Soroptimists Honor Local Women Bradley, Rojas, Vecchio, Hutchinson and Hahn in Annual Luncheon Held Yesterday

Big Bear residents Robin Bradley and Maria Rojas joined a distinguished list of 80-some women when, on Thursday, they were recognized by the Soroptimists International of Big Bear Valley, who bestowed their annual Women of Distinction Award on the two in a luncheon that featured keynote speaker Liz Harris, whose talk was titled, “If Women Ruled the World.” Psychologist Bradley was singled out for her healing program, Only Love, and contributions to the local EarthHEAL organization and, upon receipt of her Women of Distinction Award, told luncheon attendees at Northwoods Resort, “When we bring our heart and spirit, amazing things happen in the world.” Maria Rojas, has, as owner of Sonora Cantina, done amazing, selfless things in both Big Bear and her native Mexico. Upon receipt of her award, with a number of family members present, a tearful Rojas said, “This is a big thing for me, it really is. Thanks to my family for being patient with me, especially during our fundraisers every week. Thanks also to Father Mike, and God.” Soroptimists also honored MOM Project Director Marilyn Vecchio with the Women Helping Women Award; though illness prevented her attendance, a number of women pledged their tearful gratitude to Vecchio for her endless hours of parenting support and programs. Scholarship recipients on May 21 included Leslie Hutchinson, a former high school dropout and determined single mom who is pursuing a teaching degree. When given the Women’s Opportunity Award, she said, “I am so honored that this program chose me—there’s no validation like the validation of someone’s dreams. I’m in awe of your gracious gift, and I thank you for believing in me.” The youngest recipient to be honored was 18-year-old Big Bear High School senior Tiana Hahn, daughter of Mike and Lisa, who was awarded the Violet Richardson Award, given to teens engaged in volunteer activities that benefit their community. Having volunteered with the Lighthouse Project, CATS and the Big Bear Film Festival, Hahn, who plans to attend Chapman University in the fall, noted that there’s such warmth in our community and, she said, “I’m such a privileged person to live in Big Bear.”

The Soroptimists Celebration of Women luncheon honored (from left) Tiana Hahn, Leslie Hutchinson, Maria Rojas and Dr. Robin Bradley, as well as Marilyn Vecchio.

The Soroptimists Celebration of Women luncheon honored (from left) Tiana Hahn, Leslie Hutchinson, Maria Rojas and Dr. Robin Bradley, as well as Marilyn Vecchio.

Big Bear residents Robin Bradley and Maria Rojas joined a distinguished list of 80-some women when, on Thursday, they were recognized by the Soroptimists International of Big Bear Valley, who bestowed their annual Women of Distinction Award on the two in a luncheon that featured keynote speaker Liz Harris, whose talk was titled, “If Women Ruled the World.” Psychologist Bradley was singled out for her healing program, Only Love, and contributions to the local EarthHEAL organization and, upon receipt of her Women of Distinction Award, told luncheon attendees at Northwoods Resort, “When we bring our heart and spirit, amazing things happen in the world.” Maria Rojas, has, as owner of Sonora Cantina, done amazing, selfless things in both Big Bear and her native Mexico. Upon receipt of her award, with a number of family members present, a tearful Rojas said, “This is a big thing for me, it really is. Thanks to my family for being patient with me, especially during our fundraisers every week. Thanks also to Father Mike, and God.” Soroptimists also honored MOM Project Director Marilyn Vecchio with the Women Helping Women Award; though illness prevented her attendance, a number of women pledged their tearful gratitude to Vecchio for her endless hours of parenting support and programs. Scholarship recipients on May 21 included Leslie Hutchinson, a former high school dropout and determined single mom who is pursuing a teaching degree. When given the Women’s Opportunity Award, she said, “I am so honored that this program chose me—there’s no validation like the validation of someone’s dreams. I’m in awe of your gracious gift, and I thank you for believing in me.” The youngest recipient to be honored was 18-year-old Big Bear High School senior Tiana Hahn, daughter of Mike and Lisa, who was awarded the Violet Richardson Award, given to teens engaged in volunteer activities that benefit their community. Having volunteered with the Lighthouse Project, CATS and the Big Bear Film Festival, Hahn, who plans to attend Chapman University in the fall, noted that there’s such warmth in our community and, she said, “I’m such a privileged person to live in Big Bear.”

[caption id="attachment_5023" align="alignleft" width="575" caption="The Soroptimists Celebration of Women luncheon honored (from left) Tiana Hahn, Leslie Hutchinson, Maria Rojas and Dr. Robin Bradley, as well as Marilyn Vecchio."]The Soroptimists Celebration of Women luncheon honored (from left) Tiana Hahn, Leslie Hutchinson, Maria Rojas and Dr. Robin Bradley, as well as Marilyn Vecchio.[/caption]

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