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National Women's History Month

Media Contact:  
Mike Stallings, Director, Parks and Recreation Department
(650) 991-8006
Leslie Peay Heckman, Cultural Arts Coordinator (650) 991-8190
Women Assemble in Daly City
For National Women’s History Month
Helen Chow, Denise Kelly and M. Pauline Brown
Awarded at 1st ‘Women of the Year’ Event

Daly City – A crowd of over 130 women and supporters gathered to celebrate National Women’s History Month – a Daly City first – at Westlake’s Pacelli Event Center on March 3rd. Selected as the most outstanding “Women of the Year” were Helen Chow, a 4.205 GPA senior at Terra Nova High School; Denise Kelly, community advocate and executive director of the Daly City Emergency Food Pantry; and the late M. Pauline Brown, a Jefferson School District teacher of nearly 30 years.

Daly City Mayor Carol L. Klatt and Award Nomination Committee Chair Pat Bohm announced this year’s three awardees and nine nominees in the three categories (youth, adult and seniors). In addition to the three recipients, the 2005 nominees included Marta Bookbinder, Councilmember Maggie Gomez, Sue Horst, Mayor Klatt, Georgette Sarles, Ana Servello-Chavez, Supervisor Adrienne Tissier, Angela Waters and the late Sarah Mable Peay (see Nominee Profiles attached). All twelve nominees also received certificates of recognition from Sen. Jackie Speier and Assemblymember Leland Yee. Parks and Recreation Commissioners Leah Berlanga and Denise Kelly assisted in the presentations.

In her opening remarks, Mayor Klatt, who had just returned from a trip to the United Emirates, commented about the significance of the National Women’s History Month on the global stage. “Women around the world – not only in the United States – are celebrating this event. The first National Women’s History Week (in 1978) was in fact celebrated to coincide with International Women’s Day,” she stated.

Daly City Historian Bunny Gillespie cited an impressive list of notable women in Daly City’s history. It included Sarah Thornton (1850s), Etta Tilton (1877), Minerva Hartman (1906), Mrs. Frank Woodhouse (1916), Winifred Lasswell (1921), Luella Pepper (1926), Clarice Olson (1927), Margaret Steele (1930s), Mrs. Al Stockton (1930s), Juanita Young (1941), Marion Doyle (1963), Diane Wagner (1973), and Jane Powell (1980), among other many contemporary “women of vision and courage.”

San Mateo County Supervisor Adrienne Tissier, formerly a member of the City Council in Daly City, stated the need for more women to run for public office. “We, the other half of the population, must increase our participation so we, as a people, can benefit from the expanded ideas, the new discussions, the additional people who are willing to roll up their sleeves and do the people’s work,” she emphasized.

The two-hour event featured a hearty buffet lunch, a lively variety program that included an improvisation performance, free five-minute massages, informational booths and a generous number of raffle prizes and treats. About 30 attendees were raffle winners, which added to the spirited atmosphere. (see Photo Gallery)

Exhibitors at the event were AVON Walk for Breast Cancer, Coopers Jewelry, Costco, CURVES, Daly City Public Library, First National Bank of Northern California, Crisanta Malig Fashions, John Robert Powers Agency, State Farm Insurance, Sen. Jackie Speier’s Office, Women’s Recovery Association and World Leadership Group.

Event co-sponsors included Curves – Westlake, Class Sign Solutions, Joe’s of Westlake, Julie Strepini of Mary Kay Cosmetics, Starbucks Coffee – Westlake, Jeri Schneider and Team, Doelger Volunteers, First National Bank of Northern California, Fresh Choice of Daly City-Colma, Marie Callender’s – Serramonte, Outback Steakhouse – Daly City, Silicon Valley College Massage School, BATS Improv and Elinor Charleston.

