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Rep. Napolitano Honors 2013 “Unsung Heroines” Women of the Year

May 14, 2013
Press Release

Photo: Front row, left to right: Elizabeth Cortez, Michelle Ann Gearhart-Pash, Maria M. Huante, Tawni Patrick, GN, Arlene Ramirez, Elizabeth Ann Ramirez, Brenda Reuter, Norma Macias-El Monte Mayor Pro Tem & Event Emcee. Back row, left to right: Lillian Rey, Vicki Scheliga, Jeanine Scott, Silvia Solorio, Mellanie Villareal, Ester Ybarra-Bryant, Ellen Young. Not pictured: Margie Green

(El Monte, CA) On Friday, May 10, Rep. Grace F. Napolitano honored 15 women who had been nominated by volunteer organizations for exemplary service at the 2013 “Women of the Year” ceremony at the Grace T. Black Auditorium in El Monte.

“These remarkable women work tirelessly to improve our community through their volunteering,” Napolitano said. “They rarely receive the praise they deserve for the endless hours they put in behind the scenes, but we all feel the impact of their selfless efforts. This award is one way to express our deepest gratitude and say thank you to these outstanding women.”

“I was so pleased and excited to be nominated for such a great honor,” said Margie Green from San Dimas. “I can’t say enough about what it means to be honored for doing something that you love to do and be appreciated for the time you put in.”

“I believe that volunteering is the key to fixing everything that is wrong in the world,” said Mellanie Villareal of the Vet Hunters Project. “If everybody just contributes and does a little bit and gives back some of their time, we can all come together and move mountains.”

Each woman’s name was submitted by their volunteer organization or community group which felt their contributions deserved special recognition. Napolitano gave out the awards and thanked the women personally.

“I was so happy not only to receive the award, but to be presented this award by Congresswoman Grace Napolitano.” said Lilian Rey of the City of El Monte. “To give your time and help somebody who needs it is such heartwarming work, and that is why I volunteer.”

The 2013 Women of the Year:

Elizabeth Cortez, City of Baldwin Park – Julia McNeil Senior Center – Baldwin Park

Michelle Gearhart-Pash,  City of Hope – Duarte

Margie Green, San Dimas Chamber of Commerce – San Dimas

Maria Huante, San Gabriel Mountains Forever – El Monte

Tawni Patrick, Covina Lion’s Breakfast Club – Covina  

Jasmin Arlene Ramirez, Alta Med Health Services Corporation – El Monte

Elizabeth Ann Ramirez, City of Azusa – Azusa

Brenda Reuter, Irwindale Chamber of Commerce – Irwindale

Lilian Rey, City of El Monte – El Monte

Vicki Scheliga, West Covina Lion’s Club – West Covina

Jeanine Scott, Boys and Girls Club of the Foothills – Monrovia

Silvia Solorio, Foothill Family Services – El Monte

Mellanie Villarreal, The Vet Hunters Project – El Monte

Ester Ybarra-Bryant, Didi Hirsch Mental Health Services – West Covina

Ellen Young, City of Glendora – La Fetra Center – Glendora