Mayor Antonovich (center) with the Women of the Year Honorees Lillian Knight, Linda Van Der Valk, Juanita DeVaughn, and Commission on Women President Becky Shevlin
LOS ANGELES COUNTY —At the Los Angeles County Commission for Women’s annual “Woman of the Year” luncheon, Mayor Michael D. Antonovich honored Linda van der Valk, Juanita DeVaughn, and Lilian Knight – three women from the County’s 5th District who advocate for the well-being of women and families while making a difference in their local communities.
A true Los Angeles native, Linda van der Valk was born in Los Angeles County and has since spent the majority of life in the San Fernando Valley. Ms. van der Valk’s life of community service began when her children entered school and she participated in the Parent Teacher Association, Brownies, Girl Scouts, Cub Scouts and Boy Scouts.
“Linda van der Valk, widely considered the ‘de facto Mayor of Chatsworth,’ has helped make Chatsworth what it is today, especially through her involvement with the Chatsworth Community Coordinating Council; Chatsworth Historical Society; and as a founding member of the Chatsworth Neighborhood Council,” said Mayor Antonovich.
Juanita DeVaughn began her life of service as a young woman in Alabama actively involved in the Civil Rights Movement. In spite of potential repercussions, she marched with Dr. Martin Luther King and helped provide food for the funeral repast meal following the 16th Street Baptist Church bombing. Ms. DeVaughn spent her career teaching in Pasadena and Altadena, and upon her retirement dedicated her time to service with her church, community based organizations, and voter registration efforts.
“A longtime Altadena resident, Juanita DeVaughn has been an exemplary community citizen and volunteer – serving as a mentor and role model for youth and adults alike; and is especially proud of international opera singer Angel Blue,” said Mayor Antonovich.
Lily Knight, a native of Chile, came to the United States as an exchange student, and then soon returned on a student visa, and has resided in the Antelope Valley for over 25 years. Lily works as a neonatal intensive care nurse at Antelope Valley Hospital where she spends considerable time teaching mothers how to care for their premature babies at home, and mentoring new nurses in the field.
“While she is active in the community, Lily Knight has been most supportive of her family – working with her husband, Congressman Steve Knight, on his many political campaigns, and volunteering at her children’s schools as part of their respective parent teacher organizations and booster clubs,” said Mayor Antonovich.
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