The Woman’s Civic League of Pasadena has recently named one of its own members, Rita Elshout, as the 2017 Woman of the Year.
Pasadena’s former mayor, Bill Thomson, attended the luncheon to honor Elshout’s service to the community. She was a field representative for Thomson for 16 years, including the years he was mayor, fielding public appearance requests and attending to constituents’ complaints and concerns, all of which made it possible for Thomson to serve effectively and earn re-election for four terms on the council.
After Thomson retired, Elshout went to Caltech where she was coordinator of the Friends of the Beckman, a support group helping to cover costs of a variety of events. She brought in new members and a lineup of programs at Beckman Auditorium.
Upon retirement, Elshout joined the Woman’s Civic League in 2006 and currently is the chairwoman to the League’s Ways & Means Committee. She and her committee are responsible for the Holiday Boutique, the major fundraiser for grants. She is also in charge of the “Be an Angel” donation, with donations raised each year to cover the entire cost for the annual Middle School Girls May Acknowledgement Luncheon with gifts for girls from seven Pasadena schools. Her other memberships include the Shakespeare Juniors Club, League of Women Voters, Assistance League and she also helps fund-raise for Pasadena City College.