Profiles of Success 2019
LUZ SARMINA LEGACY AWARD
This award recognizes individuals or organizations whose impact has left a legacy in the community.
Las Damas del Valle
Las Damas del Valle was formed in 1955 by 15 civic-minded women whose families were pioneer Arizona families. These women were businesswomen, homemakers, teachers, and professionals. This group evolved from a social and volunteer organization to a network of women dedicated to serving Latino communities over 64 years. Six members, now in their nineties, form the foundation of the group and have been serving for decades: Marguerite Trujillo, Margie Navarro, Bertha Mazon, Connie Angulo, Bea Pina, and Marie Marin.
Las Damas members met monthly at their homes where they hosted lunches to plan the major volunteer and annual fundraisers. Early community projects included door to door community awareness of Eradication of Tuberculosis. In the 60s, Arizona had the highest incident rate of the disease, which required testing and education. Las Damas also supported the local South Phoenix Boy Scout troop to help purchase tents, sleeping bags and items needed for qualifications. Before the County Hospital was completed in 1970, these women acted as the hospital auxiliary volunteers helping with emergency needs and offering assistance. Las Damas also helped Friendly House fund Housekeeping classes in the Domestic Unit to teach them how to use the newest vacuums, irons and electric appliances. Since the 70s, Las Damas focused efforts toward supporting education of our Latino youth with scholarships to help with books, fees and tuition.
Las Damas has evolved from volunteering to eradicate TB in the 60s to helping students earn college degrees in 2019. Las Damas has impacted generations of Arizona families in the areas of health, education and social impact.