Leticia Aguilar is 2011 and#8216;Woman of Distinctionand#8217;

Special to the Sun
Submitted to aedgett@sierrasun.comSoroptimist 2011 Woman of Distinction Leticia Aguilar; Sandy Horn, Soroptimist Human Rights Status of Women Committee Coordinator and Ruth Hall, a past recipient and one of three who nominated Leticia.

TRUCKEE, Calif. and#8212; Soroptimist International of Truckee-Donner held its annual Ruby Award evening reception (locally referred to as the Woman of Distinction) at the Community Arts Center in Downtown Truckee Oct. 27. This yearand#8217;s Honoree is Leticia Aguilar.

Those in attendance, in addition to Soroptimist Club members, included Truckee Town Mayor Richard Anderson, former Woman of Distinction recipients, Leticiaand#8217;s husband Romero, their three grown children Leticia, Juan and Romero, Jr., her sister from Sacramento and a contingent of her friends and fellow Board members of the Family Resource Center. President Lil Schaller also introduced the dignitary guests in attendance from Soroptimist International of the Americaand#8217;s Sierra Nevada Region former Governors Jo Ann Roberts and Sue Camp.

Last year’s recipient Laura Mohun did the honors of introducing Leticia. Prior to the presentation of her award, the attendees heard from Adela M. Gonzalez Del Valle, executive director of the Family Resource Center, which is located in Truckee adjacent to the KidZone. Adela provided invaluable data about the growth in numbers of locals using the center along with statistics and services available for those needing assistance. She also shared wonderful success stories of how they were able to provide daily life altering help. Some cases received help because a concerned neighbor or friend made the situation known. Once again, a testament to the strength of this community.

Leticia is one of 18 children. She has six younger siblings and her mother is still alive. She moved to the United States when she was 14 to help her sister raise her five children, ages 1-5. She studied and became fluent in English, achieved her U.S. citizenship, her GED, several certifications and three AA degrees in Human Development and Early Childhood Education.

Leticia started her childcare business 28 years ago in 1983. She always had a love for children and currently serves 33 Truckee families with her business. Ruth Hall said in her recommendation letter: and#8220;Letyand#8217;s reputation is such that there is always a waiting list of families desiring her services and they represent all income and education levels in the community.and#8221;

Leticia has been on the Family Resource Center of Truckee board since 2001. When she first started working with the Family Resource Center they served a third of the families they now serve. This is due in large part to Leticiaand#8217;s connection to the Hispanic and underserved families. She has been the bridge and instrumental in coordinating fundraising efforts with their annual Day of the Dead celebration.

Leticia is especially talented in coordinating food, fundraisers and events. In addition to the Day of the Dead celebration, she helped the Assumption Catholic Church with building fund, coordinated food sales to raise funds for Latino community members fighting illness or cancer, coordinated food, set up, cleanup for memorial services when someone dies in the Latino community.

Leticia has been involved in Soroptimist, Queen of Hearts, Rotary, Latino Advisory council, being a guest speaker in Barbara Robertsonand#8217;s Sierra College Early Child Development classes, lecturing to teens in Reno, Nev. and Kingand#8217;s Beach about sex education, helping midwife for women in childbirth, and coordinating with Ruth Hall to put on a conference for early childhood education for Anglo and Latino families.

Leticia is an inspiration to all those around her. While attending Sierra College she encouraged 20-25 women to complete their education along with her. In addition, whenever anyone has a problem they call Leticia. If someone is involved in domestic violence, canand#8217;t pay their rent, have no food, need clothes, Leticia is the go-to person. She personally helps individuals with her own resources or uses her network of preschool families.

Another letter of recommendation from Victoria Mercer said: and#8220;It is clear that providing instrumental and emotional support to women is a particularly important part of Leticiaand#8217;s life. It is my belief that she has provided remarkable leadership, council and opportunities to girls and women of all ages through a variety of personal and professional activities.and#8221;

Barbara Robertson said: and#8220;In every realm of her life, Leticia is admired, respected and loved. She is most deserving of the Ruby Award.and#8221;

Leticia was overjoyed when presented with the award and got right back to business. As she addressed the audience, she asked for their collective pledge to continue to commit to help the community and those who need a and#8220;hand upand#8221; or a hug or a ride or a friend. She said she knew when she was 12 and saw how hard her Mom worked on behalf of her family that she wanted a different life. She said, and#8220; am just like my Mom and#8230; stubborn! I want to keep learning and improving my life every day.and#8221; Leticia shared with the crowd her Mom learned how to write at the age of 80 so she could send her a daughter a letter in her own handwriting.

and#8220;We are so fortunate to have Leticia as part of not only this amazing community but also, as a Soroptimst!and#8221; said President Lil.

The evening adjourned with the Soroptimist Pledge and then celebration cake donated by The Treat Box Bakery.

Soroptimist is an international organization for business and professional women who work to improve the lives of women and girls, in local communities and throughout the world. Almost 95,000 Soroptimists in about 120 countries and territories contribute time and financial support to communityand#8211;based and international projects that benefit women and girls. The name, Soroptimist, means and#8220;best for women,and#8221; and thatand#8217;s what the organization strives to achieve. Soroptimists are women at their best, working to help other women to be their best. If you are interested in joining the club, please contact President Lil Schaller at 530-550-5007.

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