Soroptimists Host 5th Annual ‘Live Your Dream’ Luncheon

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Free.Get all the latest Pasadena news, more than 10 fresh stories daily, 7 days a week at 7 a.m. center column 4 Soroptimists Host 5th Annual ‘Live Your Dream’ Luncheon From STAFF REPORTS Published on Friday, March 27, 2015 | 4:57 pm Business News Pasadena’s ‘626 Day’ Aims to Celebrate City, Boost Local Economy Community News More Cool Stuff From left: Gerald Phillips, Field Representative of Assembly Member Chris Holden; Rita Hadjimonoukian, Field Deputy of County Supervisor Michael D. Antonovich, LYD award winner Sarah Elizabeth Nichols Abdus-Samad; VRA award winner Taylore Thomas; Ruby award winner Reverend Dr. Donna Byrns; and Viola Van, Field Representative, 27th Dist. Congresswoman Judy Chu.From left: VRA award winner Taylore Thomas, LYD award winner Sarah Elizabeth Nichols Abdus-Samad, and Ruby award winner Reverend Dr. Donna Byrns with gifts from HazelsBagz.“I want to be a voice for women who are victims of domestic violence.” These were the words of Sarah Elizabeth Nichols Abdus-Samad, the recipient of the “Live Your Dream” award from the Altadena-Pasadena chapter of Soroptimist International at a luncheon held recently at the Women’s City Club in Pasadena.The “Live Your Dream” honor represents Soroptimist International’s signature award, and is given to a woman who is overcoming personal difficulties and is improving her life through education and skills training. Since 1972, the LYD award – formerly known as the Women’s Opportunity Award – has disbursed over $15 million worldwide and has assisted thousands of women to reclaim their dreams of a better life for themselves and their families. Altadena-Pasadena Soroptimists also honored Taylore Thomas with the Violet Richardson Award (named after Soroptimists’ first president), an honor given to a young woman between the ages of 14 – 18 who has improved her community through her volunteer efforts. And finally, Reverend Dr. Donna Byrns was given the Ruby Award for improving the lives of women and girls through her professional and volunteer work.From left: Ruby award winner Reverend Dr. Donna Byrns; Sarah’s son; LYD award winner Sarah Elizabeth Nichols Abdus-Samad; and VRA award winner Taylore Thomas with commendations from L.A. County.Ruby Award winner Reverend Dr. Donna Byrns is a retired minister who is currently Director of Friends Indeed, an organization that’s dedicated to meeting the needs of homeless and at-risk individuals in greater Pasadena. Very active in the peace movement, Dr. Byrns organized the Pasadena Interfaith Walk for Peace and Shoe Drive in 2012, whereby over 3000 pairs of shoes were distributed to 12 local charities. She is now creating “My Buddy’s Place,” a project that will gather and distribute clothing to those in need, including women and children. When accepting her award, she stated, “Uniting Pasadena is our goal.”Violet Richardson Award winner Taylore Thomas volunteered with the Gamma Lambda Xinos Chapter of the National Sorority of Phi Delta Kappa for most of her high school years. This organization is focused on empowering high school age African-American girls and helping them succeed in life. With her sorority chapter, Taylore assisted with Union Station’s Annual Thanksgiving Dinner, among other projects. As a volunteer at the recent Martin Luther King Program in Pasadena, Taylore met with Pasadena community leaders and club members who presented awards to local students for art pieces that represented King’s objectives. In a written statement, Taylore acknowledged that her involvement with these projects “has not only improved my city, but has alsoSarah Elizabeth Nichols Abdus-Samad receives the Live Your Dream award from Soroptimist member Marilyn Stalder-Burke.made me a more well-rounded and conscientious individual.”Sarah Elizabeth Nichols Abdus-Samad, the recipient of the “Live Your Dream” Award, is a mother of two sons, eight and ten years old. She’s a survivor of domestic violence who left her abusive husband, and is now a single parent who provides for herself and her children with no financial support from her former spouse. “One of the reasons I’m here is that during this tumultuous time in my life, I went to Women at Work, where I got the application [to apply for the LYD award],” she commented. She began attending an Interior Design program at Cal State University, Northridge in 2008, but withdrew a year later to get therapy for her youngest son, who wasn’t able to speak. Her older son also had some academic challenges, but now both have overcome obstacles and are doing much better, she reported. In 2013, she returned to CSUN to work towards a Bachelor of Science degree in Interior Design, and said that her goal is to do design work for the underprivileged. Sarah concluded, “I’ve gained stronger faith and hope for the future.”Soroptimist International is a global volunteer organization that works to improve the lives of women and girls in local communities and around the world. For more information, visit Pasadena Will Allow Vaccinated People to Go Without Masks in Most Settings Starting on Tuesday Home of the Week: Unique Pasadena Home Located on Madeline Drive, Pasadenalast_img read more

