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Soroptimist International of Los Angeles

                 Continuing the Journey

December 2011Vol 3, Issue 4

President GingerSeason's Greetings Everyone,


I was watching "The Santa Clause" a few days ago . . . (for those of you who haven't seen it, it is about a man who becomes Santa by default and his struggles in accepting the daunting responsibility of bringing joy to the world's children) . . . and I thought about the members in SILA.  Weird, huh?  Not really!  I thought about how we, in this organization, so often accept responsibilities to make the world better for "kids, from 1 to 92" with no reservations, just open hearts.  And like Santa, during this season of giving, and on into the new year, we reach out to assist many, to make life a little easier, to help make dreams come true. 


Think about it.  We get to "play" . . we get to BE "Santa" during our annual 1736 Holiday Activity, making it possible for children to shop for and give the gift of love through the presents they choose and wrap for their mothers.  We are "Santa" in February, by giving the gift of knowledge to some 200+ teens through our Youth Forum.  We are "Santa", giving the gift of sustenance, when we prepare meals for the Downtown Women's Shelter.  We are "Santa", giving financial gifts through our Violet Richard, Women's Opportunity, Fellowship Awards.  We get to be Santa all year, and that is a continual blessing for those who receive our gifts.   


I am so very proud of our club and the activities that we are involved in because those activities have been conducted in the true spirit of the season, not just during the month of December, but throughout the entire year. Kudos to each and every one of us for working so diligently to ensure our program successes.  And on behalf of the many recipients of our good will, I extend a heart-felt thanks.


And now, if I may play "Santa" for a moment . . . here is my gift to you.


I wish you:

Happiness...deep down within your soul

Serenity...that brings peace to your heart

Love...deep, abiding and true everything you strive to do never give up being the best you can be

Health...inside you

Family..beside you

Close and caring friends

Special keep and cherish

Appreciation..of yourself and others

A bright today...that will shine on your tomorrows

A path...for all your journeys to follow

Dreams...that do their best to come true


Merry Christmas, Happy Chanukah, Happy Kwanzaa!


President Ginger

In This Issue
Educate to Lead - A Fairty Tale Story
Declutter Your Life
Pioneer Member: Muriel Morse
December 10th Appeal: Birthing in the Pacific
Prepare to BE Santa!
SILA Service and Fellowship Awards
Member News
Honoring Our Leaders Decade by Decade
Quick Links

2010-2011 Board


President: Ginger Cole
1st VP (Programs): Carole Oglesby 2nd VP (W&M): Pamela Smith
Secretary: Joyce Jacob
Treasurer: Janet Elliott
Directors 2010-11: Karen  Johnson and Dona Lawrie
Directors 2011-13: Barbara Jury and Joan Johnson
Contact Information


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


President Ginger Cole at or 323-276-0766
Editor Janet Elliott at or 310-809-2438; Co-Editor Ann Read at or 626-919-9202

Educate to Lead - A Fairy Tale Story


Did you see this great film, first shown at the Soroptimist International Great Britain and Ireland conference in October, designed to raise awareness of the SI global focus, Educate to Lead? "Educate to Lead - A Fairy Tale Story" is an international collaboration of Soroptimist members in all federations working to improve the lives of women and girls through education, empowerment and enabling opportunities. As stated in the SI Global Voice, do you have 6 minutes free right now? Please take 5 minutes to watch the film and 1 minute to share with a friend!

Soroptimist International: Educate to Lead - a Fairy Tale Story
Soroptimist International: Educate to Lead - a Fairy Tale Story


Declutter Your Life


Regina LarkGive that big old hat that's taking up room in your closet and that you know you'll never wear again to a costume store so that it can be reused. Sell those 45 year-old cigarette lighters and ashtrays that you got as wedding presents and that are still stored in the garage on Ebay or Craigs List. Dump each drawer on a big sheet for a bird's eye view, then start tossing stuff out, sorting, keeping only one of things you have five of, reduce, simplify! 


That was just some of the good advice members received from Regina Lark, the speaker at the November 16 program meeting. During lunch, Regina talked about how she got her Ph.D. in history from USC but later became a Board Certified Professional Organizer and started her own firm, A Clear Path. She talked about the physiological components of hoarding, the relationship hoarders have with their "stuff", and the work she has done helping individuals and small businesses become more organized and efficient.


She included an appropriate ditty to sing during the holidays, to the tune of Let It Snow!:

Oh the clutter inside is frightful

And my dear, it's not delightful

Time to make those piles low

Let it go! Let it go! Let it go!

 Pioneer Member: Muriel Morse

President of SILA (1954)

President of SIA (1971)

President of SI (1976)

(L-R) Muriel Morse, Dr. Fred Fagg, USC President, Mae Carvell


"Service work must be in meaningful projects worthy of a woman's interest, abilities and imagination." (M. Morse



Muriel M. Morse was outstanding at all she attempted starting with her college career. Born in Stony Brook, N.Y., her family moved to Santa Monica. After graduating with honors from Santa Monica High School, she attended Stanford University from which she graduated magna cum laude and as a member of Phi Beta Kappa. A year later, in 1935, she earned her Masters Degree. While at Stanford, she met her future husband, Barnard A. Morse, a Southern California Edison executive.


