As a second generation Italian-American, whose parents stressed the value of a good education and the importance of giving back to others, Diana Cusumano has done much to make her family, and community, proud.
Dedicating the early part of her career to education and volunteering much of her time later on to organizations that work to advocate for it, Cusumano has shown time and again that education and volunteerism are the cornerstones of her life philosophy.
As a result, the College of the Canyons Foundation Board of Directors has named Diana Cusumano recipient of the college’s Silver Spur Community Service Award for 2011.
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“Diana is not only a tireless, dedicated volunteer, but also she is a leader who inspires others to give of themselves,” said College of the Canyons Chancellor Dr. Dianne Van Hook. “Her legacy of selfless service to the Santa Clarita Valley is amazing, and we so appreciate the opportunity we have to recognize and thank her for all that she has done to touch so many lives for so many years.”
Over the years Cusumano has served as a College of the Canyons Foundation board member, playing a key role in organizing the annual Silver Spur award gala, while also volunteering her time to the college’s Library Associates and Education Scholarship committees.
However, Cusumano’s distinguished record of community service to this valley began in 1981 when she moved from Davis, CA to Santa Clarita, with her husband Gary and three children.
A former high school English teacher and longtime substitute teacher in the Newhall and William S. Hart Union High School districts, Cusumano was always an active volunteer in her children’s classrooms and for school reading programs. She served as President of the Wiley Canyon Elementary School Site Council and spearheaded the establishment of the Newhall Elementary Education Foundation.
When her children moved on to high school, Cusumano became a member of the Hart High School Parent Association Board and the Hart Auditorium Angels, which raised money to repair, restore and improve the historic Hart Auditorium.
Cusumano has also volunteered for the Henry Mayo Newhall Memorial Hospital (HMNMH) in a variety of capacities. She was a 10-year member and past president of the HMNMH Guild, a 16-year member of the HMNMH Home Tour league, and served on the board of the Sheila R. Veloz Breast Imagining Center for four years.
She is a director and current Chairman of the Foundation board of the SCV Child & Family Center, a founding member of the SCV Heart Association board and a former Betty Ferguson Foundation board member.
In addition, Cusumano is the president of Interior Dimensions, Inc. a decorative arts company based in Santa Clarita.
“Diana has integrity, and is a person of her word,” Dr. Van Hook said. “She never compromises her standards of care, compassion, commitment and quality.”
The annual College of the Canyons Silver Spur Celebration is traditionally held at a historic museum, club or well-known Los Angeles landmark each spring — and is considered to be one of the community’s most popular and elegant evening events.
The 2011 Silver Spur Celebration will take place Saturday, March 5, 2011, at the historic and exclusive California Club, located at 538 South Flower St., in Los Angeles.
The event begins at 6 p.m. and the dress code is “black tie optional.” The evening includes a dinner, live auction and a tribute video to the honoree.
Previous recipients of the Silver Spur award include: Myrna and Gary Condie, Harold and Jacquie Petersen, Wayne Crawford, Rita Garasi, Tom Veloz, Charlotte and Frank Kleeman, Gary Cusumano, Jay and Joyce Rodgers, Tom Lee, Lou Garasi, Michael Berger, Roberta Veloz, Dick Luechtefeld, Robert Ormsby, LaVerne Harris, John Hoskinson, Tom Dierckman, Scott and Ruth Newhall, Elisha “Aggie” Agajanian and Cliffe Stone.
For more information about the 2011 Silver Spur Award Ceremony, or to purchase tickets or become an event sponsor please call (661) 362-3434.