Long Island Man’s Alleged al Qaeda Recruiters Charged

first_imgSign up for our COVID-19 newsletter to stay up-to-date on the latest coronavirus news throughout New York Federal prosecutors Tuesday unsealed a five-year-old criminal complaint accusing two Yemeni nationals of fighting for al Qaeda and helping Long Island-native Bryant Neal Vinas join the terrorist group in 2008.Saddiq Al-Abbadi, also known as Sufiyan al-Yemeni, and Ali Alivi, who also goes by the name Issa al-Yemeni, were both charged with conspiracy to murder United States nationals abroad and providing material support to al Qaeda. The federal complaint has been sealed since April 15, 2009.“There’s no escape from the reach of our law for violent terrorists, especially if they target our military,” Loretta Lynch, U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of New York, said in a statement.The pair was arrested in Saudi Arabia and brought to the US for trial, but the details of their apprehension and extradition were not available. Alvi appeared in federal court in Brooklyn on Sunday. Al-Abbadi’s first appearance is scheduled for Tuesday.Al-Abbadi and Alivi were both members of al Qaeda when they fought U.S. military forces stationed in Afghanistan, according to the court documents. In March 2008, the men traveled to the tribal areas of Pakistan, where they hoped to train and fight with al Qaeda, according to the federal complaint. It was during that time that they met Vinas and helped him join al Qaeda, court documents state.Credit: Federal Detention LetterVinas, who was raised Roman Catholic in Patchogue, was arrested by Pakistani police in 2008 and brought back to the United States. He has since pleaded guilty to helping the group plan an attack on the Long Island Rail Road. Vinas is one of four Long Islanders federal authorities have linked to al Qaeda: two were arrested before traveling abroad, and another, Samir Khan, was never indicted but he was killed in a drone strike in Yemen.It has been widely reported that Vinas, who still has yet to be sentenced, has been cooperating with authorities since 2008. The federal complaint is largely built on testimony from an unnamed cooperating witness who traveled to Pakistan in 2007 intending to join al Qaeda but was initially rebuffed by the organization. But Vinas is named in a federal detention letter associated with the case.In December 2007, the unnamed witness was taken to an al-Qaeda safe house in South Waziristan and vetted for admission, according to court documents. Alvi was also in attendance. An al-Qaeda leader suspected that the witness was a spy and refused his request to join the group.In March 2008, the federal government’s witness was staying at the same house with both Alvi and Al-Abbadi and learned that they were both members of al Qaeda, according to court documents. Al-Abbadi allegedly boasted about his time on the battlefield to the witness, displaying a scar and playing a video that showed him celebrating along with other fighters after a “successful attack,” the documents state.The two men and the witness apparently bonded. With the pair’s help, the witness had gained entry into al Qaeda, according to court documents. Vinas is the only American named in court documents who joined al Qaeda.During this time, Al-Abbadi and Alvi traveled from Pakistan to Afghanistan to conduct attacks against US military personnel, according to the complaint. Al-Abbadi is accused of leading a battle against US forces in Paktya Province in May 2008. A U.S. Army Ranger was killed and several others were wounded in the battle.Alvi eventually grew dissatisfied with al Qaeda senior leadership and left to join the Taliban. The facts of their arrest are still unclear.last_img read more

Big crowd enjoys season championship night at CJ

first_imgCOLUMBUS JUNCTION, Iowa (Aug. 21) – The largest crowd of the year came out on Friday night to cheer on their favorite drivers on a near perfect weather night at the CJ Speedway. Mincer Ford of Columbus Junction sponsored the season championship races. By Jerry Mackey  All 2020 IMCA point standings become official on Oct. 26. Cody Staley continued his mastery of CJ Speedway, wrapping up the track title with his seventh consecutive Mach-1 Sport Compact feature win.  Tenth starting Damon Murty broke out of the pack just past the midway point to take control of second. A lap 13 caution bunched the field on the restart the battle was on for the lead. Murty used both the high side and the bottom before shooting past Gordon and into the lead on lap 16. The IMCA Sunoco Stock Car feature took the green with Howard Gordon Jr. setting sail from his outside front row starting position. Gordon led the first half of the race while a fierce battle was waged by a pack of contenders for second. Adam Bell, who has been a late race charger all year finished strong by taking second and stamped his name in the record books by becoming the track champion.last_img read more