On Wednesday, September 24, 2014, Congressmen John Garamendi recognized 14 outstanding women in his district during the 3rd Congressional District Women of the Year Ceremony in Yuba City.
“We want to honor and celebrate the vital contributions from the outstanding women in my district,” said Congressmen John Garamendi, “Through their work and volunteerism these women have all vastly improved the quality of life in their communities.”
Those women recognized represent advocates for education, agriculture, flood protection, environmental stewardship, the arts, promoting healthy communities, organizing events for world peace and raising community awareness to end bullying.
“The success of our districts and the livelihood of our future of our communities, relies heavily on the devotion and services of those who go above the call of duty,” said Garamendi, “The helpers willing to devote their time and energy to improving the lives of those around them they deserve to be recognized.”
Of those 14 women, three are from Colusa County; they include Williams City Mayor and preservationist, Pat Ash; Veteran advocate and peace activist, Gloria Estrada of Williams; and School and community volunteer, Mary Grimmer of Arbuckle.
Pat Ash is the current mayor of Williams and has served on the Williams City Council for eight years. She is also the founding and most active member of the Citizens for a Better Williams.
“Through her membership on the City Council and in CBW, Pat has played a crucial role in beautifying the town,” said Garamendi, “Through her creativity and tenacity, Pat has been instrumental to her community. In further appreciation to her city and her efforts to the preservation of the cities history, Pat has written a book illustrating the influence of Western Europeans settling in Williams.”
Pat Ash was nominated by Sarvan and Sharon Singh of Williams.
“It is a great honor to receive the recognition,” said Ash, “I am passionate about restoring and improving my community and to be given this award is the frosting on the cake.”
“I am honored to be standing shoulder-to-shoulder with other very deserving women in the district,” Ash added, “I thank the Singh’s for their nomination.”
Williams resident, Gloria Estrada, works tirelessly for the interests of Colusa County families, donating much of her time to organizations that benefit the community’s veterans and the families of fallen soldiers.
Gloria’s son PFC Rueben “Boy” Lopez was killed in action by a roadside bomb in Afghanistan, since then she has dedicated herself to helping families in need and advocating peace. She has constructed several Peace Poles in each community in Colusa County and recently organized a ceremony on the grounds of the state capitol.
“Gloria is a tireless community volunteer and an exceptionally loving and giving woman,” said Garamendi, “Whenever someone is in need, Gloria is quick to search on their behalf.”
“Those who know Gloria, well agree that each of us is a better person because she is in our life,” Garamendi added.
Gloria was nominated by Barbara Pennebaker and Dolores Gomez.
Arbuckle resident, Mary Grimmer, is an amazing woman, who is full of energy and passion, and is extremely giving of her time and resources.
For the last five years, Mary has volunteered at least 12 hours per week in the school library, helping students locate books, cataloging new books and reminding students to return overdue books, and each year she donates a generous number of titles to the library collection.
Each year Mary helps with school pictures and takes the lead on ordering all of the school t-shirts and sweatshirt orders. She also serves the community photographer with her camera around her neck at the many community events, taking thousands of pictures that she shares with the community.
Mary is an active 4H leader, a member of the Arbuckle Little league and a part-time employee and volunteer of the Arbuckle Parks and Recreation District.
“Mary gives more time than she ever could be compensated for,” said Garamendi, “programs for children just don’t happen. It takes the dedication of those who care about kids to devote their time, and energy.”
“Mary is the beacon calling others to volunteer their time to change the lives of children,” Gara-mendi added.
Mary Grimmer was nominated by Kay Spurgeon and Carol Geyer.
“These women are exemplary examples of sacrifice and devotion, and have helped and im-prove their communities in various ways,” said Garamendi.
Those also recognized during the event were, Marci Coglianese of Rio Vista, Deborah Eernisse of Davis, Lee Ann Grigsby-Puente of Hamilton City, Samina Masood of Fairfield, Dr. Frances Nelson of Fairfield, and Gloria Partida of Davis, Linda Plummer of Marysville, Lonetta Riley of Yuba City, Denise Rushing of Upper Lake, Michelle Scully of Lake County and Nicole Montana Van Vleck of Sutter.
“I am proud and extremely thankful to have these women working and serving in the communi-ties that I represent. The devotion and care shown by them and by those like them, are what make my district and America succeed,” said Garamendi. ■