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April 2011Vol 2, Issue 8
SI Los Angeles NEWS 
Fellowship with a purpose!

Jeri Durham                          


Dear SILA Sisters,


Well we did it!  We had another luncheon that was thoroughly enjoyed by all.  Thank you to all who worked to pull this fabulous event together, especially Carole Oglesby who was a magnificent chairwoman.  Our award winners all had moving stories which validated their selection.  We had a brief discussion at our meeting on April 20 and have already developed some ideas in anticipation of next year's event.  During April we inducted two new members, Diane Vernon and Ann Read, at a lovely ceremony at Taix.  We have two more new members whom we will be inducting on May 4, Jessica Washington and Bev Johnson.  We welcome all of them and look forward to working with them as we carry out the work of SI.


Spring Conference is May 13-15 and our own Sheila Tatum is the chair.  Ginger Cole, Joan Johnson and I will be representing the club as delegates in lovely Carlsbad.  Many thanks to Dona Lawrie who donated a purse which will be used as part of our CRR fundraiser.  A new club has been chartered in San Fernando Valley.  None of us were able to attend the festivities, but SILA did send them a donation of $89, representing $1 for each year our club has been in existence.


Officers for 2011-2012 were elected by acclimation and it is time for them to roll up their sleeves and start preparing for next year.  Carole has sent out a survey to determine the best date for our planning retreat.  Once the date is selected, please make every effort to attend.


We look forward to our annual presentation from the staff at 1736 at our meeting on May 4 at Taix.  Make sure you are there.


President Jeri

In This Issue
Women Honored at Gala
New Members Inducted
Register for the SI International Convention
Rosa's Story
Camp Paivika Needed a Pool
Calendar of Events
Summer Planning Retreat
Graduate Fellowship Winner Exhibits Her Art
Member News - Annie Bodden
Quick Links

2010-2011 Board
President:  Jeri Durham
1st VP (Programs): Ginger Cole
2nd VP (W&M):  Carole Oglesby
Secretary:  Joyce Jacob
Treasurer:  Janet Elliott
Directors 2009-11: Barbara Jury
             and Irene Recendez
Directors 2010-12: Karen Johnson                Dona Lawrie
Contact Information


For more information about SILA or this Newsletter, please contact:


President Jeri Durham at or 626-826-2224


Editor Janet Elliott at or 310-809-2438; Asst. Editor Ann Read at or 626-919-9202
Women Honored at Gala

Wendy Greuel & Carole Oglesby
Ruby Award Honoree Wendy Greuel and Chair Carole Oglesby 
Five stellar women were recognized at SILA's annual Luncheon and Silent Auction on Saturday, April 16th at the beautiful Castaway Restaurant in Burbank.  Featured was LA City Controller (and recently announced candidate for Mayor of Los Angeles) Wendy Greuel who received the Soroptimist Ruby Award. Her award included a $1,000 donation in her name by SILA to the Special Needs Network, a community-based organization founded to respond to the needs of low-income families impacted by autism and other developmental disabilities.

Scarlett Aufmann and her sons
Graduate Fellowship Awardee Scarlett Aufmann and her youngest sons 
Two young women were awarded the 2011-2012 SI Los Angeles Graduate Fellowship Award, named this year in honor of long-time SILA member, Stephanie Klopfleisch. Each will receive a $3,500 award. Scarlett Aufmann is a 40 year-old single mother of four children who is also a first-generation college student working to obtain her Master's degree
 in Social Work form USC, with a dream of becoming a social worker to "promote individual empowerment, social justice and global change."  She was accompanied at the Luncheon by her two youngest sons.

Stephanie Struck with Joan Johnson & Stephanie Klopfleisch
Graduate Fellowship Chair Joan Johnson, Awardee Stephanie Struck and Honored Member Stephanie Klopfleisch 
The second 2011-2012 Graduate Fellowship Award winner was Stephanie Struck, who is completing her Master's degree in Intercultural Studies at Fuller Theological Seminary this year and will complete an M.A. in Theology and Ministry in 2012.  Ms. Struck preceded graduate school with several years of community service with refugee populations both in the United States and overseas, but is pursuing her graduate degrees to "better understand the roots of [poverty, injustice and persosnal needs] in order to create greater change and encourge holistic community development."

