For those who weren't in attendance, during our April Hospitality meeting Judy passed out sheets of stationary, each with an individual club member's name on it. She then asked SI Ukiah Members to write down why that person is special and important to them, then pass the sheet of stationary on to the next club member to do the same. As the activity ended, Judy read a few of the remarks for each person as she presented them their sheet of stationary. What a wonderful keepsake this is! Above is a variety of our club member's favorite comments which they received.
Soroptimist International of Ukiah (SI Ukiah) presented donations of more than $3,500 to local organizations at our annual Community Giving Luncheon. Organization representatives expressed their gratitude for the support from SI Ukiah and presented information to the club about the services they provide and how their portion of the club's annual giving supports their programs.
Project Sanctuary Executive Director, Dina Polkinghorne, was unable to attend, but expressed her appreciation to SI Ukiah as an instrumental partner of their transition program for victims of domestic violence. "Soroptimists are incredibly supportive of the work we do at Project Sanctuary and the vulnerable survivors we work with", said Dina.
CASA of Mendocino and Lake Counties Executive Director, Sheryn Hildebrand, expressed appreciation for the donation which will be put to good use to reproduce curriculum manuals used to train Court Appointed Special Advocate volunteers. The training provides volunteers the ability to look after the best interests and advocate on behalf of local children to help the courts make better decisions.
"Without the help of SI Ukiah and other civic organizations, businesses and private donations, the Miss Mendocino County program would not be able to help young women continue their education", said Verna Jacobs, Miss Mendocino County Executive Director. This year alone, two young women will attend UC colleges, two will attend private universities, five will attend Mendocino Community College and one will be furthering her education in a trade school.
The Cancer Resource Center Executive Director, Sara O’Donnell and Support Services Manager, Nancy Johnson shared that their portion of SI Ukiah’s annual giving will be dedicated to the Women’s Cancer Support Group in Ukiah. This fundamental caring circle provides support to a number of women with varying stages of cancer. CRCMC provides services free of charge to support, educate and guide women, men and children through diagnosis and treatment.
Donna Ford, Program Director for the Ukiah Senior Center Lunch Bunch touched the hearts of SI Ukiah members as she shared stories which highlighted the importance of this program to many Seniors in our community. The Lunch Bunch provides a welcoming place for isolated seniors and those with disabilities to spend time socializing over lunch with peers. It also provides much needed respite for family members who are often the primary caregivers.
Ukiah Valley Association for Habilitation (UVAH) Executive Director, Pam Jensen expressed her appreciation for SI Ukiah’s sponsorship of their annual golf tournament. Proceeds are used to help people with disabilities meet their full potential as individuals and productive citizens in our community. UVAH provides a wide range of services, a supportive environment, educates and involves the community in an effort to integrate people with disabilities into community life.
Ukiah Dolphins Swim Team Treasurer, Laura Xerogeanes and Board Member, Shelley Barrett expressed their appreciation of the ongoing volunteerism and donations from SI Ukiah in support of the young swimmers who have participated in the Annual Ukiah Soroptimist Invitational Swim Meet since 1956.
Boys & Girls Club of Ukiah Chief Professional Officer, Liz Elmore thanked SI Ukiah for the donation made during the Ukiah Daily Journal Fund Drive, allowing the contribution to be doubled through a corporate match. Every day the Boys & Girls Club of Ukiah strives to improve the lives of children by implementing self-esteem, courage, and positive values through their many educational programs. The SMART Girls program nurtures the qualities that are proven to lead to success in life.
Soroptimist International of Ukiah would like to express appreciation to Valley Sawyer, niece of club member Julie Sawyer, for initiating the social media campaign to bring the innovative film, Girl Rising, to the Ukiah Stadium 6 Theater. Our members felt a deep connection to this film which so closely supports our focus to improve the status of women and girls in our local community and worldwide. Two hundred fifty-eight people purchased tickets to attend the April 17th screening. A portion of ticket sales will go to support girls' programs around the world through the 10X10 Fund for Girls' Education.
Through the stories of nine extraordinary girls in nine countries, this film showcases the strength of the human spirit and the power of education. Each girl was paired with a renowned writer from her native country to help tell her story. These girls are just nine of the 66 million girls worldwide who share the dream of attending school. They want most to be students, to learn. And now, by sharing their personal journeys, they have become teachers.
Soroptimist International of Ukiah members enjoyed dinner at the North State Cafe before attending the the film screening.
In honor of Child Abuse Prevention Month in April, the Children’s Action Committee of Mendocino County held its annual Outreach Walk in Ukiah, Willits and Covelo. SI Ukiah President, Katie Kight and Vice President, Willow Anderson participated in the Ukiah Outreach Walk on behalf of the club.
Volunteers from the community joined together to visit local businesses to raise awareness about child abuse and child safety in Mendocino County. The walkers passed out colorful posters and blue pinwheels, the national symbol for child abuse prevention. This was a time to recognize that we each play a part in promoting the well-being of children and families in our community.