Women of Distinction

Zonta Club of Joliet to Honor 2017 Woman of Distinction Kay Bolden at March 5 Fundraiser

The Zonta Club of Joliet will honor its 2017 Woman of Distinction, Kay Bolden, at its annual fundraiser on Sunday, March 5, at the Crystal Grand, 12416 S. Archer Ave. in Lemont. The event will begin with a social hour and cash bar from 11 a.m. to 12 p.m. Lunch will be served at noon.

The Woman of Distinction is a person who has contributed to Zonta’s mission of improving the status of women around the world.  Kay Bolden is the Executive Director of the Warren-Sharpe Community Center and a Joliet native. 

The daughter of civil rights activists Judge Raymond Bolden and the late Kathleen Bolden, Kay learned from a young age the importance of standing up for justice; of defending the disenfranchised; and of working to end social inequalities.

When Warren-Sharpe Community Center opened its doors in 1991, Kay was appointed its first Executive Director. With a mission to reach the high-risk teens on Joliet’s south side, and to transform a struggling neighborhood, Kay developed a holistic and inclusive approach to solving neighborhood problems. Under her stewardship, the Center has grown into a full-service community resource, providing educational, recreational and social support programs to low-income families all over Will County. The Center’s food pantry supports over 800 households every month, and has been featured as a model program in The Full Plate, the newsletter of Solve Hunger Today.

Kay is the published author of numerous magazine articles and essays on parenting and family travel. Her work has appeared in Woman’s Day, Mothering Magazine, American Baby, the Chicago Tribune, Chicken Soup for the Single’s Soul, and other print and online publications. In January, 2014, she published her first book She Lives in You! The Kathleen Bolden Story, telling the story of Lewis University Trailblazer and Warren-Sharpe founder, Kathleen Bolden. Her second book, Veggie Casserole: Kids Cook the Darndest Thingsbased on her experiences with the Center’s Kids in the Kitchen program, was published in March, 2016.