Monika Williams and Joyce Jacobs
WOA Winner Monika Williams and Chair Joyce Jacob 
Monika R. Williams
 was recognized SILA's winner of the Soroptimist Women's Opportunity Award. Another remarkable woman, managing after leaving an abusive marriage of eleven years, as a single mom of three children, working full time and pursuing her Bachelors Degree in Forensic Accounting. Ms. Williams' dream job is to do the kind of work the LA Controller's office does.  A connection has already been made to get her resume to Wendy Greuel's office!

Camille Johnson with Pres Jeri & Gooden Center
President Jeri, Susan Johnson of The Gooden Center and VRA winner Camille Johnson
The Violet Richardson Award winner was Camille Johnson, a high school student from La Cresenta High School honored for her community service to The Gooden Center, an alcohol and drug rehabilitation center in Pasadena.  Ms. Johnson created, and helps maintain, a meditation garden which provides a quiet place for prayer and reflection by the residents.  Accompanied by her proud parents and Susan Johnson of The Gooden Center, Ms. Johnson was praised for her dedication and persistence in providing service to the Center.  Her award includes $500 for herself and an additional $500 to The Gooden Center. 
New Members Inducted


Induction of Ann and Diane
Janet Elliott, Ann Read, Diane Vernon, Barbara Jury, Ginger Cole and President Jeri particiated in Ann and Diane's Induction.

Two new members, Ann Read and Diane Vernon,  were inducted at a dinner meeting on Wednesday, April 6, at Taix French Restaurant.  Ann is a retired teacher who taught at Fullerton College for 32 years. Diane is a retired Emerita Professor of Nursing who taught at California State University at Los Angeles.  A more indepth introduction of new members will be in next month's Newsletter.


Guests and Members 4-6-11

The meeting was preceded by a combined board/business meeting, then members welcomed Diane and Ann and hosted several other guests who have expressed interest in joining SILA. At left are Jessica Washington, Joyce Jacob, Elizabeth Barnick, and Carole Oglesby.

Register for the SI International Convention in Montreal


SI Convention Montreal


The international convention of Soroptimists is held only once every four years and often in some far away country.  But the 19th Soroptimist International Convention is being held July 10-14, 2011 in Montreal, Canada.


The Convention theme is "Women: Leaders in Civil Society".  Attending this Convention is a wonderful opportunity to learn more about Soroptimist, meet like-minded women from around the world and be inspired by the work Soroptimists do.  It is open to all members and their guests. For more information about the program, keynote speakers, tours and registration, check out the Convention website.


Rosa's Story                                          

DWC Logo
SILA feels a special connection with the Downtown Women's Center (DWC) on Skid Row in downtown Los Angeles, both because of our contributions in the 1986 to help build DWC's first residential center for homeless women and our recent Day of Service cooking breakfast for 100 homeless women in the kitchen of their new Day Center.  We continue to be inspired by the story of the creation of the Downtown Women's Center.  

In 1978, using her life savings with some financial support from others, social worker Jill Haverson rented a storefront area and opened the city's first drop-in day center for women on Skid Row.  Initially, Jill's Place (as DWC's drop-in center has come to be known) operated as a de facto mental health facility with volunteer psychiatrists and psychiatric nurses. But, that is not the whole story...

Jill and Rosa
Rosa (left) and Jill Haverson



Before that, in 1975, a group of men with whom Jill had been working as a social worker introduced her to their friend Rosa Arzola, who had learned how to survive on the street by using available resources: collecting city faucet water for cleaning and drinking, and saving discarded cardboard for makeshift room barriers. For their mutual safety, Rosa invited her Skid Row friends into her cardboard shanty at night. As a means of preparing hot food for her friends, Rosa built a makeshift stove out of bricks. Click here for more on Rosa's story. 




Jill and Rosa became friends and now serve as an inspiration for many who hear their story and see the "Thumb Print" graphic, the picture of Rosa and Jill that hangs in the DWC. Around the frame of the picture are the thumb prints and signatures of the original clients of the DWC.








