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Our Opinion: Patty Saracco: a fine choice

June 20, 2001

Doctor, musician, cancer survivor, tireless arts leader, ebullient person — those are just a few of the terms that could be used to describe Dr. Patricia Saracco, better known as Patty to the many who know, admire and love her.

Saracco was given the Brawley Chamber of Commerce's prestigious Branding Iron Award for community service June 8. All those who have been selected for the award over the years have been deserving, but Saracco rates toward the top of that list.

Brought to Brawley in 1972 by her doctor husband's work at Clinicas de Salud del Pueblo, Patty Saracco soon opened her own internal medicine private practice in Brawley and worked there until retiring in 1990. The next year she enrolled in a music conducting program at Scripps College and graduated a couple years later with a bachelor's degree in music. From 1993-1998 she was assistant conductor for the Imperial Valley Symphony. She also is the music director for the First Presbyterian Church in Brawley.


But it goes on from there. Saracco has done endless work for the arts in the Imperial Valley, which in the past had been bereft of activities, but in recent years, thanks to her work and that of a select few others, it now sometimes seems as if there is too much fun arts stuff to do.

Saracco helped form the North County Coalition for the Arts, which has provided countless wonderful programs and events to the Imperial Valley. Formed as an arm of the Imperial County Arts Council, the North County Coalition for the Arts is now heading out on its own.

Saracco was a leader in the refurbishment of the Palmer Performing Arts Center, which spruced up the premier performing arts palace in the North County. A better place for performances was accompanied by more and better shows in the North County. You can thank Patty Saracco for much of that.

For the past year Saracco has been coordinating the arts component of the Imperial Valley Regional Occupational Program's Steps to Success program. She doesn't need to do things like that, but does so because she believes in the power of the arts. And she does all she does with a personality that could be described as, well, engaging.

Patty Saracco has done all this despite having survived a bout with breast cancer in the late 1980s and the death of her beloved husband to cancer last year.

She is a woman who has made her community a better place to live, and for that she not only deserves the Branding Iron Award but our endless gratitude.

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