Phyllis Madonna, a longtime resident, philanthropist and owner of the Madonna Inn, is the San Luis Obispo Chamber of Commerce's Citizen of the Year.
Madonna’s philanthropic commitment is best known by her passion for helping women.
The Phyllis’ Musical Revue and Fashion Show, benefitting the Women’s Shelter Program of San Luis Obispo County, has been held for the past 25 years – raising community awareness and nearly $3 million for the shelter. (The 26th show is March 1-2.)
Madonna produces the show, which features well-known locals and government officials who strut the catwalk, dance and sing.
The San Luis Obispo County Commission on the Status of Women named Madonna as San Luis Obispo County Woman of the Year for 2011.
Over the years she has also given to the San Luis Obispo Symphony, Festival Mozaic, I Madonnari, the Performing Arts Center and the San Luis Obispo International Film Festival.
She moved to San Luis Obispo in 1948 after marrying Alex Madonna, who died in 2004. She and her husband started a small construction company that grew to develop large swaths of the county. They opened the landmark Madonna Inn in 1958.
Past honors include the Cuesta College’s Women of Distinction Award, Cattle Women of the Year, Women’s Legacy League award and the California State Assembly’s Woman of the Year award.
Reach AnnMarie Cornejo at 781-7939. Stay updated by following @a_cornejo on Twitter.