Publication: Freedom — OCR - Placentia News-Times; Date:May 12, 2017; Section: News; Page Number: 3
WHAT A DAY
Honoring a life of giving
Remember how I mentioned that I get to do a lot of fun things as a library trustee? Last Wednesday was one of them. I got to give someone a gift, and tell her how much we treasure her.
Specifically, the “someone” was a lovely lady named Pat Irot, and the gift was a glass plate from Tiffany’s, decorated with stars, to symbolize what a “star” the Placentia Library thinks Pat is. It was all part of a larger award, recognizing Pat’s tireless volunteerism at the Placentia Round Table Women’s Club, and elsewhere.
The Placentia Round Table is part of the General Federation of Women’s Clubs, an organization founded in 1890 to make the world a better place. From promoting education, to preventing crime, to supporting the arts, this organization provides the volunteers and the funds to help others, all over the world.
They really should all have superhero capes.
Pat won the Placentia chapter’s nomination for the Jenny Award, the highest honor bestowed by GFWC. Pat will represent Placentia among the other chapter nominees in California. If she is selected, she will represent California at the national level.
We are, of course, rooting for her to go all the way. This is more exciting than the Triple Crown.
I was thrilled to be able to give her something from Tiffany’s. She deserves it. In addition to her work with the Women’s Club, she has given many hours to helping the library, even spending several years as president of the Friends’ fundraising group.
The morning was lovely at the Placentia Round Table Clubhouse. Even though I’m not a member, I know many of the women who are, and was able to spend some time talking to them. In addition to most of the library trustees, our mayor Craig Green attended, as did GFWC President Toby Kahan.
I was especially excited to see Venessa Faber, who used to work at the library. She had to quit when her childcare plans fell through, and we all miss her. We sat together at lunch and talked about volunteering.
“I have a hard time saying no,” she said. “If I see something that needs to be done and I know I can do it, I jump in.”
“I know the feeling,” I told her. “I wanted to raise my hands a dozen times at this meeting, and I’m not even a member!”
“I told my mom it’s her fault. She was a teacher, and raised me to want to help people the way she did.”
Venessa’s words echoed what Pat had said earlier, when she accepted her award. According to Pat, she had been raised in a family of love and support, who naturally shared their good fortune with others. I wished I could have learned this as a child. My volunteerism didn’t begin until I was an adult, but I’m trying to make up for lost time.
It struck me that Pat and Venessa are on opposite ends of the age graph, and yet are practically twins in their attitude of giving. They were joined by an entire room filled with women who want to help others.
I’m sure they all look to Pat Irot as inspiration. I know I do.
Longtime Placentia resident Gayle Carline tracks those moments that shape her days as a wife, mom, computer whiz and horsewoman. E-mail her at [email protected].