Senator Leyva Honors Karen DiCarlo as 2018 “Woman of the Year”

Monday, March 12, 2018

SACRAMENTO – Earlier today, Senator Connie M. Leyva (D-Chino) recognized Santa Claus, Inc. Executive Director Karen DiCarlo as 2018 “Woman of the Year” for the 20th State Senate District.

As the leader of one of the largest and oldest nonprofit charities serving impoverished youth in Southern California, Karen DiCarlo has distinguished herself as a passionate children’s advocate and humanitarian.  She has committed her life to helping children who are living in extreme poverty.  Karen began volunteering at San Bernardino based Santa Claus, Inc. in 1986.  She served four years as the Fundraising Chairman and nine years as the organization’s President before being hired as the organization’s first Executive Director in 2012.

Under Karen’s leadership in managing the organization’s operations and hundreds of dedicated volunteers, the 66-year-old organization has grown more than 500 percent over the past five years from serving 18,000 children at Christmas 2012 to now serving over 105,000 children throughout the year.  Karen has led the organization to develop thriving programs to further reach into local communities to serve children in Inland Empire communities.  Santa Claus, Inc.’s Youth Enrichment Services programs (YES!) now serves many of the Inland Empire’s most impoverished children in ten school districts while assisting over 35 other nonprofits and city and county agencies.

“It is a real honor to recognize Karen DiCarlo as the 2018 Woman of the Year for her amazing work with Santa Claus, Inc. across the Inland Empire,” Senator Leyva said. “As we celebrate Women’s History Month this month, I am grateful that we have committed leaders like Karen here in the Inland Empire that continue to give so much to our local children, families, and communities.  I am inspired by Karen’s passion to help improve the lives of children living in poverty and am very pleased to be able to recognize her as Woman of the Year for supporting and empowering so many children and families in need within our region.”

Karen DiCarlo will celebrate her 50th anniversary of marriage to her husband, Don, later this year.  They have three children and 10 grandchildren.

Senator Leyva recognized Karen DiCarlo as “Woman of the Year” at a ceremony sponsored by the California Legislative Women’s Caucus on the floor of the California State Senate.