In 1939, Muriel was employed by the City Los Angeles where she served as General Manager of the Personnel Department for Los Angeles schools. In 1965, Muriel became General Manager of the Personnel Department for the City of Los Angeles, from which she retired in 1978. For many years she was one of the highest-ranking woman in local government in the United States.


In addition to her work for the city, Muriel taught such subjects as collective bargaining, labor relations and personnel management at Stanford, Caltech and USC. She was also president of Scapa Praetor, the support group for the USC School of Public Administration.


Locally, she was president of the Women's Division of the Los Angeles Chamber of Commerce; president of the Visiting Nurses Association of Los Angeles; the Phi Beta Kappa Alumni in Southern California; and was active in Business and Professional Women. She worked for United Way of Greater Los Angeles for more than 40 years, receiving its Special Volunteer Award for her service to the community. In 1965 she was the Founding President of the Los Angeles Philharmonic Association.


Among her many honors Muriel was named a LA Times Woman of the Year in 1961 and had an award named after her by the International Public Management Association for Human Resources. The Muriel Morse Achievement Award is given to a deserving individual who "exemplifies the positive attributes of Muriel Morse."


Muriel also had a distinguished record as a Soroptimist. In 1954, Muriel preceded Betsy MacCracken as President of SILA. Her tireless work as a Soroptimist member resulted in her election in 1971 to the Presidency of our Federation, Soroptimist International of the Americas (SIA), and in 1976 as President of  the global organization, Soroptimist International (SI).

December 10th Appeal: Birthing in the Pacific                  

"Although the latest UN Statistics reported a trend that there are fewer women dying from complications of pregnancy and childbirth, globally there are still 1,000 women dying a day due to pregnancy and childbirth complications. That is like two giant jumbo jets full of women crashing down daily or 41 women dying every hour and yet no one hears about this. It's not breaking news. But if a small 12-passenger plane crashes the news is featured on TV around the globe." (Julie Marsaban, Soroptimist International South West Pacific)

That is why the Soroptimist International President's December 10th Appeal for 2011 is to bring advocacy and support to the Soroptimist project in Papua New Guinea (PNG) called Birthing in the Pacific.


In resource poor countries, only 36% of births are attended by skilled health care worker. Less than 30% of women have a supervised delivery in a health facility. Increasing access to supervised deliveries and properly functioning health care facilities for women to deliver greatly reduces the risk of dying from complications.


Birthing in the Pacific takes international best practices and evidence and applies it to the local situation in PNG - increasing access to both skilled birth attendants (midwives) and functioning health care services.


The goal is to decrease maternal morbidity (the unhealthy condition) and mortality (the fatal outcome of morbidity - death) in PNG by increasing the knowledge of birth attendants and the resources available to both birth attendants and facilities providing emergercy obstetric care. For more information on this wothwhile project, go to SI December 10 Appeal.

Prepare to BE Santa!                


SILA members will once again be gathering at 1736 Family Crisis Center on Saturday morning, December 17, to help the children select and wrap gifts for their moms who are staying at the shelter. Don't forget to RSVP to the Evite that Carole Oglesby sent out on November 13th. Jeri Durham has volunteered to do the shopping.  The club supports this activity out of our service project funds but also asks members to make personal donations to ensure we have plenty of gifts for each mom. Checks should be made payable to SILA and are tax deductible.  Please give your donations to Jeri at the meeting on December 7 or mail to Treasurer Janet by December 10.  Also plan to join us for lunch afterwards at a nearby restaurant.  For more information, contact Pam Smith

SILA Service and Fellowship Awards


SILA Awards

SI Los Angeles is looking for a few deserving women and girls to receive our annual service and fellowship awards. This is the time to encourage any women or girls you know or have recently met who might be eligible for one of our awards to check out the downloadable applications that are on our website at www.soroptimist-losangeles.orgThe awards include:


The SILA Graduate Student Fellowship Award: A cash award of $3,500 awarded to a woman enrolled in a graduate degree program at an accredited institution in Los Angeles County in a field of study promoting economic and social development, education, health, human rights or the status of women, or international goodwill and understanding. Applications due February 1, 2012. For more information, ask member Joan Johnson.


The Soroptimist Women's Opportunity Award:  A cash award of $1,000 awarded to a local woman who has primary financial responsibility for supporting her family, is attending or has been accepted to a vocational/skills training program or an undergraduate degree program, and demonstrates financial need. Applications due January 15, 2012. For more information, ask members Joyce Jacob and Barbara Jury.


The Soroptimist Violet Richardson Award:  A cash award of $500 (plus $500 to the charity of her choice) awarded to a local high school student who donates her time and energy to a cause that makes her community and the world a better place. Applications due December 15, 2011. For more information, ask member Jessica Washington.


The awardees will be recognized at our Annual Awards Luncheon and 90th Anniversary Celebration on March 31, 2012.

Member News


Sheila Tatum is recovering well from foot surgery to uncurl her toes.


Stephanie Klopfleisch is already walking easily without asistance after having hip replacement surgery.


Joan Johnson had knee replacement surgery on November 29 and was able to come home in just two days. 


We're glad to hear you're all doing so well!



Honoring Our Leaders Decade by Decade