An award ceremony was held on October 24 to honor 22 women from within the 8th Congressional District for their outstanding contributions to local communities.
These women were selected for their work to help the less fortunate in their own backyards. Their selfless service and leadership has helped of homeless, low income and other at-risk residents through their work. Below is just a glimpse of each honoree’s contributions:
The recipients are: Irma Aguilar for promoting cultural events and community involvement; Melanie Ajanwachuki for her tireless work to improve health, safety and educational opportunities; Susanna Barnett for her volunteer work in the Morongo Basin; Barbara Betterly for her efforts to preserve Apple Valley’s historic and equestrian heritage; Cathey Blau for helping people with mental and emotional problems in the Morongo area;
Elaine Bowden helping veterans; Cindy Daniel for her work with children and fitness; Kendra Graham for encouraging and empowering young women/teens; Zayra Hall who provides resources and services through Granite Hills High School; Elizabeth Kirkland, a therapeutic behavioral specialist who advocates for the homeless in Morongo Basin; Lisa Lawrence for her active community volunteerism and work with child advocacy/foster care; Donna Munoz, who has a non-profit ambulance company and operates a volunteer hospice program; Marilea Reese who provides emergency food to low-income families, the homeless and emancipated foster youth; Georgia Shirey, for her work to help veterans; Marcella Taylor, a retired educator who donates her time to preserving the history of the High Desert; Lana Tomlin, who helps children develop discipline, a positive self-image and respect; Patricia Trask, who has raised over $100,000 for the American Heart Assoc.; Veronica Reyes-Trujillo for her volunteer work assisting the homeless; Sue Tsuda, who helps raise funds for families in need and provide scholarships to high school students; Laura Villa, helps establish dual immersion programs in schools for literacy in two languages; Debra Williams, who provides education and training in disaster preparedness and economic resilience; and Brooklyn Kendrickson, awarded the special “2014 Young Woman of Distinction,” for her achievements.
Cook said he is grateful for the sacrifices of the honorees and thanked them for their service.