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Santa Maria League of Women Voters Honors 50-Year Members

Santa Maria Valley League of Women Voters will honor four local women who were instrumental in founding the league more than 50 years ago and ensuring its existence.

The league will mark the service and accomplishments of civic leaders Margaret Cooper, Louise Hammond, Barbara Karamitsos and Nancy K. Johnson during a meeting and luncheon, 11:30 a.m. June 23, at Pico’s Restaurant, 458 Bell St., Los Alamos.

While raising their families, the 50-year league members have not only worked and supported the league in its efforts for voter registration and education but actively served the Santa Maria Valley communities by teaching, supporting literacy, the arts, churches, local schools and clubs.

Kevin Walthers, president of Allan Hancock College, will speak about available programs, current issues facing the college and its future goals.

The public is invited to the luncheon that will begin at noon and to hear Walthers speak. Tickets are $25.50 for league members, $35.50 for non-members. Contact Virginia Souza, 805-714-0416 for tickets.

Cooper was a teacher for 30 years and is now enjoying retirement. She has participated in AAUW; the California Retired Teachers Association; volunteered at the Central Coast Literacy Council and been part of a local Memoir Writers Group by sharing her personal experiences in Japanese internment camps during World War II.

Hammond, also a retired teacher, is a member of the California Teachers Association, NAACP, SBC Action Network, Planned Parenthood, AAUW, the Democratic Club of Santa Maria Valley, and the Santa Maria Philharmonic where she has also served on the board of directors.

Karamitsos is a retired nurse. She volunteered for the Migrant Education Program in the 1960s and served on the Peace Committee at Orcutt Presbyterian Church. Currently, she is a member of the Santa Maria Philharmonic and Planned Parenthood.

Johnson has served as a Santa Barbara County commissioner from 1984-2000 and has won a national award for city planning. She has served on the boards of The Santa Barbara Foundation, PCPA, Planned Parenthood, Transitions Mental Health and The Santa Barbara Land Trust. 

Currently, Johnson is a member of SBCAN and the Santa Maria Philharmonic.

— Diane Balay for Santa Maria Valley League of Women Voters.


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