Diane Bartley, a past president and future president-elect of the American Association of University Women, has received the Carmen Sarro Community Service Award from Zonta Club of the Santa Clarita Valley. Bartley was selected from a slate of 13 local women nominated by Santa Clarita Valley non-profit organizations for the honor at Zonta’s annual Women in Service brunch this Saturday at Robinson Ranch.
All 13 nominees were honored during the program before Sarro’s daughter, Christine Sexton, announced the final winner and presented the award to Bartley. 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.
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Bartley has revitalized the local AAUW group and refocused the organization on its mission to advance equity for women and girls, according to her nomination. In addition to serving on the AAUW Board and in elected offices, she chaired or co-chaired the annual Math/Science Conference for junior high school girls for six years. She also was in charge of donations and volunteers for the conference.
She is currently one of the developers and co-chair of AAUW’s new STEM Stars initiative (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) to promote careers in science for young girls in the local community. She also has contributed as a volunteer on AAUW’s Tech Trek Committee.
Diane also helped bring back AAUW’s scholarship program, and the group now supports two awards for young women at College of the Canyons. The Bucks for Books scholarship supports an entering COC female, and the AAUW Women in STEM Award goes to a graduating female majoring in the sciences.
Bartley also fostered and furthered the Women Making a Difference Program, AAUW’s annual speaker series, and has served as the model woman who has implemented a policy of making a difference every day, according to her nomination.
Outside of AAUW, Diane also is a member of the Assistance League of Santa Clarita and volunteers for that group’s Take Two resale shop, Operation School Bell, Teddy Bear Patrol and Footsteps. She previously was a docent at the Hart Museum and volunteered in their gift shop for several years.
Before Bartley was announced as the Carmen Sarro Award winner, Mistress of Ceremonies Carol Rock introduced each of the 13 honorees, saluted the organizations which nominated them and presented each with a nominee’s award. Each honoree received a yellow rose corsage, the symbol of friendship for Zonta International.
“We are pleased that 13 diverse organizations submitted nominees this year, representing thousands of hours of community service,” said Donna Schmidt, event co-chair. “It is evident when going through the applications that the Santa Clarita Valley is blessed with many giving women.” Schmidt organized this year’s event with co-chair Chris Miller.
Schmidt noted that Zonta Club of SCV has been honoring service to the community for 27 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 100 guests attended the Saturday morning program.
The 13 outstanding women saluted at this year’s ceremony, and their nominating organizations, are Mary Ackerman, Single Mothers Outreach; Bartley; Julie Benson, Michael Hoefflin Foundation; Nancy Coulter, American Cancer Society; Kani Ebner, Boys and Girls Club of SCV; Sandra Hardy, Greater Girl Scouts of Los Angeles.
Also, Amanda Hezel, Assistance League of Santa Clarita; Deborah Hughes, The Family Child Care Association of Santa Clarita; Kris Hough, Soroptimist International of Greater SCV; Donna Kreutz, Soroptimist International of Santa Clarita Valley; Maria Sears, Henry Mayo Newhall Memorial Hospital Auxiliary; Liz Seipel, Circle of Hope; and Susan Traurig, A Light of Hope Support Center.
Photos by Phil Fernandez