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Rep. Napolitano Honors 2010 Women of the Year

May 18, 2010
Press Release

(Washington D.C.)- On May 15, Rep. Grace F. Napolitano honored women who had been nominated by volunteer organizations for exemplary service at the 2010 Women of the Year “Unsung Heroines” Award Ceremony, held at the City of Montebello Senior Center in Montebello.

“It is essential we pay tribute to these women who volunteer their time to improve their communities, and who are never publicly thanked,” Napolitano said. “These women manage to balance obligations to their families, home responsibilities and careers with community service that improves the lives of those around them. The heart-felt dedication and hard work these women put into their volunteering is not only commendable, it is essential for the spirit and well-being of our community. Tonight, we say thank you to these women -- their example is an inspiration to all of us whose lives are bettered by their efforts.”

In total, 23 women received the award. Each had their name submitted by their volunteer organization or community group which felt their contributions deserved special recognition. Napolitano gave out the awards and thanked each woman personally.

“Today is wonderful,” said Rosa Perez, who volunteers in the Norwalk – La Mirada Unified School District. “I can do this for many more years, I love it, I love the smiles of the kids. Anything I can do for my community, and this is what I know how to do, to be a volunteer.”

“I volunteer in the temple, and we say be compassionate – that’s why I keep going to do it,” said Ruey-Ming Tang Sparks, who volunteers at the Buddha’s Light Hsi Lai School in Hacienda Heights.

“If I help somebody, I help the community, I’ve helped them, and I’ve helped myself,” said Lupe C. Lopez of the Shade Lane Seniors Club in Pico Rivera.

The keynote speaker for the ceremony was Nancy Agosto, National Census Director for the Mexican-American Legal Defense and Educational Fund, and a television news anchor. The evening included a flag ceremony by the Garfield High School Junior ROTC, the national anthem sung by Montserrate Gastelum La Flor de Cachanilla, and violin-playing by Matthew Angel.

“I’m very humbled and excited to receive this award, especially amongst so many other women that also do great things in their city,” said Kristie Hernandez, who volunteers for the East L.A. Residents Association. “It’s great that the Congresswoman does not only recognize one woman but several women because there are many of us who do so much.”

2010 Women of the Year:
Lela Acosta, Los Angeles Centers for Alcohol & Drug Abuse – Santa Fe Springs
Christine Ader, City of Pomona Police Department – Pomona
Mary Beas, Montebello Friends of the Library – Montebello
Nancy Cowardin, Fo Guang Shan Hsi Lai Temple – Hacienda Heights
Lori Crial-Peterson, Soroptimist International of Santa Fe Springs – Santa Fe Springs
Olga Enterios, Southern Youth Correctional Reception Center and Clinic – Norwalk
Ethna Garcia, Pio Pico Woman’s Club – Pico Rivera
Maria Garcia, Pomona Unified School District – Pomona
Marichuy Gomez, Garfield High School JROTC – East Los Angeles
Beatrice Gonzalez, Silver Years Club – Montebello
Dora Granizo, Happy Years Senior Club – Montebello
Kristie Hernandez, East L.A. Residents Association – East Los Angeles
Thelma Jimenez, Washington Park Community Center – Pomona
Lupe C. Lopez, Shade Lane Seniors Club – Pico Rivera
Jennifer Ludwick, Norwalk Elks #2142 – Norwalk
Ann Martayan, Holy Cross Armenian Apostolic Cathedral – Montebello
Nora Morales, Pico Rivera History and Heritage Society – Pico Rivera
Antonieta Paez, Norwalk Lions Club – Norwalk
Rosa Perez, Norwalk-La Mirada Unified School District – Norwalk
Adriana Pinedo, City of Pomona – Pomona
Ruey-Ming Tang Sparks, Buddha’s Light Hsi Lai School – Hacienda Heights
Darlene Villar, Basset Park – Bassett
Rebeca Zazueta, Eastmont Community Center – East Los Angeles