LANCASTER – Dayle DeBry, local historian, author, and manager of Lancaster Cemetery District took top honors Friday evening as the 2011 Athena recipient for the Antelope Valley.
The annual Athena Award is presented to a woman who has attained and embodies the highest level of professional excellence in her business or profession, has devoted time and energy to improve the quality of life for others in the community and actively assists women in realizing their leadership potential.
The Zonta Club of the Antelope Valley held a cocktail reception and dinner Friday at the Hellenic Center to announce DeBry as the 2011 Athena recipient.
In accepting her award, DeBry recited her mantra: “It’s remember, honor and teach. Remember those who have come before you, our veterans. Honor our current veterans. And teach children about our past and our present,” said DeBry. “I really appreciate this, thank you very much.”
In addition to her work with the Lancaster Cemetery District, DeBry is a director with the nonprofit Friends of the Lancaster Cemetery and organizes events at the cemetery and other venues pertaining to the honoring of veterans and the pioneers of the Antelope Valley.
DeBry was recently elected vice-president and serves as public relations director for the World War II nonprofit P-38 National Association based in Riverside, CA. This year DeBry was instrumental in the dedication of a monument in France, honoring a pilot who was killed during WWII.
She focuses her time promoting and honoring veterans in the community, with the most recent fundraising project culminating in the completion of a Women’s Airforce Service Pilots’ monument at Lancaster Cemetery’s Veterans Court of Honor. The Wreaths Across America program to honor veterans during the holiday season was implemented by DeBry in conjunction with Arlington National Cemetery. The cemetery was awarded the California Special District Association’s 2011 Exceptional Public Outreach Award due to her continuous effort to connect with the community. DeBry serves as a director with the West Antelope Valley Historical Society; is a member of the Daughters of the American Revolution and the Los Angeles Conservancy.
There were eight nominees for the 2011 Athena Award:
- Dayle DeBry – Lancaster Cemetery District (nominated by Gary Chapman)
- Sue Dell – Attorney at Law (nominated by Vivian Komori)
- Ann Hill – Antelope Valley Healthcare (nominated by Ramon Ortega)
- Sandra Johnson – University of Antelope Valley (nominated by Christine Powers)
- Bridget Razo – Antelope Valley College Foundation (nominated by Patricia Shaw)
- Vickie Ryan – Prudential Troth Realtors (nominated by Tamara Stoebe)
- Patricia Shaw – Planning Commissioner (nominated by Denise Latanzi)
- Deana Ward – Deana’s Equipment Rental (nominated by Sandy Smith)
For many more pictures of the Athena Award 2011 cocktail reception and dinner, visit our facebook page.