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Riverside County YWCA honors Women of Achievement                                             

10:00 PM PDT on Thursday, September 17, 2009

The Press-Enterprise

One by one they took the stage, 24 years worth of achievement.  They were pioneers themselves, helped others break new ground, or made the community better in other ways.

The YWCA of Riverside County held its annual Women of Achievement luncheon Thursday at the Riverside Convention Center. This year, as the event celebrated its 25th anniversary, 53 of the past 133 honorees returned to be recognized again.  Each received a pink porcelain rose.

Among them was Melba Dunlap, who served on the Riverside County Board of Supervisors for 12 years.  "I was active in everything," said Dunlap, 79, as she waited for the ceremony to begin. She counts among her achievements getting women on air-refueling flights at March Air Force Base, now March Air Reserve Base. Previously only men had participated in flights, Dunlap said.

Lori Breeding-Letbetter, 67, was recognized Thursday for helping to start the Women of Achievement luncheon.  "It's a very positive, visible event," said Breeding-Letbetter, a deputy fire marshal for the city of Riverside.

Carolyn Knight was among the first honored, in 1985. She said she went into anaphylactic shock nine times before she discovered she had an allergy to sulfites, a preservative, when her future husband offered her homemade wine.  Knight said she testified before Congress and was successful in having the preservative banned for use in restaurants.

This year's Women of Achievement include Jody White-Judkins, of Corona, an advocate for the homeless who received a Woman of the Year award from the Riverside County Board of Supervisors and the Commission for Women; and Susan Strickland, co-founder of the Riverside African-American Historical Society and the Multi-Cultural Council at Riverside Art Museum, and who is involved with the Eleanor Jean Grier Leadership Academy.  Cherie Curzon, Jane Farmer, Sally Andriamiarisoa and Shelly Yarbrough also were honored as Women of Achievement.

Reach Marlene Toscano at 951-368-9660 or mtoscano@PE.com


White-Judkins Speaks to Corona Rotary Club

5:00 P.M. Friday September 11, 2009 Corona, CA  Submitted by JRJ Independent News Services.   

Speaking to a full crowd today, Jody White-Judkins shared some personal experiences that have helped her to overcome some of life’s most shattering experiences.  The Corona Rotary Club welcomed Jody to their monthly meeting at Mill Creek Restaurant today.  With a crowd that contained a U.S. Congressman, former mayor, current City Council Member, big business leaders, non profit leaders and many others Jody taught some basic principles that have propelled her to the forefront of success.  Having been awarded Spirit of the Entrepreneur Award in 2007, the Riverside County Woman of the Year in April 2009 and a recipient of the YWCA Woman of Achievement to be awarded September 17, 2009 Jody understands what it takes to be a success in life.  Jody shared the unique perspective that she has with regards to the increasing homeless situations in today’s downward economy.  She has worked for non profit organizations at a homeless shelter, raised funds to keep a shelter open, and worked for the government in social services homeless programs.  Through all of this work she has been named by several organizations as “The Face of The Homeless” in Riverside, San Bernardino and throughout Southern California.  Now retired from Public Service Jody continues to advocate for the homeless and shares her experiences as a motivational speaker.  Beyond this Jody has dealt with many major setbacks in her life, that have taught her to succeed.  Jody addressed the crowd on the principles of Overcoming, Purpose, Can-Do-Attitude & Your Destiny”. 


Six women honored for achievements

ACCOMPLISHED: YWCA of Riverside County will mark its 25th year of award in September

10:00 PM PDT on Friday, July 24, 2009By MARLENE TOSCANO
The Press-Enterprise

An executive director for a women's recovery center, an advocate for the homeless and the leader of a chamber of commerce are among the six honorees in the YWCA of Riverside County's annual Women of Achievement program.

"They are phenomenal women in our community," said organization program and marketing director Andrea Crawford by phone.

Because it is the 25th anniversary of the annual event, the YWCA of Riverside County plans to invite all past honorees, about 133, back to this year's event, to be held in Sept. 17 at the Riverside Convention Center.

Special to The Press-Enterprise
The honorees of the YWCA of Riverside County's annual Women of Achievement program include, from left, Jody White-Judkins, Darlene "Shelly" Yarbrough, Susan Strickland, Sally Andriamiarisoa and Cherie Curzon.

The honorees are:

Sally Andriamiarisoa, vice president for Advancement for the Riverside Community Health Foundation.

Her PhD dissertation for Andrews University was a "critical study of the philosophy of institutional administration within a paradigm of patriarchy."

She is program director for Women's Wealth of Wellness, a philanthropic health consortium of 95 top-level, female executives from universities, business, civic leadership and grass-roots organizations focusing on women's health issues and advocacy, among membership in numerous boards.

Jane Farmer is executive director of La Vista Recovery and Wholeness Center for Women in San Jacinto, which aims to alleviate suffering caused by alcoholism and drug abuse, according to the Web site. Farmer used her experiences to help women become empowered.

"In so doing, she ultimately was able to teach women how to achieve dignity and freedom," wrote Mary Figueroa, a Riverside Community College District Board trustee, on the nomination form.

