Nancy Coulter, winner of the Carmen Sarro Women in Community Service Award, holds the legislative certificates and plaque from Zonta naming her one of the 17 nominees for the award saluted at Zonta’s Women in Service Celebration brunch recently at the Valencia Hyatt Regency Hotel. Photo by Terry Hoard
Nancy Coulter, a 25-year volunteer for American Cancer Society, and a seven-year president of the local chapter, has received the Carmen Sarro Community Service Award from Zonta Club of the Santa Clarita Valley. Coulter was selected from a slate of 17 local women nominated by Santa Clarita Valley non-profit organizations for the honor at Zonta’s annual Women in Service brunch recently at the Valencia Hyatt Regency.
All 17 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, Nancy served as the local ACS chapter’s Board of Directors/Leadership Council for two years as chair and one-and-a-half years as secretary. She also served as Volunteer Orientation Co-coordinator for six years, Daffodil Days chair/co-chair for 11 years, Los Angeles Region Legislative Ambassador for four years, a Road to Recovery driver for six years, on the Breast Cancer Committee for six years, and Leadership Retreat chair for four years. For five years she organized and facilitated the SCV Jazz ‘n Blues Fund Raiser and was Survivor Art Show co-chair for two years.
Nancy has been a health fair facilitator for 18 years, lead volunteer on the Fight Back Express Bus Advocacy Event and Annual Awards Dinner Chair 12 years. For four years she was the Chamber of Commerce Health Committee Representative and Valley Industrial Association Representative three years. She has served as Media Historian 21 years and was on the CPS3 Committee doing volunteer recruitment for testing at Relay For Life events. Nancy was on the Colorectal Cancer Committee two years and Facilitator for their Cancer Forum. She served on the Prostate Committee three years volunteering, at their health fair and has been a part of the Look Good Feel Better program helping to fit wigs for patients in the office and maintaining the wigs for 14 years.
In addition to her many ACS accomplishments, Nancy has been a health fair facilitator for 18 years, lead volunteer on the Fight Back Express Bus Advocacy Event and Annual Awards Dinner Chair 12 years. For four years she was the Chamber of Commerce Health Committee Representative and Valley Industrial Association Representative three years. She has served as Media Historian 21 years and was on the CPS3 Committee doing volunteer recruitment for testing at Relay For Life events. Nancy was on the Colorectal Cancer Committee two years and Facilitator for their Cancer Forum. She served on the Prostate Committee three years, volunteering at their health fair and has been a part of the Look Good Feel Better program helping to fit wigs for patients in the office and maintaining the wigs for 14 years.
Nancy served for four years as ACS representative on the SCV Chamber of Commerce Health and Wellness Committee. She chaired the 1st Annual Health and Wellness Fair as an ACS volunteer, which brought both her and ACS recognition from the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors, presented at the fair by County Supervisor Michael Antonovich’s office.
Nancy was honored as Santa Clarita Valley 2009 Woman of the Year for her body of non-profit volunteer work, especially with ACS who nominated her.
“This honor is indicative of Nancy’s total and complete involvement in all projects she is a part of whether in a leadership or committee member capacity,” reads her nomination form. She was named ACS Volunteer of the Year four times and has received awards for Income Development, Mission Delivery, Cancer Control, Rookie of the Year, Relay For Life, Gala and Daffodil Days Committee work. She has twice received ACS’s Special Recognition Award. She was named as the SCV ACS Volunteer of the Decade. For Nancy’s work with ACS, she has received awards as an American Red Cross SCV Home Town Hero on behalf of her work with HMNMH and, also the Longaberger Woman of Service Award. She was recognized by the SCV Elks Lodge 2379 for her Outstanding Community Service on behalf of ACS. She received a Special Recognition Award from the SCV Chamber of Commerce for her work in organizing and executing their first Health and Wellness Fair. In 2015, Nancy was named President Emeritus of the SCV ACS Unit after her fourth term serving as head of the Board of Directors/Leadership Council.
Last summer Nancy was presented with the American Cancer Society’s State of California Division Volunteer Lifetime Achievement Award for her work on behalf of ACS. She is most humble and thankful for this recognition.
Before Coulter was announced as the Carmen Sarro Award winner, Mistress of Ceremonies Marlee Lauffer introduced each of the 17 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 graduate, singing the National Anthem. She was then joined onstage by her brother Marco, on guitar, for an inspiring musical piece, “American the Beautiful.”
“We are pleased that 17 diverse organizations submitted nominees this year, representing thousands of hours of community service,” said Adele Macpherson, event co-chair with Zonta President Judy Penman. “It was evident when going through the applications that the Santa Clarita Valley is blessed with many giving women.”
Macpherson 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. More than 200 honorees and guests attended the Saturday program.
The 17 outstanding women saluted at this year’s ceremony, and the organization which nominated each of them, include Gayle Abril Nolet, Assistance League of SCV; Susan Beesley, Henry Mayo Newhall Hospital Foundation; Nancy Butler, Thank A Vet Golf; Tess Carlos-Miku, SCV Senior Center; and Robin Clough, American Association of University Women.
Also, Nancy Coulter, American Cancer Society, Inc.; Shauna Criner, SCV JC International; Suzanne Duncombe, Domestic Violence Center of SCV; Lisa Eichman, WiSH Education Foundation; Holly Hanlin, Henry Mayo Newhall Hospital Auxiliary; Carolina Orozco Hernandez, Samuel Dixon Family Health Center, Inc.; and Laura Kirchhoff, Circle of Hope.
Also, Kim Kurowski, Soroptimist International SCV; Lorraine Murphy, SCV Rotary Club; Lluvia Partida, Boys & Girls Club of SCV; Sheryl Schultz, Straightening Reins Foundation; and Penny Upton, SCV Safe Rides.
The March 24 event included a buffet brunch, prize drawings, a marketplace featuring vendors whose merchandise supports women’s causes, and presentation of all 17 nominees and their nominating organizations. At the end of the program, a tearful Nancy Coulter accepted the 2018 Carmen Sarro Community Service Award winner, representing outstanding service to her organization, to the community as a whole, and to Zonta’s goal of improving the lives of women and girls.
Photos by Pat Willett
Nominees for Zonta Club’s Women in Service Celebration pose for a group photo before the brunch at the Valencia Hyatt on Saturday. Shown are (back row, l-r) Kim Kurowski, Carolina Orozco Hernandez, Shauna Criner, Suzanne Buncombe, Lisa Eichman and Lluvia Partida and (front row l-r) Susan Beesley, Holly Hanlin, Gayle Abril Nolet, Nancy Coulter, Tess Carlos-Miku, Robin Clough, Lorraine Murphy and Laura Kirchhoff. Not shown are Nancy Butler, Sheryl Shultz and Penny Upton.
Second generation Zontian Christine Sexton (l) presents the Carmen Sarro Community Service Award to Nancy Coulter at this year’s Zonta Club Woman in Service brunch. Sexton, Sarro’s daughter, makes the presentation each year. In addition to a trophy and certificates of achievement from local legislators. Coulter received a dozen yellow roses, Zonta International’s symbol of friendship.
Guests at Zonta’s Women in Service Celebration browse the hand-made creations available at the vendor aisle just outside the ballroom.