Stauffer named 'Woman of the Year'

DOWNEY - Longtime Downey resident Dr. Mary Stauffer has been named Woman of the Year for the 50th Assembly District by Assemblyman Hector De La Torre.The ceremony is held annually in Sacramento to recognize women that have made significant contributions to their communities. "Dr. Mary Stauffer is an outstanding example of dedication to higher education. For decades, she has given her time to provide scholarships to local high school students in Downey and its surrounding communities," De La Torre said. "Dr. Stauffer is a lifelong resident of the city of Downey and has demonstrated that age is not an obstacle. She is 92 years young and continues to contribute to the community." Stauffer is a retired physician who practiced in Downey. She founded the Mary T. Stauffer Foundation, which provides scholarships to local high school students, and supports numerous educational efforts, such as Character Counts. She belongs to Downey Rotary and is an advisory board member of the Aerospace Legacy Foundation. Each year, the California State Legislature pays tribute to the accomplishments and leadership of women in our communities. During the Assembly floor session, Stauffer was recognized and presented a certificate by Assembly Speaker John Perez. Afterwards, Stauffer attended a reception hosted by the Legislative Women's Caucus. Other women recognized in the 50th Assembly District include Rosa Rodriguez (Bell):‚ÄàRosa Rodriguez has been a community leader the last 10 years in the city of Bell. She has been a member of various school councils and actively involved in the construction of new schools. She organized the parents at Woodland Elementary to request a roof for lunch areas and fought to replace the bungalows in the school yard. She also often organizes fundraisers for families in need. Catherine Sanchez (Bell Gardens):‚ÄàShe has successfully overcome many obstacles faced by a teen mother. She currently holds two jobs, and speaks to teens and parents about pregnancy prevention and STDs. Doreen Robinson (Bellflower):‚ÄàRobinson is an active member of Soroptimist and the Miss Bellflower committee. She recently took in four siblings that were assigned to Children and Family Services, caring for the children as the family went through the reunification process. Laura Perez (Commerce):‚ÄàPerez donates her time to the city of Commerce Parks and Recreation Committee, Ad Hock Blue Ribbon Advisory Panel, Commerce Sister City Association and the Commerce Democratic Club. This year, as a member of the Ad Hock Advisory Panel, she will be responsible for making recommendations concerning the financial recovery of the city. She also serves as the unofficial voice of residents before the City of Commerce. Leticia Guzman (Cudahy):‚ÄàGuzman is an active parent volunteer serving on five different school committees and is an active member of the Parents in Action group, in addition to serving with the Cudahy neighborhood watch program. She is an advocate for quality education for students in Cudahy and has been an active volunteer the past 13 years. Dolores Cotledge (Florence-Firestone):‚ÄàA longtime member of the Florence-Firestone Community Enhancement Team, Cotledge has publicly advocated for a clean and safe Florence-Firestone. Her relationship with the community and the Sheriff's Department has played a significant role in the reduction of crime, De La Torre said, who called her "the force that gets the community organized." Angeles Especiales de Lynwood (Lynwood): Carmen Colin, Maria Martinez, Blanca Mendoza, Imelda Rodriguez and Juana Uribe are all mothers of children with special needs that attend Lynwood Unified School District schools. They have for many years advocated for better support services for children with special needs and have pushed the district to provide their children with quality educations. Esperanza Galvan (South Gate): Galvan has volunteered her time and money as a partner for the Relay for Life, Rotary Club of South Gate, the South Gate Christmas Parade and the South Gate Chamber of Commerce. Marisol Camelo (Walnut Park):‚ÄàCamelo is a longtime resident and owner of a bakery shop in Walnut Park. She is president of the Southeast Women's Organization, which brings together women from the southeast cities to organize events that benefit kids. The group organized a book fair last year as well as turkey and toy distributions that provided more than 300 families with toys and turkeys during the holiday season.

********** Published: March 12, 2010 - Volume 8 - Issue 47