended the Saturday program.
The 21 outstanding women saluted at this year's ceremony, and the organization which nominated each of them, include Deborah McIntosh, AAUW (formerly American Association of University Women); Teresa Kerr, American Cancer Society; Linda Likins, Assistance League; Sabina Fetter, Blue Star Mothers; Kelsey Ridnor, SCV Boys' and Girls' Club.
Also, Judith Adams, Bridge to Home; Jean LaCorte, Child and Family Center; Holly Feneht, Circle of Hope; Olga Zapata, Family Promise; Gina Stevens, Fostering Youth Independence; Deva Metz, Henry Mayo Auxiliary; Andrea Standley, Henry Mayo Foundation; Tami Reyna, Henry Mayo Home Tour.
Also, Peggy Stabile, Parents, Families and Friends of Lesbians and Gays (PFLAG); Dee Gadbury, Samuel Dixon Health Center; Mary Jane Hartman, SCV Senior Center; Dorothy Smith, Single Mothers Outreach, Karen Schnurr, Soroptimist of Greater Santa Clarita Valley; Stephanie Sewell, Soroptimist International of Valencia; Dana Bradford, Straightening Reins; and Lisa Eichman, WISH Foundation (fund-raising auxiliary for the Wm. S. Hart High School District).
The March 16 event included a buffet brunch, prize drawings, a marketplace featuring vendors whose merchandise supports women's causes, and presentation of all 21 nominees and their nominating organizations. At the end of the program, a stunned Mary Jane Hartman accepted the 2019 Carmen Sarro Community Service Award, representing outstanding service to her organization, to the community as a whole, and to Zonta's goal of improving the lives of women and girls.