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SCVNews.com | Janine Jones Receives Zonta’s Community Service Award | 04-11-2017
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Jones (r) with Councilwoman Laurene Weste.

Janine Jones, a member of the American Cancer Society’s SCV Leadership Council, has received the Carmen Sarro Community Service Award from Zonta Club of the Santa Clarita Valley.

Jones was selected from a slate of 21 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 21 nominees were honored during the program before Sarro’s daughter, second generation Zontian Christine Sexton, announced the final winner. 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.

In addition to serving as a volunteer in the local American Cancer Society office, Janine currently serves on the organization’s “Look Good, Feel Better” campaign, which helps women facing cancer cope with the appearance-related side effects of treatment. Janine helps patients learn about skin care, nail care and hair loss.

Jones began volunteering for the American Cancer Society in the organization’s 1999 Relay for Life cancer fundraiser. Her mother, Sheila Veloz, who was diagnosed with breast cancer, got her daughter started with the organization, and she hasn’t let up since. She served as a Relay for Life Luminaria Committee chair for four years, a Relay Volunteer Committee chair for two years, and a Bark for Life Committee member for two years. She served as a Look Good, Feel Better facilitator for four years and has taken leadership in a number of ACS programs since then. She received the ACS Rookie of the Year Award for 2009-2010 and the ACS Special Recognition Award in 2011.

In addition, Janine has worked with many local endeavors such as working as a spotter at the Boys and Girls Club Auction since 1980 and represented the American Diabetes Association as a dancer in the 2015 Dancing with Our Stars program. She and her husband have hosted wine tasting events to help increase awareness, and raised funds totaling $10,000. She has served for 15 years as a team participant and event volunteer for the American Heart Association’s Heart Walk. She and her daughters became advocates for the American Diabetes Association and traveled to Washington, D.C., to seek support for more funding for diabetic research and equal rights for diabetics in school and the work force.

As a member of Soroptomist International of Greater SCV, she assisted the Fashion Show chair on make-up, model costumes and decor. She was the Hair and Make-up Committee chair for the show in 2016 and modeled in the show for three years. She serves on the committee for Soroptomist’s Go Girls program and is a regular participant.

She has worked with the College of the Canyons foundation since 2006 in a number of positions with the college’s Cancer Awareness Resource Expo. She was an active member of the Betty Ferguson Foundation for three years, serving on the Board of Directors and a Fund-raising Committee member. She was that organization’s nominee for SCV Woman of the Year in 2010. She served on the HMNMH Women’s Philanthropy Advisory Council in 2010 and was active with the HMNM Hospital Foundation in 1993-94. She also has been active with L.A.R.C. Ranch, Boys and Girls Club of SCV, the SCV Senior Center, SCV Chamber of Commerce, the SCV homeless shelter, Santa Clarita Ballet Academy, Painted Turtle Camp, and a number of school and church volunteer organizations.

“Janine exemplifies what volunteer service is all about,” says her nomination. “She has long been a leader, contributing to the betterment of women and girls in the SV Community.”

Nominees for Zonta’s Women in Service Celebration gather at the beginning of Zonta’s annual brunch at Robinson Ranch. Shown are (front row, l-r) Olive Bruins, Emily Black, Lorraine Murphy, Tamara Gurney and Patti Ryan (second row, l-r) Barbara Karpp, Brigitte Travillion, Candace Wells, Teresa Smalley and Deborah Rocha (third row, l-r) Linda Palacios, Teresa Todd, Jamee Brandt, Janice Murray and Mary Ackerman (top row, l-r) Kim Kurowski, Sue Nevius, Janine Jones, Ginger LeVang and Tracy Klehn. Not shown is Janet Hedke. All 21 nominees and the non-profits which nominated them were featured in the program, with the final winner receiving the Carmen Sarro Women in Service Award. Photo courtesy of Terry Hoard, CROWN PHOTOS.

Before Jones was announced as the Carmen Sarro Award winner, Mistress of Ceremonies Marlee Lauffer introduced each of the 21 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, and certificates of award from local elected officials. The program opened with Elisha Soronio, a Canyon High School student, singing the National Anthem. She was then joined onstage by her brother Marco, on guitar, for an inspiring musical piece dedicated to leadership and seizing that “One Moment in Time.”

“We are pleased that 21 diverse organizations submitted nominees this year, representing thousands of hours of community service,” said Debra Blakeley, event co-chair with Zontian Ronnie Erickson. “It was evident when going through the applications that the Santa Clarita Valley is blessed with many giving women.”

Blakeley noted that Zonta Club of SCV has been honoring service to the community for more than 30 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. Close to 200 guests attended the Saturday program.

The 21 outstanding women saluted at this year’s ceremony, and the organization which nominated each of them, include Barbara Karpp, Girl Scouts of Greater Los Angeles; Brigitte Travillion, SCV Senior Center; Candace Wells, Domestic Violence Center; Deborah Rocha, SRD-Straightening Reins; Emily Black, Boys & Girls Club of SCV;

Also, Ginger LeVang, Child & Family Center; Jamee Brandt, WISH Education Foundation; Janet Hedke, Special Olympics; Janice Murray, Circle of Hope; Janine Jones, American Cancer Society; Kim Kurowski, Soroptimist International of Greater SCV; Linda Palacios, Henry Mayo Newhall Hospital; Lorraine Murphy, SCV Rotary Club; Olive Bruins, American Association of University Women;

Also Patti Ryan, Samuel Dixon Family Health Centers; Sue Nevius, HMNM Hospital Foundation; Tamara Gurney, College of the Canyons Foundation; Teresa Smalley, Heat It Up and Keep It Cool Robotics; Teresa Todd, Carousel Ranch; Tracy Klehn Assistance League of SCV; and Mary Ackerman, Help the Children.

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