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August 2009 Vol 1, Issue 1
SI Los Angeles NEWS 
Fellowship with a purpose!
President Jeri
Greetings to you and all SILA members and welcome to the new club year!  As we begin our service on behalf of Soroptimist International, I encourage you to get involved in the many projects that are available.  We had a wonderful retreat in August and accomplished a great deal of work.  Kudos to all who attended!  We developed the theme for this year which is Fellowship with a Purpose, courtesy of our secretary, Dona Lawrie.  This theme really embodies my wishes for this year as we grow in our relationships with each other and also strengthen our community service.
Please mark your calendars now for our meetings and special events, particularly Project 5-0 which will be on October 6.  We really need the participation of all who are available.
Many thanks to Janet Elliott and Sharon Sekhon who are updating our website and posting our information.  We have really kicked it up a notch.
I am confident that this will be a great year for us.  I look forward to getting to know each of you better and to doing some good work in the communities which we serve.  These are difficult times for so many and it is incumbent upon us who are able to reach out and lend a hand.
You are all remarkable women.  It is my honor to serve as your president.
In This Issue
August 1st Planning Meeting
No more noon-time meetings?
Meet Our New President Jeri
Policy Summit - Oct 6th - SAVE THE DATE!
Did You Read About Carole?
Member Happenings
Quick Links
August 1st Planning Meeting a Success
Aug 1 planning mtgIt included a lot of food, great fellowship, and an extensive agenda - and all of the objectives were met.
Sixteen members gave up their Saturday on August 1 to make plans for the next Soroptimist year.  Meeting in a rec room at Ginger Cole's complex in Pasadena, the Board Meeting started at 8:30am and then everyone gathered for a delicious catered country breakfast.
The agenda for the full meeting included time to interview one another on WII-FM ("what's in it for me") only to discover lots of agreement on reasons for joining SILA: focus on women, involvement, making a difference, service, fellowship, international awareness.  Then members discussed club administrative matters, including upcoming activities and meeting schedules; the organizational structure of Soroptimists - beginning with the club (SILA), the Region (Camino Real Region - CRR), the Federation (Soroptimist International of the Americas - SIA), and International (Soroptimist International - SI); projects currently sponsored by CRR, SIA and SI; and committee assignments for the new year.
Many members stayed well beyond the scheduled 2:30pm ending time to continue their discussions and enjoy some wine and cheese.  All agreed this meeting will let SILA will "hit the ground running" at the first regular meeting on September 2nd.  
No more noon-time meetings?
First Meeting Sept 2At least six members acknowledged that they are unable to attend any noon-time meetings.  Attendance was very low at several noon-time meetings last year.  Maybe it's time to change to two evening meetings per month.  This and other important issues will be discussed at the first meeting of the new year on Wednesday, September 2 at 6:00pm at The California Endowment, 1000 N. Alameda Street, LA, CA 90012.  Dinner will be provided at this meeting, but alternative meeting times, locations, and food arrangements need to be considered, so plan on attending and voice your opinion.  Please rsvp for the September 2 meeting by responding to the separate email invitation SILA members should have received on August 26. 
Meet Our New President Jeri
Jeri Durham joined SILA just two years ago after hearing so much about it from her long-time friend and Delta Sigma Theta sorority sister, Sheila Tatum.  And she is already making a difference by volunteering to be our President for the 2009-2010 year.

Born in LA, President Jeri spent ages 3 to 8 in England because her father was in the US Air Force.  She spent her formative school years back in LA attending 74th Street Elementary, Horace Mann Junior High and Washington High School.  Her college education included the University of Santa Clara, Cal State LA (BA in business administration; minor in math), Mount St. Mary (teaching credentials in math, business and biology) and Pepperdine University (MS in School Management and Administration).
President Jeri spent many years as a teacher and in various administrative positions at San Fernando High School, Manual Arts HS, Washington HS, Fremont HS, Birmingham HS, Virgil Middle School and LAUSD District Offices.  She ultimately retired as Director of Secondary School Operations in 2007.  She now works part-time one to two days a week counseling teachers about their benefits through the State Teachers Retirement System at the LAUSD Office downtown.
In her personal life, President Jeri enjoys her two children, Nicole, 36, who lives in Altadena with her 3 grandchildren, and Steven, 31, who lives in Culver City.  Jeri loves to travel, particularly anywhere warm and with water.  Besides working part-time and giving so much to Soroptimists, she also volunteers teaching relationship skills to boys at juvenile hall.
Policy Summit - Oct 6th - SAVE THE DATE!
2009 Summit
"Ending Violence Against Women - Making it Happen in LA".  Once again, SILA is working with Business and Professional Women International (BPWI) and the American Association of University Women California (AAUW) to put on a one day summit on Tuesday, October 6, 2009 at The California Endowment to address violence against women.  This event is a follow up to the first summit which was held on March 12, 2008. Last year's summit attracted over 230 participants from law enforcement, nonprofit agencies, policy makers, and business organization.
According to Julie Mairs, this year's summit will feature two plenary speakers, four workshops, lunch and an afternoon session to address domestic and intimate partner violence (IPV).  The Project Five-O-Los Angeles collaborative is working to develop a program that will build knowledge and public awareness of approaches and circumstances important to effective victim safety planning, learning from death review what can help to prevent homicides of women in violent intimate and domestic partner relationships, reaching "hidden" victims of IPV, and efforts at the community level to develop neighborhoods that are stable and safe.
Continuing Education Units will be sought for social workers and nurses.  The fee for the day, including lunch, is $45.00. Parking is free.  Program hours are 7:30am to 3:00pm. All SILA members are encouraged to attend and to assist with check-in, note taking, and other logistical activities.   Registration will open 30 days prior to the event. More information will be posted at  Please send questions to
Did You Read About Carole?
Best for Women coverDon't miss the article about our own Dr. Carole Oglesby on page 2 of the June/July/August 2009 issue of Best for Women, the magazine published by Soroptimist International of the Americas (SIA).  This magazine has many articles of interest to all Soroptimists, including updates on SIA programs and projects and other club activities as well as lots of ideas on membership, fundraising and public awareness.  All members receive this publication in the mail.  If you're not getting it (or other email notices) from Federation, make sure your member contact information is accurate by going to SIA website/update profile.  To log in, you'll need your member number which is under your name on the new SILA Roster that Sheila Tatum emailed everyone on August 25. 
Member Happenings
DeAnna BlaylockDeAnna Blaylock has almost fully recovered from a fall last June when she broke a vertebrae in her back and a rib.  With her husband, John, recovering simultaneously from rotator cuff surgery and son, Jason, from removal of a tumor, it was rough going for several weeks.  But all are doing well now - in time to celebrate John and DeAnna's 50th Wedding Anniversary on August 23rd with a quiet dinner out.Pam Smith
Pam Smith and husband, Leroy, enjoyed a more extravagant celebration of their 44th Wedding Anniversary on August 7th by convertng a winning $20 raffle ticket into a romantic weekend at the historic Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel.  Combining it with tickets to the Hollywood Bowl, and delightful dinners at the Rooftop Grill at the Bowl and Dakota Restaurant at the hotel, Pam was amazed how going just a few miles away from home to another part of LA could feel like such a great get-away.