The SI Oakland club has been so very proud to have had Kay Taylor as our president for the 2016-2018 terms. Under her confident and graceful leadership, the Oakland group grew remarkably and took on an impressive range of fundraising and service activities. As she closed out her term, President Kay addressed the new officer installation dinner on June 24 with a presentation on the whirlwind of activities that occurred in the last year under her leadership that you can see here.
Kay is trailblazer extraordinaire. She is a retired Kaiser OBGYN medical doctor. She was among the first waves of women entering medicine in the 1970s, and one of the very few to enter medical school as a mother of two. She extended her medical contributions internationally by founding and leading the non-profit volunteer organization Prevention International: No Cervical Cancer. PINCC was dedicated to stopping cervical cancer in developing countries, where it kills 800 women every day. Her teams of volunteers provided high-quality education and training at sites serving women in need in Latin America, Africa and India by establishing self-sufficient, affordable cervical cancer prevention centers.
President Kay, thank you on behalf of all of our members. Your shoes will be very hard to fill. We look forward to enjoying your continued leadership as a member of our great club!
One way our club works for the betterment of education for girls is by creating menstrual kits as part of the Days for Girls project. The kits are a safe, beautiful, washable, long-lasting alternative for girls in developing countries who often miss school when menstruating due to lack of supplies. Our kits are sent to our sister Soroptimist chapter in Kisumu, Kenya for distribution to students there. They have expressed tremendous gratitude for our support. Here are pictures from our June 2 sewing session. Please consider helping out; see the calendar for our upcoming sewing days!
Filmmaker Emiko Omori and her film crew were onsite at our March 24, 2018 Shoe Project event and produced a 15-minute film that beautifully captured the spirit of the day. Soroptimist International of Oakland greatly thanks her and her team for this work. The work was made possible in part by generous contributions from members Pat Sax and Jan Medina.
On March 24, 2018, we held the annual "Steps to Success" Shoe Project, a program inspired by Soroptimist's "Dream It, Be It" program. Event chairwoman Gwen Johnson explained that the Shoe Project combines mentoring and gifts of new shoes to inspire and motivate girls from two East Oakland schools. Mentors from the community generously volunteered their time to help the girls imagine “where your new shoes will take you." Presenters were:
SI Oakland is offering a special screening of the movie "SOLD" at 7:30pm in Emeryville on September 8, 2016. We are honored to have Alameda County District Attorney Nancy O'Malley with us to introduce the evening and to provide a Q&A session after the film.
Through one extraordinary 13-year-old girl’s story, SOLD illustrates the brutality of child trafficking, which affects millions of children around the globe every year. Based on true stories, SOLD, is the story of Lakshmi who journeys from a pastoral, rural village in Nepal to a gritty brothel/prison called Happiness House in Kolkata, India.
SI Oakland is screening the film to raise awareness about sex trafficking of under-age girls, which happens right here in our own communities! SI Oakland, dedicated to what's "Best for Women" and is working with young women locally to build new and better lives, through support and education programs.
We hope you can join us for this special event. Contact SI Oakland for tickets.
Not able to attend? You can still make a donation to support our work with local organizations who are helping young women and girls rebuild their lives.
Dear SIO Members & Friends,
Just over a year ago, the planning for the 2015-16 term began with interested members forming a planning committee and club members completing a questionnaire to help plan for this term. The questionnaire covered many topics including interests for fundraisers and service projects, number and location of meetings. It was the response of members to the questions and the results of the planning committee meetings that helped define this term as did my theme - Working Together to Help Create Promising Futures.
This term has presented numerous challenges and issues. However, we worked through those challenges and issues to have what I consider to have been a very productive and successful year. While I gave a more detailed presentation about this term at our club business meeting on June 9, the following club accomplishments are worth highlighting because they help to define where this club is at this moment in time and provide the launch pad for this club for the next term. From our many events and activities this term including the wonderful Holiday Auction fundraiser and the Awards Tea at the Camron-Stanford House last February, I consider the following to be the four most significant achievements of our club this year because they embody the spirit of Working Together to Help Create Promising Futures. In no particular order they are:
>Revising and updating our bylaws to include the provision of allowing for voting by e-mail or U.S. mail where a quorum is not met at the meeting where the issue is voted upon. Without a doubt, this has allowed our club to address and resolve issues far more expeditiously than we had experienced in previous terms.
>Planning for, and holding, a variety of fundraising and service projects to address the needs of different age groups in our community. As to the service projects in particular, we have had projects to serve girls and women of all ages including the Shoe Project for 3rd, 4th & 5th grade girls at an East Oakland elementary school, working with the Young Women’s Saturday Program by having the fundraiser last August as well as working on a no sew blanket project with the girls; putting together bags of personal necessities and toiletry items for the Women’s Daytime Drop-In Center in Berkeley for whom over 40% of their clientele are homeless women from Oakland; packing baskets of items for seniors at a nursing Home in East Oakland and then delivering them as friendly visitors.
> While we have reduced the number of monthly club meetings to one effective July 1, we have added not only two friendship links – with SI Milton Keynes, England and SI Milan, Italy -- but also two members this year as well.
>With the approval of Soroptimist International of the Americas, the club’s name has been changed to Soroptimist International of Oakland – The Founder Club. This puts our club in a great position to continue the efforts to get Soroptimist and our club on the community’s radar instead of its best kept secret and to continue our efforts to increase our membership.
Thank you, everyone, for a great term. I wish the best to President-elect Kay and all Oakland club members for the 2016-17 term.
The Oakland Soroptimists' 2016 Awards Tea in February was a day of education awards, honors, community grants and celebration! Club members gathered at the historic Camron-Stanford House on Oakland's Lake Merritt and shared afternoon with the award winners.
A very special 2016 Ruby Award was presented this year to The Honorable Nancy O'Malley, District Attorney of Alameda County. In presenting the award, SI Oakland Club President Cheryl Poncini commented on Nancy's work on many fronts, including her groundbreaking work on human trafficking.
Jill and Joan Barcelona, the 2012 recipients of SI Oakland's Violet Richardson Ward Awards - when they were seniors in high school -- spoke about how the awards for community service made a difference in their lives. The twins are both set to graduate from UC Berkeley this year! The 2016 Violet Richardson Ward Award was presented to Taniya Bazille in recognition of her community service while in high school. Taniya started college in another state this spring so her mother accepted the award on her behalf.
The 2016 Live Your Dream Award from SI Oakland was presented to Jennifer Cumbie, who is working to finish her college degree while raising her young daughters. The SI Redwoods club presented its Live Your Dream Award to an Alameda County area applicant, Ajlal Zeid, who is working to finish her nursing degree while helping to support her family.
This year's Community Grant Award was presented to A Safe Place, a local women's domestic violence shelter. Carolyn Russell, the organization's Executive Director, accepted the award.