Camp Paivika Needed a Pool

As SILA approaches its 90th Anniversary, we're looking back at some of the club's past service projects.  In the club year 1966-67, SILA donated $10,000 for construction of a therapeutic swimming pool at Camp Paivika, a special needs camp near Crestline in the San Bernardino National Forest. Opened in 1947, Camp Paivika was one of the nation's first resident recreational camps built specifically for people with disabilities. An AbilityFirst (formerly the Crippled Children's Society) facility, Camp Paivika serves kids and adults with autism, ADHD, cerebral palsy, Down syndrome, epilepsy and other mild to severe physical and developmental disabilities. 



Poolside generosity.

Paivika (Pi-vee-ka) is the word for "dawn" in the language of the Cahuilla Native Americans who formerly inhabited the area where the camp is located. Camp Paivika can accomodate 72 campers. The usual stay during the summer months is for a two week period. The camp is fully accredited by the American Camping Association and is operated under special use permit with the San Bernardino National Forest.  The 12-acre facility currently includes five dormitories, health care center, staff quarters, craft center, nature study center, amphitheater and fire ring, swimming pool, horse stables and a main lodge with a large recreation room and dining hall.

SILA members with disabled campers. 


Current Camp Director, Kelly Kunsek, says the original pool paid for by SILA back in the 60's is still in use, although in need of some repair.  More recently, Camp Paivika has gotten support from the local Soroptimist chapter in Lake Arrowhead (now SI Rim of the World) for their "Mom's Retreat" weekend, designed to nurture women who are responsible for the daily care of special needs family members and to encourage and help them to set and meet personal goals for self-care.


Click here to view an inspiring video highlighting the benefits of Camp Paivika's programs to its campers and their families.

Calendar of Events



The club year is rapidly coming to a close.  Don't forget to mark your calendar with these important events:


Sat. 4/30 10am-7pm:    Tour of the Grammy Museum at LA Live

Fri-Sun 5/13-15:          Regional Spring Conference in Carlsbad

Wed. 5/4 5:30pm:         Program Meeting/Induction at Taix (guests at 6:00pm)

Wed. 5/18 Noon:          Program Meeting at Taix

Wed. 6/1   6pm:            Business/Annual Meeting at McCormick & Schmick's

Wed  6/15 6pm:            Installation of Officers & Directors (location TBD)

Sun-Thu 7/10-14:        SI International Convention in Montreal

?????                          Summer Planning Retreat (see below)
Summer Planning Retreat

SILA members! Don't forget to respond as soon as possible to Carole Oglesby's email (sent out on Sunday, April 24th) to select the most convenient date for this summer's planning retreat:  June 25, July 30 or August 6.  At this annual meeting, we will evaluate our current programs and projects, discuss our goals and objectives for next year, and then "hit the ground running" when the club reconvenes in September.  We're striving for 100% participation, but can't do it without your input.  Respond today! 
Graduate Fellowship Winner Exhibits Her Art

Claudia Morales McCainMember Joan Johnson is pleased to report that she and her friends Jerry Shepard and Dorothy "DeeDee" Deatherage (a member of SI Long Beach) went to California State University Long Beach last week to view the Masters of Fine Arts Exhibition of SILA's 2010-2011 Graduate Fellowship Award, Claudia Morales McCain.  Claudia was delighted to see Joan, who chaired the selection committee for her award.  Claudia will be getting her Masters of Fine Arts degree from CSULB in June.  Although she has no immediate plans after graduation, she is continuing with her community service work providing art therapy to children and battered women. Claudia's exhibition has closed, but you can view her art at
Member News

Annie BoddenWelcome back to long-time Soroptimist and retired SILA member, Annie Bodden.  Annie joined SILA in 1987 and had been a member of SI Monterey for seven years before that. She worked for the California Employment Development Department managing disability insurance programs until she retired in 2002.  Although she's remained a member of SILA, she only recently became active again, attending both the April 6th meeting and the April 16th Gala Event.  Annie will be recognized at Spring Conference in May for 30 years membership in Soroptimist International.  Congratulaltions, Annie!