Patricia Otstott

Daily Point of Light # 1402 Jun 18, 1999

“I would rather be volunteering” is Patricia Otstott’s personal motto. Her lifelong commitment to improving her community through effective leadership, vision and undaunted spirit is impressive. That she participates on the highest levels in volunteer organizations despite the fact that she is legally blind is an inspiration.

Her achievements include President of the Junior League of San Francisco, Board Member of the California Board of Cosmetology (appointed by Governor Duekmajian), California Library Services Board member (appointed by Governor Wilson) and member of the St. Francis Hospital Auxiliary Board of Directors. She has lobbied successfully for the passage of The Breast Cancer Act of 1993, a tax on cigarettes to fund treatment for low-income women. She also managed the total renovation and seismic upgrade of the Junior League's two-story building in San Francisco on time and budget so that the community-funding program was not interrupted.

Otstott has an innovative approach to mobilizing volunteers for lobbying the legislature, designing fundraising opportunities and providing support for community activities and programs. The introduction of new fundraisers has boosted the bottom line of organizations. Upon the request of the Mayor of San Francisco, she mobilized over 100 volunteers for a special project at City Hall.

In the future, Otstott plans to use her Junior League training to become a spokesperson and motivational speaker for handicapped citizens across the United States. Instead of withdrawing from society because of her blindness, Patricia Otstott seems to seek out challenges to conquer. She says, "People ask me about my vision, I say I have insight."