Raffle prizes were donated by BFI, Best Buy – Colma, Beverly’s Arts and Crafts, Century 20 Theatres – Daly City, Costco – South San Francisco, Georgette’s of Westlake, Filoli Gardens, Guittard Chocolates, Jamba Juice – Daly City, Lucky Chances, Mary Kay Cosmetics, Prime Time Athletic Club, State Farm Insurance, See’s Candies, Seton Medical Center, Trader Joe’s – Westlake, Jazzercise (Vicky Corcuchia) and Walgreen’s – Westlake.

The Award Nomination Committee was comprised of Pat Bohm (chair), Michele Signio, Anna Mostella, Marian Mann, Denise Kelly and Leah Berlanga. The Award Judges were Rosemary Bell, Skyline College professor; Jane Stahl, Stanford University administrator; and Michele Signio, San Francisco City College student.

“The turnout was amazing for a first-time effort. It was a delight to plan it, and I look forward to next year’s gathering,” summarized Event Coordinator Leslie Peay-Heckman of the Daly City Parks and Recreation department.


Category I: Youth (16 – 18 years old)

Helen is currently a senior at Terra Nova High School. Academically, Helen is among the top students in her class with a GPA of 4.205.

She has devoted over 500 hours of her time to working as a teacher’s assistant at Panorama School; a volunteer for the Daly City Parks and Recreation Department, and a server at the Daly City Emergency Food Pantry.

Category II: Adult (19 – 64 years old)

Denise is Executive Director of the Daly City Emergency Food Pantry, a role in which she takes every opportunity to assist and refer women to available resources in the community such as free health care and educational opportunities.

Denise was an active member of the Roundtable for Women in Foodservice (RWF). RWF is a national organization of foodservice professionals devoted to providing educational, mentoring and networking opportunities to enhance the development and visibility for women. The RWF provides scholarships to women planning careers in the food service industry.

Category III: Seniors (66 years old and over)

M. Pauline was a teacher for nearly 30 years with the Jefferson School District. An elementary school is named in her honor. M. Pauline was a woman before her time. She started the Colma Girls Club in 1914; she was actively involved with the Girls Scout; was the first woman commissioner of the County Board of Social Welfare, which became known as Children’s Health.

M. Pauline understood the concerns of the women in the area, a majority of whom were immigrants with children. She took it upon herself to help them become more knowledgeable to cope with everyday issues. She taught them English, helped them with their children in school and other aspects of their daily life.

Category II: Adult (19 – 64 years old)

Nominee: Marta Bookbinder

Marta has made many contributions that are specific to developing leadership within young women. After a study reflected that boys were called to answer questions more often than girls, she became involved in creating awareness of the inequities in the classroom and advocated for girls to have equal attention in the schools.

Marta was the first immigrant Latina elected in San Mateo County. She was a founding member of Center for Abuse and Assault Prevention, charged with translation and implementation of the curriculum to protect girls from sexual and physical assault.

Nominee: Maggie Gomez

Maggie is the Manager of Patient Relations at Seton Medical Center. She was the only woman serving on Daly City’s Planning Commission in 1997. She was elected to the Jefferson Union High School District School Board in 1998, and in November 2002, she was elected to the City Council of Daly City.

Maggie has mentored five young women, and has encouraged these young women to consider careers in the medical field. As a result, these five young women are now either successful nurses or students in a nursing program. This is significant as California is in its most severe shortage of nurses.

Nominee: Sue Horst

Sue is Senior Services Supervisor for Daly City Parks and Recreation.

Sue always exudes a highly respected, highly motivated professionalism with great work ethics – tack and finesse. Sue’s vision and action of integrated multi-age, multi-cultural community in Daly City is drawn from her own skills, abilities and talents. She has led Daly City ACCESS to a high visibility profile and as a result has garnered several awards foremost of which is the Washington DC 2003 Service to Seniors Award by the National Committee to Preserve Social Security and Medicare. Daly City ACCESS is a national model that can be replicated. Her grant writing capability has been rewarded with close to $900,000.

