Four La Jollans to be honored at ‘Women of Dedication’ Salvation Army lunch


Tickets still available for elegant Salvation Army’s “Women of Dedication” luncheon at (619) 446-0273

The Salvation Army Women’s Auxiliary will honor 15 women for their longstanding record of community service — including four La Jollans — during its 50th annual Women of Dedication luncheon, “50 and Fabulous,” Tuesday, April 7 at Hilton San Diego Bayfront Hotel.

The La Jolla honorees are: Vicki Baron, Diane Annala Chalmers, Micki Olin and Doreen Schonbrun.

Baron recently served as board chair of Barrio Logan College Institute, an afterschool program providing underserved students with access to higher education, and is an advisory board member with University of San Diego’s School of Leadership and Education Sciences, where she established an annual scholarship.

Tickets still available for elegant Salvation Army luncheon at (619) 446-0273

The outgoing president of ARCS Foundation, Inc., Chalmers has served on the boards of numerous nonprofit and arts foundations, including San Diego Repertory Theatre, La Jolla Cancer Research Foundation and Urban Corps of San Diego.

Olin’s community service has benefitted schools, including Bird Rock Elementary, La Jolla High, The Gillispie School and Bishop’s School. She served five years on Las Patronas’ board of directors, chairing the 2004 Jewel Ball.

Schonbrun serves on the executive board of the San Diego Center for Children, which is committed to the treatment of young people suffering from severe emotional or psychological challenges. She was appointed by the mayor to the San Diego Commission for Arts & Culture, and is co-program director for the Sanford Burnham Fishman Fund “Group of 12 and Friends” lecture series.

“Every year for the past 50 years the Salvation Army has honored 15 women who spend their lives publically dedicated to causes and issues and purpose,” said Salvation Army Social Services Coordinator, Major Jessyca Carr, during a recent visit to the organization’s Door of Hope campus for women and families in Kearney Mesa. “We are recognizing amazing women in the community and each year those 15 women have the opportunity to nominate other women that they know are really, really dedicated. That’s how we make really great friends — the Army is not just honoring them, but also inviting them to participate in what we do.”

La Jolla community volunteer and 2013 Women of Dedication honoree Sherry Ahern said that’s exactly how she got involved with Salvation Army.

After finishing her service on the La Jolla Community Center board, Ahern was recognized as a Woman of Dedication for her efforts to raise funds for La Jolla schools by starting the La Jolla Open Aire Market, for helping establish the La Jolla Pediatric Diabetes Research Center and other charitable activities.

“The Salvation Army came along at just the right time for me,” said Ahern, who held a luncheon at Door of Hope recently to show women how the money raised by the Women’s Auxiliary benefits those in need.

Although Ahern said she didn’t know a lot about the Salvation Army before being honored, she answered the organization’s call to service and is now fundraising chair for the Women of Dedication lunch.

“More than 80 percent of every dollar comes back to the Salvation Army, (while) so many of the other nonprofits are paying a lot of money in salaries,” Ahern said of her reason for getting involved. “I’ve made this a choice. This is near and dear to me. It’s going to be in my life forever.”

The Salvation Army is in the midst of a fundraising campaign to add an interim housing facility to its Door of Hope campus that will serve homeless families.

“It’s short-term housing to help people get their lives restarted and get them back into permanent housing as quickly as possible,” said Carr, who lived on the streets as a teen and rebuilt her life through assistance from the Salvation Army.

She said Door of Hope’s transitional housing offers support for women with severe substance abuse and mental health issues, and the victims of domestic violence.

“Door of Hope has 27 percent funding from the federal government,” she said. “The majority of our income is through the generosity of our friends and family and strangers — the people who recognize the Salvation Army as a name to be trusted.”

IF YOU GO: Women of Dedication Lunch, 10:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. Tuesday, April 7. Hilton San Diego Bayfront, 
1 Park Blvd. Tickets: $100 at (619) 446-0273 or