Around Town | Empowering HeArts Honorees and Artists Announced
Six women will receive original artwork honoring their life stories this November as part of Single Mothers Outreach’s 5th annual Empowering HeARTS fundraiser.
The event honors local women who have overcome obstacles or made a difference in the community by pairing them with local artists to create unique art piece.
“They’re charged with capturing that woman’s essence,” said DaAnne Smith, executive director of SMO.
This year’s theme is “Extraordinary.” The goal is to inspire others with these women’s life stories, Smith said, and to help women going through hard times to think about their own potential.
The six honorees were announced at an event Thursday at the Closet on Main in Newhall.
Kiki Hacker is a 30-year Santa Clarita resident who has partnered with, supported, donated to and volunteered for many local charities, including the College of the Canyons Foundation, Child & Family Center, the Michael Hoefflin Foundation, Boys & Girls Club, Domestic Violence Center, FRIENDZ and The Painted Turtle.
Linda HafiziLinda Hafizi is the co-publisher of The Magazine of Santa Clarita and Elite Magazine. Through their publications, Hafizi has also been able to support non-profit organizations including the American Cancer Society, Boys & Girls Club, SMO, Domestic Violence Center, Assistance League, Circle of Hope, the Zonta Foundation, Soroptimist of Greater SCV, Michael Hoefflin Foundation and many others.
Adele MacphersonAdele Macpherson, another 30-year resident, began with work for the American Red Cross. Adele also headed the Blue Ribbon Task Force, which provides information and education to the community about teen alcohol/drug/tobacco use. She served as president of the SCV Zonta group and is a founding and twenty-year board member of the Children’s Dental Health Foundation. She is also a long-term board member of both the Samuel Dixon Family Health Center and the Child & Family Center.
Debbie RioDebbie Rio is a past SMO board member and mother of three. Following her divorce, Rio went back to school to earn her Associate of Arts in Liberal Studies, a Bachelor of Arts in English as well as her Master’s of Public Administration. Debbie went on to join College of the Canyons as the Director of Admissions and Records and is now the Dean of Enrollment Services.
Kacey SurrattKacey Surratt is a mother of five. When her oldest was just thirteen, Kacey found herself as a single parent. Kacey struggled financially, so she reached out and ask for help. She found SMO and became not only an active part of the program but a compassionate member. And in turn by reaching out and helping others, Kacey created a role model for her five children.
Rocky TurnerRocky Turner is mother to four boys and two girls. Rocky established Mothers Fighting for Others in 2006. MFFO is dedicated to providing orphans and vulnerable children with opportunities their parents would have provided, if they only could: a loving and nurturing environment and a quality education.
This year’s artists are Jennifer Calderon, Kelly Mehr, Jen Parker, Josh Premako, Brooke Ritter and Alexis Surratt.
The Empowering HeARTS Gala on Nov. 1 will be held from 5 to 7 p.m. at the College of the Canyons University Center.
Tickets are $75 per person, $110 for a couple and $15 for children. Sponsorship opportunities and tribute ads are also available for purchase.
Past honorees include City Councilwoman Marsha McLean, Cheri Fleming of Valencia Acura and Michele Buttelman of KHTS AM-1220.