ARC honor: Activist Hazel Kay memorialized with new award

September 01, 2004
Santa Paula News

Everyone loved Hazel Kay, the quick-witted and outspoken advocate for many causes.

By Peggy KellySanta Paula TimesEveryone loved Hazel Kay, the quick-witted and outspoken advocate for many causes.But one cause particularly close to the heart of Hazel, who died May 6 at 79, was ARC, which serves the developmentally disabled with life skills, independent living and job training, among other services.So strong was Hazel’s devotion to ARC that the ARC Heritage Valley Community Integration Center is named in her honor as well as in honor of another strong ARC supporter and activist, Dorothy Smead, also a Santa Paula resident.Now the Hazel Kay Benefactor’s Award will be given annually to a volunteer, organization or business that financially supports ARC in its mission to serve Ventura County’s developmentally disabled adults.A video tribute to Hazel was shown during the recent Touching the Stars 50th anniversary gala held at Spanish Hills Country Club, where Hazel had long been a member.
Hazel, a resident of Santa Paula for 40 years, was the president of Ventura County ARC three times and served the organization on the state level for more than 20 years. She was also the President of the Tri-Counties ARC for two terms. Hazel’s interest in ARC resulted from a son and daughter – both deceased – who were developmentally disabled. Hazel established the first special education programs for the developmentally disabled in Culver City. She and her late husband, Heinz, also had two daughters, Joanne Jordan and Cézanne Joharchi, as well as seven grandchildren.Hazel also established the Foundation for Retarded Citizens, ARC’s local fundraising component.Hazel, a chemist, headed the Santa Paula Memorial Hospital Laboratory for over 20 years. Hazel was an active member of Soroptimist International of Santa Paula – she was President 1982-83 - where her natural generosity made possible many programs and her lively personality added mightily to the club’s popularity.As a 12-year member of the Santa Paula Housing Authority, Hazel was devoted to providing clean, safe and affordable housing to low-income residents, and like all causes Hazel embraced, it was bettered through her deep involvement.The first ARC Hazel Kay Benefactor’s Award will be presented in December at the annual ARC awards and installation luncheon.

Site Search



Call 805 525 1890 to receive the entire paper early. $50.00 for one year.