Portantino Celebrates 25th Senate District Women of Distinction in Honor of Women’s History Month

(L to R) Carmenita Helligar, Senator Anthony Portantino, Suzanne Weerts (Photo supplied by Anthony Portantino staff)

In honor of Women’s History Month, Senator Anthony J. Portantino (D – Burbank) hosted the 25th Senate District Women of Distinction Awards Reception on Sunday, March 12 in Pasadena. The Senator recognized 15 accomplished women from across the Senate District who have positively contributed to their communities and the State of California.  The honorees reside or work in Glendale, Pasadena, Burbank, Claremont, La Crescenta, Los Angeles, and La Verne and have exemplified and extended volunteerism, philanthropy, and leadership throughout all of the communities in our district.

The California State Legislature first recognized March as Women’s History Month in 1987 and has since continued the tradition. Each year, members of the State Legislature recognize exceptional women in their district with a celebration commemorating their efforts.

“I am proud to recognize 15 remarkable women who are dedicated to serving our communities with distinction,” stated Senator Portantino. “The breath of their successful efforts are reflected in countless individuals they have helped and inspired.  They are all deserving of this special recognition and I am thankful to be in a position to shine a light on them and the difference they make for the 25th Senate District.”

25th Senate District Women of Distinction from Burbank:

Carmenita Helligar with Senator Anthony Portantino (Photo supplied by Anthony Portantino staff)

Carmenita Helligar

Ms. Helligar has lived in Burbank for almost 20 years and served on the Burbank Library Board of Trustees. Currently, she is board member of “Elevate Burbank,” a nonprofit that promotes cultural diversity in Burbank and co-founder of the “Destiny Education Project,” a nonprofit organization that advocates for racial justice on behalf of Burbank students. Ms. Helligar is a newly appointed Board member for the Burbank Chamber of Commerce. As an entrepreneur, Ms. Helligar is the Founder and CEO of Local As Can Bee, an e-commerce marketplace offering local retail brick-and-mortar businesses an online presence and the opportunity to sell their products globally. 

Suzanne Weerts with Senator Anthony Portantino (Photo supplied by Anthony Portantino staff)

Suzanne Weerts

Suzanne Weerts is active in the Burbank community as an arts, education and mental health advocate, and has raised hundreds of thousands of dollars for local charities and Burbank Unified School District programs. She spent a decade on the Board of the Burbank Arts For All Foundation, and currently serves as a board member for the Burbank Human Relations Council and as a Burbank Cultural Arts Commissioner. Ms. Weerts has been a mentor with Young Storytellers and a speakers coach with TedX Pasadena Women and has produced and directed a dozen benefit shows at The Colony Theatre to raise money and awareness for Family Service Agency of Burbank.

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