SUISUN CITY — Two women who have spent years working to make Solano County better for others were singled out Friday during the seventh Annual Women’s History Luncheon.
Deborah McGuire, a 40-year Vacaville resident, has worked tirelessly behind the scenes to help educate, inspire and help children and those less fortunate in the community.
“This is not about me, but about all of you for creating the opportunities for all of us to serve the needy in the community,” said McGuire, founder of Children’s Network of Solano County.
McGuire has been inspired to help coordinate and guide a variety of programs since the early 1970s. Her role models include her mother and Shereene Wilkenson, retired assistant superintendent of Vacaville School District.
She became passionate about her work with the Youth Takin’ on Tobacco program and how it empowered and motivated the younger generation against tobacco and smoking. In 1997, she became program coordinate for the group and has since continued with a variety of other youth programs.
“Working with them, I saw there was a real need in the community to help,” McGuire said.
“I have found that relationships are really important,” she said. “They are what help make the connections to resources to accomplish what needs to be done.”
McGuire wants to slow down a bit in the future and focus her talents and energies on her family. She said she hopes to see the younger generation figure out the problems before they happen.
“It’s about having the vision to see those problems before an issue arises,” she said.
Carolyn Wold was instrumental in gathering a variety of people and groups to create the Solano Justice Center and Safe Harbor for Kids Visitation Center. She is passionate about protecting women and children, being a longtime advocate in helping to prevent domestic violence. Her commitment has led her to her current position as the family violence prevention officer for Solano County.
Wold was not able to attend the luncheon because of a family commitment.
Her prerecorded acceptance was presented with a short video. In it she said, “This has been difficult work, it is wonderful to be recognized.” She reminded the audience that it is important to “pay it forward” by doing their part to help protect and encourage women in the community.
Lt. Col. Jacqueline Breeden, commander of the 22nd Airlift Squadron at Travis Air Force Base, was honorary chairwoman of the event. She is a pilot with more than 2,000 flight hours, a wife and mother of two children. Breeden has been a member of the Air Force since graduating the U.S. Air Force Academy in 1994.
Her role model and inspiration was her grandmother, who helped to raise her and her sister after her grandfather died. Her mother, also a significant role model, was an educator.
“We are all a product of our experiences. I have been greatly influenced by my work,” Breeden said. “I have benefited from the legislation which has opened doors for me and other women to get an education. I am truly honored.”
In addition to honoring these three women, the luncheon was also a fundraiser for the Solano County Library Foundation. This year’s donations amounted to $7,600. Funds raised from the Women of the Year celebration go to help fund future Solano County Library women’s programs.
The luncheon took place in the Joseph A. Nelson Community Center in Suisun City.
Reach Susan Hiland at 427-6981 or firstname.lastname@example.org.