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Volunteerism

Zonta recognizes three nominated ‘Women Who Make A Difference’

Photos submitted to Times Observer From left, Melinda Johnson presenting to Ann Van Houten and Lisa Thompson.

The Zonta Club of Warren recognizes these three women who make a difference in Warren County — Sue Yovich, Lisa Thompson, and Ann Van Houten.

These women embody the meaning of volunteerism. Each woman was honored with a certificate, a rose, and a donation to charity. Each year, members nominate women that they feel go above and beyond the average volunteer.

Yovich volunteers throughout Sugar Grove. She can be found beautifying the town by designing, planting and caring for community gardens or cooking and fundraising at the SG Fire Hall. Sue is a member of the Methodist Church where she serves as the Administrative Council Secretary. She organizes monthly public lunches at the church, plans their part in the annual Christmas walk, and works tirelessly at special events. At the Sugar Grove Library, she volunteers her time at the may fundraisers critical to the budget. Sue’s outreach to the members of the community reach far and wide; families in need, military persons, organizing kitchen volunteers to send special treats to unity serving our county.

Thompson is the Director of CASA of Warren and Forest County. CASA over the last 15 has trained and educated over 50 citizen volunteers to speak on behalf of abused and neglected children in the foster care system. Lisa was also part of the startup committee for the House of Hope. She has served as the board chair and has steered this program through some difficult times. She was instrumental in organizing citizens and volunteers to create a strategic plan. The foundation has allowed the house to continue its critical mission. Lisa is often presenting to local organizations regarding generational poverty. She has assisted and presented the “Local Poverty: Up Close and Personal Project.” This project helped to empower residents in poverty to share their stories and lives through photographs and narratives.

Van Houten is a member of Praise Fellowship Church and is committed to fighting human trafficking worldwide. She has organized many fundraisers to support an orphanage in Kenya and Potter’s Hands, a residential safe house located in Corning, N.Y.

Photos submitted to Times Observer Zonta Club’s Women Who Make A Difference Award to Sue Yovich, left. Ashley Cochran-Walters is presenting a rose and certificate.

Most recently, several dinner and dessert auctions were held raising many thousands of dollars.

This money was used to support The Association for the Recovery of Children, an organization that rescues abducted and missing children overseas, and Rescuing Lives, an organization in India that educates and trains those at high risk of being trafficked.

Each were the recipients of her efforts.

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