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Crowned as city jewels

Commission will honor women in the community for their courage.

May 12, 2010|By Joyce Rudolph

Four women will be honored Thursday for their courage in overcoming the trials they’ve faced throughout their lives.

Liza Boubari, Debra Collins, Camille Levee and Melina Thorpe will receive the Jewel of Glendale Women of Courage Award from the city’s Commission on the Status of Women during a luncheon at the Embassy Suites Hotel in Glendale.

For the fist time, the commission is giving a Special Chair’s Recognition to Genevieve Sultenfuss, who is celebrating her 100th birthday and is known in the community as a lady of many firsts.


Also for the first time, the commission will give a $1,000 Gem Scholarship Award to Lyolya Hovhannisyan, for her commitment to helping local women and girls.

It’s an important event for Glendale because the commission is honoring women of courage from the community, said Chairwoman Paula Devine.

“It’s the only source of funds that the commission has to carry on our programs, such as Camp Rosie, which is a summer camp for teen girls,” Devine said. “It teaches life skills, safe dating and self-defense.”

The commission has also created a Domestic Violence Month with programs that educate the public and raises scholarship funds for the Girls on the Run project, she added.

“[Sultenfuss] is a very special jewel,” Devine said.

Sultenfuss was the first female president of the Glendale Chamber of Commerce and the Glendale Assn. of Realtors.

She has been a mentor to women during her many years of service to the community in which she worked with organizations and headed many committees, said her daughter, Julie Shermer.

“I’m overwhelmed to be honored at age 99,” Sultenfuss said. “It’s sweet of them, and I appreciate it.”

Levee, one of the Jewel Award recipients, survived physical and emotional abuse while she was a child, but has gone on to become a leader in the community in her adult life, Devine said.

“She’s been a spokesperson for us and she is an expert in domestic violence,” Devine said. “She left home and got an education and here she is married with a family and director of Glendale Healthy Kids and a role model in the community. She is being honored for the courage of coming through that and becoming a stronger woman and a role model for women and girls everywhere.”

Levee is able to help others, because she’s been there, she said.

“For so long I focused on helping in women’s and children’s issues because I understand how debilitating the feeling of helplessness can be,” she said.

She is awed at being named a Jewel of Glendale, but added her work in the community has not been something she has done on her own.

“I’m blessed to work with people who together we make things happen that are positive,” she said.

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