Farmer and her daughter started a program to educate teens about prescription drug abuse.

Jody White-Judkins, of Corona, is a homeless advocate who received Woman of the Year award by the Riverside County Board of Supervisors and the Commission for Women.

She helped keep a homeless shelter open by helping to raise $500,000 in less than 12 months. She has also been called a dynamic speaker.

She earned a bachelor's degree in ministry in 2002 and has done graduate studies in Israel's Hebrew University of Jerusalem.

"Sue Strickland did not retire to sit in a rocking chair," wrote Katie Greene, who nominated Strickland, a well known community activist.

Strickland retired from the Jurupa Unified School District as an elementary teacher. She is co-founder of the Riverside African-American Historical Society, Inc., and the Multi-Cultural Council at Riverside Art Museum, and is involved with the Eleanor Jean Grier Leadership Academy.

Darlene "Shelly" Yarbrough is CEO of the Perris Valley Chamber of Commerce; trustee of the Val Verde Unified School District Board; and California School Board Association, American Indian, Director-At-Large. "Shelly's own formal education ended with high school which increases the sense of wonder you feel when you review all of the things she has achieved and the differences she has made in so many lives," wrote Judy Haughney, Perris City Clerk, in nominating her.

Cherie Curzon retired from the Riverside Police Department after more than 30 years.

She wrote several grants that allowed the Riverside Sunrise Rotary Club to fund a story mobile and help high school students fund a "Senior Prom" at the Eddie Dee Smith Senior Center. Curzon is also involved with the Riverside County Commission for Women, YWCA and the Rape Crisis Center.

Reach Marlene Toscano at 951-368-9660 or mtoscano@PE.com.



Riverside County's Women of the Year all special, all committed

10:00 PM PDT on Monday, April 20, 2009By JENNIFER DEAN
The Press-Enterprise

Four women have been honored for their commitment to their communities at the County of Riverside Commission for Women's second annual Woman of the Year awards ceremony.

"We did a press release throughout Riverside County asking if anyone would like to nominate a special woman in their community," said Lori Stone, chairperson at the Commission for Women.

Nominees were then graded according to a set of guidelines that included community outreach, volunteerism and things the candidates did above and beyond their area of expertise.

The winners included Jody White-Judkins in District 2, which includes the Corona, Norco and Jurupa areas and parts of Riverside; Raquel Marquez in District 3, which includes the Temecula Valley; Joan Busick in District 4, which includes the Desert area; and Maria Rice-Davis in District 5, which includes the Moreno Valley area. There were no nominations in District 1.

White-Judkins works as an administrative services analyst for DPSS homeless programs. Marquez is the deputy district attorney for Riverside County. Busick is the co-founder and president of the women's support group The Girlfriend Factor. Rice-Davis is the pastor of Healing Streams Church in Moreno Valley.

Each winner received a plaque and framed award at the Board of Supervisors meeting April 14 in Riverside.

The things these women are doing in their communities are very honorable, Stone said. "We plan to keep doing this every year," she said.

Reach Jennifer Dean at 951-368-9336, jdean@PE.com or http://blogs.pe.com/moms


 March for Babies Relay Arrives in Corona
Riverside County Woman of the Year, Jody White-Judkins and Robb Judkins
step up as Co- Chairs to give every baby a healthy start.

WHAT:             March for Babies Relay is a 9 hour, high-spirited event where everyone in the Corona community can come together to make a difference in the lives of all babies.  It is a day of fun, fellowship and festivities.  It is a time when the Corona community is empowered with the knowledge of how they give every baby a healthy start by raising public awareness about health before, during and after pregnancy.  It is an opportunity to learn about the March of Dimes, and how March of Dimes educates moms, families, health care professionals, and youth while raising funds to support programs, advocacy, and research.

WHEN:             Saturday, November 21, 2009
12 Noon - 9 PM

WHERE:           Corona City Park
                        Corona, CA

WHO:               Everyone…Join Co-Chairs Jody White Judkins and Robb Judkins and 
Teams of Corona families, friends, MOPs, and co-workers

HOW:               Join March for Babies Relay as a Team Captain.  Gather 5-15 team members; give yourselves a creative team name, decorate your campsite and fundraise to make a difference!

WHY:                Why 9 hours?  Any expecting mom deserves her full 9 months. Babies born too early may have more health problems at birth and beyond than babies born full term.  March for Babies Relay lasts 9 hours, representing the 9 months of pregnancy.  March of Dimes is working diligently to give all women the 9 months that is needed to support a healthy pregnancy.  It is the most important gift you can give a child.

About the March of DimesThe March of Dimes helps moms have full-term pregnancies and healthy babies.  And if something goes wrong, we offer information and comfort to families.  We research problems that threaten our babies and work on preventing them.  March of Dimes has been helping babies for over 70 years and continues to build on its successes through programs of education, research and advocacy.  For more information visit marchforbabiesrelay.org  or call 951-341-0903 or 1-888-4-BABIES.