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.