Sarah Mero Sandra Wohali, left, Alisa Rosillo, Lisa Sweet, Carin Kaplan and Mary Ann McCoy are this year’s Women of Distinction.

Soroptimists celebrate ­distinguished local women

Soroptimists celebrate ­distinguished local women
Sarah Mero, Sandra Wohali, Alisa Rosillo, Lisa Sweet, Carin Kaplan and Mary Ann McCoy are this year’s Women of Distinction.

Concord resident Lisa Sweet, founder of Sweet Beginnings Family Resource Center, is this year’s Woman of the Year from the Soroptimist International of Diablo Vista.

Her diaper bank, the first of its kind in the East Bay, distributes more than 5,000 diapers per month to families in need.

Two other Concord residents and a Clayton resident are among the Women of Distinction honored at the March 20 event.

Longtime Clayton resident Carin Kaplan has been involved in the Clayton Historical Society, the Clayton Business and Community Association and the Garden Club. She also has fostered service dogs in training to help alert people with diabetes.

Alisa Rosillo, the Concord mother of two children who need wheelchairs, was instrumental in the state Legislature’s passage of a measure to ensure that people like her sons have access to places of amusement and restroom facilities.

Concord resident Sandra Wohali, an administrator with the Mt. Diablo Unified School District, is dedicated to serving the special needs of homeless and foster youth to ensure academic as well as social/emotional success.

Mary Ann McCoy, formerly of San Ramon, is the founder and executive director of Children of Grace. The organization provides education, health care and mentoring to thousands of orphans and other children in Uganda impacted by extreme poverty and the AIDS epidemic.

Meanwhile, the Soroptimists presented grants to two head of household women who are pursuing an education to create a better life for themselves and their families, along with the Violet Richardson award to a high school age girl who has made a contribution to her community through volunteer work. This year’s high school winner, Aava Farhadi, started a program to mentor middle school girls.

Soroptimist International is dedicated to improving the lives of women and girls in our communities through scholarship, mentoring and recognition.