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Soroptimist International of Los Angeles

Continuing the Journey

February 2012Vol 3, Issue 6

President Ginger


My Friends,


February is unarguably the shortest month in the year - 28 days, this year, 29.  Although absent a few days, it is the month chosen to express many of the concepts that we in SILA have committed ourselves to:  FRIENDSHIP (International Friendship Month, Valentine's Day, Random Acts of Kindness Day); Physical and Mental HEALTH (American Heart Month, International World Thinking Day); HISTORY (Black History Month, American History Month, Presidents' Day, National Freedom Day).  As you can see, this short calendar month reminds us to be ever cognizant of our HEALTH - mental and physical; the HEART - physical and emotional; and our HISTORY - personal and national,


What better way for the members of SILA to celebrate the special days of February and share our commitment to ourselves, our community, and our youth, than to sponsor a Youth Forum during this month. This Forum will bring together young women from the many areas of Los Angeles County to meet new friends and discuss (under the guidance of SILA and Peace Over Violence): relationships - both healthy and unhealthy; personal freedoms; teen violence and how to get help; caring not only for self, but also for sister-friends; and the personal joys of "committing" Random Acts of Kindness.


Our Youth Forum will cover many of the highlights attributed to the specially named days in February. SILA will wrap up the points of interest into a beautiful package and deliver the BEST Valentine's gift ever to our young participants. And, unbeknownst to them at this time in their lives, we will give them an experience that they will long remember.  We will "pay forward" the gifts that represent Health, Heart, and History.


The first of our major 90th activities is about to happen! Special thanks to Carole and her committee (Joyce, Julie, Jeri, Jessica, Teresa, Daphyne) for their many hours of planning and preparation!  What a special sense of joy and accomplishment this committee, and our club, is going to have at the conclusion of this activity.I hope that we will have 100% participation from the club at this soon-to-be historic event.


I cannot close this monthly President's Message without extending heartfelt thanks and many kudos to Carole for taking on the job as President in my absence.


Happy Valentine's Day, my friends.  May this special month find you heart-and-body healthy, surrounded by friends, and secure in your personal freedoms.


President Ginger  


In This Issue
STOP Trafficking
How Do You Prevent Violence?
Mark Your Calendar
Pioneer Member: Barbara Jury
Looking Back: Establishment of Soroptimist House
Youth Forum Will Address Teen Relationship Violence
Tales of Perseverance, Courage and Hope
Decade by Decade: 1963-1972
Quick Links

2011-2012 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

STOP Trafficking

Stop Trafficking banner 

 "STOP. Look around. Someone in this transportation center may be here against her will." This was the first line printed on cards that Soroptimist members passed out to commuters on January 11 at Union Station in downtown Los Angeles and at metro stops as far east as Pomona and south to Newport Beach.


Since the first National Day of Human Trafficking Awareness designated by the United States Senate in 2008, Soroptimist has participated in programs to raise awareness about the sourage of sexual slavery.  Every year in small towns and big cities, in countries throughout the world, it is estimated that more than one million people - mostly women and girls - are trafficked across international borders. Often tricked into traveling for work, these women face a life of pain, humiliation and abuse from which they cannot escape. 


Stop Trafficking
Soroptimists from SI Los Angeles and SI LA Harbor raise awareness about Human Trafficking at Union Station

The event was coordinated by Cheri Panzer, Desert Coast Region District I Director, and Julie Mairs, Camino Real Region Chair of STOP Trafficking.


Members from 13 clubs and three Soroptimist Regions passed out more than 1000 cards at 16 metro locations, then rode the trains into Union Station to have dinner together at Olvera Street.



How Do You Prevent Violence?


Peace Over ViolencePeace Over Violence (formerly known as LACAAW) is a social service agency dedicated to the elimination of sexual and domestic violence and all forms of interpersonal violence.  POV is partnering with SILA to provide the programing for the Youth Forum (more on that below).


At the SILA program meeting on January 18 at Taix Restaurant, Melodie Kruspodin and Katherine Gladwin from POV provided SILA members with an overview of the numerous programs and services POV provides, from emergency rape and battering hotlines, to individual crisis counseling and support groups, to culturally sensitive educational and training programs.


