They come from different backgrounds, races and cities, but they all have one thing in common: Each has made a difference in her community.
They are California's Women of the Year, more than 100 women whose accomplishments speak volumes about their commitment to improving the quality of life in their neighborhoods and in their country. Nominated in each California Assembly and Senate district, the women were honored in Sacramento Monday as part of a 10-year-old, bipartisan tradition.
Assemblywoman Paula Boland (R-Granada Hills), who presided over the event on the Assembly floor, described her nominee, Mary Ann Conron, as "one of those people who gives to her community and asks little in return." Among her many achievements, Conron has worked closely with the Los Angeles Police Department's Devonshire Division and helped found SOLID, a booster group that assists Devonshire officers.
The other Valley-area honorees include Miriam Aaronson Goldsmith, past president of the Women's International League for Peace and Freedom; Rodene Harpster, past president and board member of the Police Activities League Supporters; Phyllis Hight Hoge, executive board member of the Spastic Children's League of Pasadena; Dorothy Lewellin, a longtime volunteer who helped open the Antelope Valley Community Arts Center; and Barbara Perkins, founding president of the Valley chapter of the National Council of Negro Women.
Also: Alice Petrossian, director of special projects and intercultural education for the Glendale Unified School District; Constance L. Rice, attorney for the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund; Harriet Sculley, president of the 31st District PTA; Anne Marie Staas, president of Americans for Democratic Action; Sally Thompson, executive director of New Directions for Youth; and Carol Toffel, treasurer of the Burbank Chamber of Commerce.