A Pasadena woman was named as one of the recipients of the 28th Congressional District Women of the Year award for 2021, given by the office of U.S. Representative Adam Schiff.
Mara Leong-Maguinez, who began serving as Executive Director of the nonprofit Ronald McDonald House Pasadena in January 2020, just before the coronavirus pandemic began, was recognized for her work in implementing comprehensive safety and cleaning protocols and adjusting the physical spaces within RMHP while gathering support and funding to keep the House open throughout the pandemic.
She was honored along with other award recipients and 2020 honorees.
“Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, we have witnessed the unimaginable burden shouldered by women as essential and frontline workers, health care personnel, caregivers, scientists and teachers,” Schiff said during the event. “I am proud to recognize these heroic individuals and their contributions, sacrifices, and selfless service as recipients of the 2021 Women of the Year award. The 2020 Women of the Year honorees are also remarkable women who have all worked tirelessly for the common good, and to make our District a better place. They are pillars of our communities, and I thank them for their invaluable service.”
Ronald McDonald House Pasadena is a “home-away-from-home” for families with critically ill children who are receiving medical treatment in Pasadena, providing families with a place to stay, meals and family support services at little or no cost to the families. The House is built on the simple idea that nothing else should matter when a family is focused on the health of their child – not where they can stay, where they can get their next meal, or where they could lay their head at night to rest.
Since it opened in 2004, RMHP has served more than 24,000 children and their families. The House occupies three historic homes in Pasadena, just steps away from Huntington Hospital and Shriners for Children Medical Center, and offers 17 guest bedrooms. Families staying at the House have access to a fully stocked pantry, meals prepared by volunteer groups, a large yard with outdoor seating, and therapeutic family support services. Activities are coordinated by the House with volunteer groups to help families cope while their child is receiving treatment.
Mara Leong-Maguinez obtained her BA in American Studies and Ethnicity from USC and a MPA from CSU Northridge, specializing in Nonprofit Management. Before joining RMHP, she was with Families Forward Learning Center in Pasadena for over seven years, was Director of Development at Downtown Women’s Center, and was Chief Development Officer at the Youth Policy Institute in Los Angeles.
Other 2021 Women of the Year Honorees include MiMi Aung, La Cañada Flintridge; Lori Rosales, Atwater Village; Nareh Manooki, Burbank; Dr. Barbara Ferrer, Echo Park; Daisy De La Torre, Elysian Valley; Rebecca Berberian, Glendale; Alycia Belle, Hollywood; Dr. Wint Hun, La Cañada Flintridge; Susan Sung Hee Lee, La Crescenta; Catherine Y. Kim, Los Feliz; Dr. Rebecca Crane, Silver Lake; Pattee Colvin, Sunland; and Lynn LeMay, West Hollywood.