Booker, Chavez join La Luz Center board

La Luz Center has named two new board members. Ligia Booker, La Luz’s founder, has been named director emeritus, and Salvador Picazo Chavez has been elected to the board of directors.

“Ligia’s a treasure to our community and to La Luz. Her ability to sense the needs of others and to do something about it within our community is what makes her so special. She so deserves to be recognized as emeritus board director,” said Claudia Mendoza-Carruth, La Luz board president. “Sal’s ability to engage the schools and see the important synergy between them and our community organizations will help bring La Luz into a new era of service with our young student population in Sonoma. Our board is inspired by both of them we welcome them with great appreciation.”

Born in Colombia to a large philanthropic family of strong faith, Booker came to the United States at age 17. After her mother passed away, she returned home to care for 10 siblings, only to fall in love there with Don Booker, an American helicopter bush pilot, who after several job stops brought her to Sonoma.

Booker saw Sonoma through the eyes of an immigrant. In the beginning, she met with those in need at local churches and at her home. Once the official La Luz center opened in its current location, she said, “We were overwhelmed by the needs of the community.”

Persistence and the phone were her allies. She explains, “I learned how to get things done by calling around town to the key people who could help.”

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