Women’s City Club Honors Prolific Volunteer

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Story and Photography by RACHEL YOUNG

7:26 am | July 29, 2013

The Women’s City Club of Pasadena honored Eleanor Beasley with the 2013 Gloria Gartz Award for her commitment to serving the community at the Annual Awards Dinner and Dancing Under the Stars on Saturday, July 27.

Nominations from the community were requested for a woman who is innovative, visionary, generous, has a nurturing spirit, has respect for diversity, empowers women and community and has noteworthy achievements.

Eleanor Beasley easily fills every one of these categories, volunteering at least 150 hours each year and currently serving on four nonprofit boards, all to empower women and children to be the best they can be.

“Eleanor has, and I get a little choked up because its amazing, has spent the past 25 years of her life serving low income families, single parents, she serves currently on four boards, one of them being YWCA, she has over 29 years of board experience. She has really been a trailblazer for women and women issues. She’s very down to earth. She’s just one of us trying to make a difference,” WCC President Suzanne Maese said.

Beasley currently serves the community as the President of the Board of Directors for the YWCA Greater Los Angeles, Vice Chair of the Board of Directors and Personnel Committee Chair for Crystal Stairs, founding board member of the Bloom Again Foundation and the National Women’s Hall of Fame in New York. She also received the 2007 Los Angeles Business Journal Volunteer of the Year Award.

“To receive the Gloria Gartz Award means quite a bit to me because I do a lot of community service throughout the city of Los Angeles and to have that acknowledged feels really good. It also gives exposure to my non-profits that I am passionate about,” Beasley said.

Gloria Gartz was the visionary woman who founded the Women’s City Club of Pasadena to bring women together to support each other in their personal, community, and professional efforts. Gartz empowered hundreds of women to contribute meaningfully to the community and helped shape the giving spirit that now lives on in those who receive the award that remembers her.

“Serving is second nature to me. It’s something that just is. I don’t plan for it, I react to opportunities that come to me,” Beasley said.

Beasley brings all her expertise from banking for 30 years to her nonprofits. What truly gives her joy is serving others.

“I have learned that when I think I have been sent into someone’s life to make their lives better, it is really my life that has been enhanced. Truly the more I give, the more I receive. Serving has been my saving grace,” Beasley said.

Beasley continued, “Serving allows me to fulfill my God-given gift. I know my spiritual gift and it is to be a connector. Bringing people and resources together for the good of mankind. It’s my calling. It’s my purpose. And I’m grateful to know my purpose. I strive to function in it obediently”

Beasley cannot leave it all to herself, however. She says that everyone has an opportunity to give back and make life better for others.

“We all have something to give. Many times people think as serving as needing to write a check. Don’t get me wrong, a check is necessary. But a check is not what is going to show people what you care, get the work of the organization accomplished or give you the opportunity to truly connect to the people and mission,” Beasley said.

WCC also recognized Kathryn E. (Betty) Breidenthal and Virginia De Zell with the WCC Legacy Award, Mary Ann Nation-Greenwall as the WCC Member of the Year, and Jackie Torres from Marshall Fundamental High School as the 2013 WCC College Scholarship Recipient of $2000.

Member of the Year recipient Mary Ann Nation-Greenwall is a force to be reckoned with who has more energy in her toe than most people do in their hands and feet according to Maese. She echoed Beasley’s words of the importance of volunteerism when she accepted her award.

“Each of us has the power to change the world with one word and one act of kindness. It is through volunteerism that we learn more about our community and how we can be a part of the solution,” Nation-Greenwall said.

The Women’s City Club of Pasadena highly encourages volunteering as they seek to further the civic, cultural, educational, and social activities of the women in Pasadena.

“We have professional women in the community come together and support each other’s efforts and endeavors. A lot of us volunteer out in the community, so often times we will utilize the network within the club to support us in our volunteer efforts in the community. We are here to give women a place to relax, mingle and support each other,” committee member Toni Rodriguez said.

For more information contact Francine Kolcz, General Manager at (626) 796-0560 or wccfrancine@sbcglobal.net.