Each year the Zonta Club of Santa Clarita Valley hosts a Women In Service luncheon honoring outstanding women volunteers throughout the Santa Clarita Valley.  We celebrate the contributions each dynamic volunteer makes to their non profit organization that share Zonta's mission.


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.

Sheril Porter named Carmen Sarro Award winner at Women in Service Celebration May 15, 2021

Sheril Porter

This year, Sheril Porter from Single Mothers Outreach was honored with the Carmen Sarro Award for Improving the Status of Women through Community Service.

Sheril has been a gift to SMO. She has served on several committees, donating her time and expertise. Her efforts to support their mission are not only directed towards moms but also towards the operations. She has chaired their signature fundraising event Empowering HeArts for several years, helping to raise thousands of dollars for the organization. She has worked tirelessly creating connections and awareness in the community in order to build relationships and strong donor support. She also helps SMO regularly at the store Closet on Main with all their displays to generate revenue for the organization.

In addition, she is also the chair of Make a Mothers Day. Sheril plans and organizes a beautiful event to celebrate moms and inspire them to continue moving forward as they perform one of the most important job of their lives.

She organizes donations for families during the holidays. She has helped several moms to composetheir resumes, and to find the right outfit for job interviews. She has helped them to feel confident and set them up for success. She has participated as a mentor as she facilitates group classes.

Her loving heart has brought her to participate in several fundraising events for different non-profits in the valley. Whether she is part of a committee, modeling, finding sponsors or serving food, Sherils spirit of serving and desire to give back have clearly shows she cares about her community. Single Mothers Outreach deeply value all her contributions and we are grateful for her love for women, SMO and our community.

Single Mothers Outreach (SMO) directly helps single women find employment, gain education, secure housing, stabilize their children’s emotional states, manage their finances, and help one another. Most of our clients come to us in a state of emotional orfinancial crisis: they have lost their jobs; are about to be evicted; or are in shock from the unexpected separation from their spouse due to death or divorce.

Sheril has also volunteered with March of Dimes, Toys for Tots, Cerebral Palsy, Project Angel Food and Special Olympics. She is now a hospice volunteer. Sheril richly deserves the Carmen Sarro Award.

This years celebration was held via Zoom.  The day before the awards, members of the Women in Service committee delivered to each nominee a gift bag containing a certificate from Zonta as well as a small plant. Thank you to Patrice Rifkind, who called Sheril after the event, to make arrangements to deliver her award, certificates of congratulations and a bouquet of yellow roses.

Patrice Rifkind and Sheril Porter

The award recognizes and celebrates the life of Carmen Sarro, a two time president of the Zonta Club of Santa Clarita Valley, who was known for her dedication and enthusiasm for service to her community. Seventeen women volunteers nominated by local non-profits were honored at the event.

Other women honored at the event were:
Jasmine Renae Ball, Samuel Dixon Family Health Center, Inc
Mimi Baum, Henry Mayo Newhall Memorial Hospital Auxiliary
Nancy Barker, Assistance League of Santa Clarita
Debra Fishburn, Child and Family Center
Betty Neff, Santa Clarita Valley Senior Center
Marianne Cederlind, Carousel Ranch
Ginny Gregor, AAUW Santa Clarita Valley
Mary Katie Varner, Henry Mayo Newhall Memorial Hospital Home Tour League
Jennifer Puleo, Bridge to Home
Holly Feneht, Circle of Hope
Julia Estrada, Santa Clarita Valley Boys and Girls Club
Janet Cheveres, Henry Mayo Newhall Memorial Hospital Foundation
Kim Kurowsky, Soroptimist International of Greater Santa Clarita Valley
Teri Gaudioso, Fostering Youth Independence
Liz Seipel, Salvation Army, Santa Clarita Valley
Dawn Begley, WISH Education Foundation

Watch event on YouTube

What Nominees Have Said:

"I would like to thank you for creating such a beautiful and meaningful "Women in Service" Celebration"

"Under such difficult circumstances it was a perfect celebration"

"It was such an honor to be nominated and then recognized by your organization. Bravo!"

"Thank you for all you do for our community and around the world"

Event attendance costs contribute to raising funds to help us advocate and empower women and girls. Your donation will enable us to continue this important recognition of our outstanding community volunteers wo demonstrate that advocacy in their service work. Zonta has continued to do service work to help women and girls locally and worldwide during this pandemic.

Thank you to our Media Sponsors!