Seven Stockton women and one from Lodi have been chosen to receive the prestigious Susan B. Anthony Award when the San Joaquin County Commission on the Status of Women holds its annual dinner on Feb. 15.
Receiving honors for their community service are Lorraine Halvorson, Linda Hammons, Loreen Huey, Cynthia Milford, Donna Moses, and Alice van Ommeren. JoAnne Garrett won for education and Paula Sheil for creative arts.
The 39th Annual Susan B. Anthony Banquet to Honor Women of Achievement will be held at the Stockton Golf and Country Club, 3800 W. Country Club Blvd., Stockton, at 5:30 p.m. Previous honorees include mayors, business owners, arts activists, teachers, and journalists. Dinner reservations, at $45, may be made by check (made out to SJCCSW) to the commission, P.O. Box 443, Stockton, CA 95204. Reservation questions may be made by calling Bev Blum, 477-5970. Deadline is Feb. 8.
JoAnne Garrett of Stockton was nominated by Tau Chapter, Delta Kappa Gamma Society, for her lifetime involvement in the educational field. She was one of the first teachers of Project Head Start. She later taught in special education classes, and became administrator of special education in the Stockton Unified School District, supervising more than 350 personnel. She began the “Books for Babes” program through Tau Chapter at St. Joseph’s Hospital. Retired, she is on the First 5 Advisory Board, promoting literacy in Stockton. She is a 50-year member of the American Association of University Women, serving as president. “JoAnne is a lifelong learner, which enriches her life,” her nominating organization notes.
A 32-year member of the Assistance League of Stockton, Lorraine Halvorson was nominated by the group for her talent, time and commitment to philanthropic programs. The Stockton native was recognized for her community service. She was instrumental in starting the group’s thrift store, serving as manager for 15 years. The store is the main source of funds for the league’s philanthropic activities that “have a direct positive effect on the lives of men, women, and children who are in need,” the nominator writes. A registered nurse, she served as AL president and was on the National Assistance League Committee for Resource and Development. The local group presented her with the “Ada Edwards Laughlin Award” last year.
A Lodi resident described by her nominators as a dedicated advocate for underserved populations throughout the county, Linda Hammons is being recognized for community service and is nominated by the Women’s Center-Youth and Family Services. Once a Peace Corps volunteer in Sierra Leone, West Africa, she was involved in Lodi community activities and was noted for her bilingual education credentials. She achieved her retirement goal in completing the Women’s Center Victims Assistance Training and is now a peer counselor for sexual assault and domestic violence victims. She is a member of the Lodi Community Hall of Fame for her many community service activities.
A quarter century of involvement with the Chinese Cultural Society of Stockton, sharing the Chinese community’s importance and culture, has won Loreen Huey of Stockton nomination by the group in the community service category. She has served as board president and in myriad other offices, and was thoroughly involved in city-wide activities. She expanded the Chinese New Year Festival and made a success of the Chinese New Year Parade. The honoree was one of the leaders of the Stockton Asian Sesquicentennial Committee, which brought a professional musical production to town and arranged for a local pictorial exhibit, “Pacific Ties.” She is affiliated with a number of local organizations.
Described as a “tireless” worker on both personal and professional levels, Cynthia Milford of Stockton was a Stockton Unified School District educator for 34 years, serving low-income and poor-performing students. She has been affiliated with her nominating organization, the American Association of University Women, for 40 years. She has distributed books for AAUW’s “Reading is Fundamental” program and took a leading role in the Stockton Branch’s 62nd Home Tour, the group’s primary fundraiser, with proceeds going to scholarships, math and science camps, and other programs. The honoree has twice been chosen as Named Gift Honoree for promotion the AAUW mission.
Donna Moses of Stockton, nominated by The Links, Inc., Stockton Chapter, notes that she has been called to serve the community. Retired from a career as a licensed vocational nurse and certified assistant trainer, she is a Foster Care parent. She has been active in mentoring programs and youth book clubs, and has founded Sistahs in Conversation and Sistahs in Harmony Christian Book Club. She holds an annual luncheon for youth planning to attend college, and arranges for author book signings and appearances. She is a founding member of Striving for Excellence in Education Ministry at Progressive Community Church. She is lauded by The Links for being “a person who has demonstrated a commitment and is making a valued difference.”
Taking the award in the creative arts division is Paula Sheil of Stockton, member of the San Joaquin Delta College faculty and a poet, journalist, actor, dancer, playwright, author, editor, and performance artist. She was chosen by Delta’s Academic Senate as a distinguished faculty member for 2012-13 and Phi Delta Kappa International chose her as a distinguished college professor last year. A recipient of the STAR (Stockton’s Top Arts Recognition) Award, she chairs the Marian Jacobs Literary Forum. Most recently, she founded the Tuleburg Press, a community small press committed to publishing local writers. She has been “an artist of many talents,” says her sponsor, Karen McDougall.
A fascination with Stockton’s past has resulted in several decades of educating local residents with what has come before – events from the city’s Golden Era – for Dr. Alice van Ommeren, who published “Stockton in Vintage Postcards” and went on to serve on the city’s Cultural Heritage Board. She nominated the Fire Alarm Station as a Stockton Historical Landmark, and the Philomathean Club as a listing on the National Register of Historic Places. For several years she taught a six-week community course, “Stockton’s Golden Era,” through the University of the Pacific. Her avocation “has turned into a generous act of sharing with the community the wonder of its past,” says Mary Jo Gohlke, who nominated her in the community service category.