Nominee: Carol L. Klatt

Carol, currently the Mayor of Daly City, has been a resident of Daly City for over 38 years. She has been a City Councilmember since September 1993. As such, Carol has served on numerous committees, citywide and countywide. She has also represented Daly City on several advisory boards in the Bay Area and statewide. Some would also venture to say that she has proudly carried the Daly City flag even in the international arena.

Yet, of all the titles and offices she must have held over the years, with the exception of being a wife, mother and grandmother, one title she wears extremely well and always with great pride is being a volunteer. “Daly City is a community of volunteers. When things need fixing, neighbors often get together to find a solution,” she said in 2001. “This strong volunteer spirit and civic involvement guide many of our residents. It is the path I followed prior to becoming a Councilmember.”

Nominee: Georgette Sarles

Georgette is a Daly City business owner, Chief Financial Officer with Daly City/Colma Chamber of Commerce, and President of the Westlake Merchants Association

Georgette has promoted women’s causes for all ages, from young children through seniors. She has been successful in making such a tremendous difference that has affected so many women in our community. She has helped with fund raising for the Florence Crittendon Foundation for Women and The Shelter Network.

Georgette is active in other organizations such as Make-a-Wish Foundation, City of Hope and Our Lady of Mercy – Daughters of Charity.

Nominee: Ana Servellon-Chavez

Ana works for the Daly City Department of Public Works, as Secretary III/Administrative Support Supervisor. Her expertise and knowledge of the department is invaluable. The women in the department look up to Ana for guidance and support. She encourages her staff to attend seminars and training courses to improve their skills and advance in their careers.

Ana currently is an active member of the Secretary III Labor Union. Her participation assists the union in ensuring equality among all Secretary III’s, as well as consistency among all labor unions with the City. One of her many accomplishments within the department is leading the Department’s Charity Campaign which raised close to $32,000 for the United Way and Community Health Charities.

Nominee: Adrienne J. Tissier

Adrienne is a long time resident of Daly City and Chief Executive Officer of Bay Relations, a Daly City public relations firm. She was first elected to the City Council in November 1996. She served as Mayor in 1999 where she led the first ever Trade Mission to the Philippines sponsored by the Daly City/Colma Chamber. Adrienne was again elected to serve on the Council in 2000 and was Mayor in 2002. In November 2004, she was elected to the San Mateo County Board of Supervisors

In 1998, the State Legislature recognized Adrienne as “Woman of the Year” in the 19th Assembly District.

In addition, Adrienne was a founding Director of Shelter Network of San Mateo County and served on other organizations such as the Community Gate Path (formerly Poplar-Recare), and the Seton Medical Center Community Advisory Board.

Nominee: M. Angela Waters

Angela serves as a Recreation Coordinator in the Youth and Teen Services Unit of the Daly City Parks and Recreation Department. She lives her commitment to serving youth daily, even outside the normal work hours. She underscores the importance of furthering their education, encourages them to be respectful citizens, and coaches them in self-love and integrity.

She is active in the ACCESS program, which is geared to bringing generations of people together in innovative ways. She is very active in the intergenerational component of this program, which joins seniors and youth in special activities.

Category III: Seniors (66 years old and over)

Nominee: Sarah Mable Peay (Posthumous)

Sarah was a woman of many talents (who shared much with the community she lived in), a woman of action and courage, and a mother of 10 children.

Sarah was an accomplished pianist and organist, volunteering her selfless talent for over 40 years. She led the Children’s Choir at Westlake Community Baptist Church until 2003. A former site manager of Lincoln Park (now Lincoln Community Center) since 1989, she retired in 1992 and became a Commissioner of the Daly City Parks and Recreation Department in 1993. She was voted chair in 1996 and awarded the Commissioner of the Year award in 1997.

Sarah was a strong advocate for matters relating to health, welfare and justice for senior citizens, and was an active member of the San Mateo County Commission on Aging.