Lunch benefits library foundation
BY MELISSA MURPHY / MMURPHY@THEREPORTER.COM
PUBLISHED BY THE REPORTER
Posted: 03/23/2012 01:04:41 AM PDT
A day celebrating women garnered more than $6,000 for the Solano County Library Foundation.
Solano County's sixth annual Women's History Month Luncheon welcomed many government representatives, business and community leaders and those passionate about reading.
"It's really all about the women here today," said Sandy Person, president of the Solano Economic Development Corporation. "There are really just so many fabulous women in Solano County."
One of those women is Solano County Woman of the Year, Patsy Van Ouwerkerk, CEO of Travis Credit Union.
Senator Lois Wolk, D-Solano, said that when she was first running for office 10 years ago and getting familiar with Solano County, it was Van Ouwerkerk that she was told to talk to.
"She remains incredibly involved in our community," Wolk said. "She's a role model and mentor to many."
Ouwerkerk, who is also the first woman to chair Solano EDC's board of directors, said she was overwhelmed by all of the attention.
Her career in credit unions started 38 years ago, when she really didn't know what they did, but she took it to heart from the first day she started at Travis Credit to represent the company out in the community, she said.
"This acknowledgment really speaks to the fact that I have made a difference," she said. "We wanted to do well in the community. To help people live and work here."
The afternoon's honorary chair, Dr. Marilyn Hopkins, provost and COO at Touro University, said libraries are playing a critical role in the community because of the economy and the exponential growth in social need for literary services.
"I've always loved libraries," she said and attributed her love of reading and books to shaping her professional life.
Supervisor Linda Seifert said that while women have fought for years against the disparities between women and men, there is still lots of work to be done.
"Even as we continue to break the glass ceiling to have the same status as men, we still have a lot of work to do," she said.
Guest speaker, Lois Kazakoff, deputy editorial page editor for the San Francisco Chronicle, said women need to "quite whining, take a seat at the table and speak out," and to do so by start locally.
The lunch collected $6,270, the most raised at the event and will go toward library services.
Follow Staff Writer Melissa Murphy at Twitter.com/ReporterMMurphy.
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