Cayucos group honors local women

How do you choose? So many contribute to make their community the best it can be. “For such a little community, we have so many amazing women who often work behind the scenes to support the community,” said Suzanna Love, who co-chairs with Cary Maffioli the first Women of the Year Luncheon benefitting the Cayucos Education Foundation.

“You don’t have to be a school volunteer to make a difference. I believe when you make the community a better place, it demonstrates to our children what they can do as they become adults.”

Five women will be honored at a luncheon served by Candy Whitsett’s culinary class on March 6 at 12:30 p.m. at the new Cayucos Elementary School Multipurpose Auditorium.

Foundation Chairwoman Elaine Thompson said, “When I asked around the community, these women came up over and over. And every one of them said, ‘Why me? There are so many other worthy women.’ ”

Tena Bettencourt is a Cayucos Lioness Club charter member who helped raise funds for the community swimming pool. She always puts family first and supports education and the environment.

Shirley Lyon, an active Lioness, spearheaded numerous fundraisers for scholarships, feeding the hungry and the tot pool at Hardie Park. She is past president of the Scenic Coast Association of Realtors board, sits on many community boards and commissions and inspires her Coldwell Banker associates to get involved in their communities.

Sheila Lebbad sits on numerous committees at the Cayucos Community Church and chairs the annual Thanksgiving Community Dinner. She quietly works to feed shut-ins and, as co-owner of Cayucos Pharmacy, makes sure people who need medicine receive it regardless of their ability to pay.

Ingrid Goelz is the Cayucos Art Association gallery director and host coordinator. She chairs the annual Art Soiree to fund art scholarships, chairs young artists’ exhibits at the gallery and champions everything art in Cayucos.

Pat McKaye runs the Cayucos Seniors thrift store and volunteer programs. Proceeds support community needs such as work tables for the school and gasoline for the seniors’ van for outings and medical appointments. She also quietly makes sure the needy stay warm.

“When we interviewed the women, we found they did much more than anyone in the community realized,” Thompson said. “I know they don’t do what they do for awards, but it is time to say thank you for their worthy efforts.”

Tickets are limited and on sale now for $20 or $140 per table at Cayucos Elementary School. Call Thompson at 995-0739 or Love at 995-1672 for questions or tickets.

Reach Judy Salamacha at 801-1422 or jsalamacha@yahoo.com.