Legacy Luncheon Celebrates ‘Heart & Excellence’

This year’s Legacy Luncheon celebrated (from left) Jory Potts, Tony Beck Espinoza, Joylene Wagner, Lena Bozoyan and Mary Margaret Smith.
This year’s Legacy Luncheon celebrated (from left) Jory Potts, Tony Beck Espinoza, Joylene Wagner, Lena Bozoyan and Mary Margaret Smith.

The YWCA of Glendale held its 16th Annual Legacy Luncheon and Heart & Excellence Awards on April 25. The luncheon was held at the Oakmont Country Club in Glendale.

“We’ve come a long way, Glendale; we survived; we’re alive and we continue to thrive” was the message of the afternoon that was emceed by Emmy Award-winning television news anchor, reporter, writer and producer Cater Lee.

The awards recognized the community work performed by the honorees.

This year’s Heart & Excellence honorees included Toni Beck Espinoza who was celebrated for volunteerism in the greater Glendale community. Service clubs that she is a part of include the Kiwanis of Glendale, the Community Foundation of the Verdugos, the Glendale Educational Foundation and the Arturo Sandoval Institute.

Recipient Lena Bozoyan was recognized for her activism in women’s issues. She is a member of the Glendale Commission on the Status of Women and the Armenian Relief Society. Her advocacy has included financial literacy classes; forums on domestic violence, substance abuse, divorce and immigration.

Awardee Jory Potts began reaching out to others as a child when she accompanied her father, a chef in San Francisco, to nearby homeless shelters to cook food. That compassion carried her forward and she has been an active supporter of the Salvation Army in Glendale for the past several years, chaired the Nancy Painter House and Chester Village apartments that provide transitional housing for women with children who have had drug and alcohol addiction problems.

Honoree Mary Margaret Smith is known for her volunteerism, serving in a variety of capacities for the AAUW, the Assistance League, and PEO, an organization that is dedicated to extending opportunities to women in education and society. After retiring from teaching, she began giving her time to the Glendale Symphony Orchestra taking on various roles within the Women’s committee.

During her tenure as member of the Glendale Unified School District board of education, Joylene Wagner’s commitment to local youth was evident. She is credited with playing an instrumental part in keeping music and arts programs as part of the curriculum at GUSD schools. Recognitions have included Woman of the Year by Congressman Adam Schiff, PTA Honorary Life Membership and Community Spirit Award from the Glendale Stake-Church of Latter-day Saints.

Local youth were also honored. As a senior at Campbell Hall, Rebecca Weitzel received the Jane O’Connor Volunteer Service Award. She has donated more than 250 volunteer hours a year donating her time to the YWCA’s Camp ‘Y.’ Most of her volunteer work has been with children. The NCL honored her with the Senior Achievement Award for giving over 1,300 hours in service since seventh grade.

Fellow Jane O’Connor Volunteer Service Award recipient Amber Zadravecz is a senior at Crescenta Valley High School and has given over 440 hours of community service over the last three years. She designed and implemented Project Smile during her time with the Girl Scouts, the goal to bring “joy and vitality” to the residents living in Twelve Oaks Lodge and Elms Convalescent.

For more information on the YWCA in Glendale, visit www.glendaleywca.org.

Submitted by Robin GOLDSWORTHY