Besides honoring distinguished local women, the luncheon celebration is also the major fundraiser for The Salvation Army Women’s Auxiliary of San Diego County.
The auxiliary sponsors a number of humanitarian programs including Adult Rehabilitation Centers, Coordinated Assistance to Residental Stability (CARS), Christmas Programs Assistance, Thanksgiving at Golden Hall, Christmas banquets, Door of Hope, family services, homeless outreach, senior nutrition sites and the Shelter Transition Employment Program Services (STEPS).
“For me, it’s a real honor,” said Durisoe on being chosen a “Wonder Woman,” one of two La Jollans, along with Sally Watt Oxley, so honored last year. “They (Salvation Army) discovered I was an active person within the community, and it was a total surprise.”
Durisoe was recognized for her community volunteer work, and her family is deeply engaged in operating the historic, five-star, Balinese-themed luxury boutique hotel Pantai Inn at 1003 Coast Blvd. Pantai has achieved international acclaim and is ranked the No.1 San Diego hotel by TripAdvisor.
Proud of her family heritage and its military background, Durisoe cited her father’s dedication during 25-plus years in the Navy. He retired as a commander. Durisoe said her mother and father both instilled in her the love for the military and giving back to the military community.
It took Durisoe and her family five years, in a legacy effort inspired by her grandfather, to restore a special part of historic La Jolla with buildings dating from 1904 to the 1950’s.
Raised in La Mesa and a graduate of Grossmont High School and San Diego State University, Durisoe’s current résumé of volunteer activities contains an impressive list of civic engagements including: being on the USO board for 25 years; 20 years as a La Jolla Rotary Club member; 10 years creating and directing the Northeast Texas Film Commission; and five years on the Center for World Music board.
In recent years, Durisoe was elected to the La Jolla Merchants Association board promoting and developing the “Village” of La Jolla; became a member of the San Diego Lincoln Club, an organization dedicated to making a stronger business community; was inducted into the Charter 100 organization promoting accomplishments of professional women; and was recruited for the San Diego Chapter Board of PATA, Pacific Asia Travel Association.
Internationally-acclaimed, Durisoe will be representing PATA in Macau to hundreds of travel industry institutions from around the world.
Durisoe said she was given something special, a dozen yellow long-stemmed roses, as part of being selected one of 2017’s 12 Women of Distinction.
About being named a wonder woman, Durisoe said, “It’s a nice way to be recognized for what you do in San Diego.”