Lustgarten, who won a council seat in Patterson by a narrow margin in 2012, was ecstatic Monday, Feb. 24.
“I was shocked,” Lustgarten said of the award. “It just really touched me. It gives me a good feeling to be thought of like that by some really powerful women.”
Crows Landing resident Zora Arredondo and former Mayor Pat Maisetti announced their nomination at the meeting Feb. 18. A banquet celebrating this year’s 10 selections from around the county will be held at 6 p.m. Saturday, March 15.
Later, the council agreed by consensus to have Lustgarten serve as mayor pro tem—the person to lead the council meetings in the absence of the mayor.
“I’ve just been really lucky enough to help a lot of women in the area,” Lustgarten said, noting how she recently helped a woman specifically get out of an abusive relationship and back on her feet.
Lustgarten disclosed during her campaign in 2012 that she had previously been in an abusive relationship and recovered. Since the incident, she indicated she would like to help others regarding abuse.
Arredondo and Maisetti, both past winners, stated they were happy their nominated candidate was chosen.
Maisetti said she specifically chose Lustgarten as a nomination based on her work in the community as a council member.
“She’s extremely active with the senior group (Hammon Senior Center) and what they’re doing,” Maisetti noted. “She’s the one on the council that always asks a great deal of questions, also. She’s a credit to the town.”
Crows Landing resident Zora Arredondo said the award is noteworthy.
“It is the most prestigious award for a woman in Stanislaus County,” she said. “We’re extremely happy to that Sheree was selected and are looking forward to helping her celebrate.”
The Stanislaus County Commission on Women was formed in July 1979 as an independent, non-governmental organization to promote an awareness of issues that concern women, according to the organization’s website. The Commission does not receive government funding.
According to the organization’s mission statement: “Stanislaus County Commission for Women is committed to supporting a coordinated effort by concerned groups and individuals in Stanislaus County to develop more fully the potential of all women.”
The group lists some of the causes it champions as pro-choice and reproductive rights, gender pay equity, adequate funding for women and children’s health issues and research, ending violence against women, adequate, safe and affordable child care and child care issues and anti-discrimination based on sexual orientation.
n Nick Rappley can be reached at 209-568-9975 or firstname.lastname@example.org..