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.
It has been a great first six months of the 2015-16 term! Thank you all for your support during the last six months and your anticipated support during the next six months, as well. To briefly recap what we have accomplished:
In August, the Oakland Tribune ran a feature article about Soroptimist International of Oakland and discussed are then-upcoming fundraiser at Z Café to help support the Young Women’s Saturday Program. We received great community support for that fundraiser as a result of the article.
There are more adventures and events planned for the next six months including recognizing our award recipients at a tea or similar, having two or three fundraisers or mini-fundraisers including a “honey” party, hosting the Shoe Project for elementary school girls, celebrating the birthdays of members born between January 1 and June 30, and having guest speakers including Jane Massengill at our January dinner meeting. Jane was the keynote speaker at the district meeting but will be speaking on a somewhat different topic at our meeting. And, don’t forget that the Founder Region conference in 2016 will be held from April 29 – May 1 in Honolulu.
I look forward to seeing all of you either at a club meeting and/or at an SIO event in 2016. Best wishes for a happy, peaceful and healthy holiday season!
The Oakland Tribune's Annalee Allen wrote a great article on Soroptimist International of Oakland - it's history and the upcoming fundraiser to help stop the human trafficking of young women in our community.
Happy August to All!
Installation was a great event with 19 members and guests participating in the evening’s reception and festivities. Governor Bobbi inspired us with her garden-themed installation. Guests included members of SI East Bay, SI Tri-Cities and SI Martinez. Former SIO president, Joyce Harris, (1988-89) also joined us.
Committee chairs have been appointed. I will be sending out an informational e-mail to committee chairs within the next ten days. An updated calendar will be e-mailed to members soon. There is no business meeting this month (August). Our only focus this month is the fundraiser on Wednesday, August 26 at Z Café to raise funds for the Young Women’s Saturday Program.
Cancellation - Unfortunately, I was unable to obtain tickets for the USS Potomac so that fun event for August is cancelled. FYI - I send out a good deal of club information via e-mail. Soon I will be sending out information about our budget and recommended Bylaws amendments based on the Board’s recent meeting. Therefore, please check your e-mail inbox regularly. Enjoy August!