Nine out of 10 people who witness or experience violence at home while growing up are likely to perpetuate violence in their own relationships later in life.  It's obvious why prevention of domestic violence and violence in teen dating is so important. 

Mark Your Calendar           


calendarSaturday, February 11:  Visit the exhibition Women Hold Up Half the Sky at the Skirball Cultural Center


Wednesday, February 15:  The regular meeting with be at NOON time at Taix Restaurant.


Saturday, February 25: Youth Forum at Children's Hospital of Los Angeles


Wednesday, March 7:  Deadline for submitting cash donations (think $90 for 90 years) and for commitments for items for the 90th Anniversary Silent Auction.  Checks can be made payable to SILA and given to Treasurer Janet or DeAnna Blaylock.  For members actually providing auction items, attention should be given to creating appealing and upscale items such as "dinner for 4", theatre and/or concert tickets, wine-tasting events, weekend get-aways, unique experiences or services, etc.

Pioneer Member: Barbara Jury


SILA President 1973-1974


Governor of Camino Real Region 1988-1990


Described as a "Soroptimist International historical wonder" by SILA President Ginger Cole and as a "wild and wonderful person" Barbara Juryby SILA member Joyce Jacob, pioneer SILA member Barbara Jury represents many things to many people. 


Growing up in Redlands, she graduated from Redlands High School and went on to Redlands University where she took musical classes before transferring to USC to focus on nursing. Barbara graduated from USC in 1950 with a BS and a license as a Registered Nurse and completed her education in 1961 with a Masters from UCLA.


She started her nursing career at California Hospital. She was Director of Nursing and Supervisor of the Newborn Nursery where she pioneered specialized procedures for premature babies.


California HospitalBarbara was a nursing pioneer even before she was an SILA pioneer. Her final position at California Hospital was that of Risk Management Director. A relatively new field at that time, it required a comprehensive knowledge of hospital procedures, background knowledge of hospital finances, and the patience and tact to work with hospital personnel, insurance representatives and their lawyers. Her tongue-in-cheek personal motto at club meetings at the time was "If you'd done it right the first time, you wouldn't need me now!"


As a SILA member, Barbara has served in many capacities including three terms as club President and as Governor of Camino Real Region, making her a recognized GEM (Governor Ever More) within Soroptimists. She has attended Soroptimist conferences, conventions and other events in Canada, Hawaii and Japan. A highlight of her trip to the Convention in Kyoto, Japan, in 1990 was having dinner with a young Japanese woman who had fond memories of living in SILA's Soroptimist House while she was attending USC.


The Downtown Women's Center, 1736 Family Crisis Center, and SILA have benefited from Barbara's generosity. Her love of classical music has led her to be a long time volunteer for KUSC. She is also on the California Hospital Legacy Foundation Board and is a beloved member of the California Hospital School of Nursing Alumni Association Board. Barbara's generosity of spirit and willingness to help in all situations has made her many loyal friends across Soroptimist International, but none more faithful than Joyce Jacob, who met Barbara when she was a student at California Hospital. "Barbara is a joy to be with - upbeat, positive and a true friend. If you need her, she is there." Barbara has spent over 44 years "being there" for Soroptimist International of Los Angeles.


Barbara Jury on life during nursing school
Barbara Jury on life during nursing school


Looking Back: Establishment of Soroptimist House


In response to the 1946 Soroptimist American Federation Convention challenge to provide "a service with a definite character and continuity," Soroptimist International of Los Angeles adopted two service goals: the purchase of a property to house international women college students and a $1,500 annual Fellowship Award to one of those women. In May of 1947, the club celebrated its 25th anniversary with the establishment of the Soroptimist Foundation of Los Angeles. It was an incorporated nonprofit organization with a board of directors and a budget separate from the Club which served as the legal entity for accepting donations, maintaining an endowment fund and buying real estate. (The Club was merged with the Foundation under the name Soroptimist International of Los Angeles in 2003).


A satisfactory residential property was found in 1948, and, after some negotiation, the final price was $23,500 - $10,000 cash down with a mortgage of $13,500 at 5% interest. With only $2,552 in the treasury, $1,000 of which had been earmarked for the Fellowship Award, the club deposited $1,000 in a 60-day escow and had to raise the additional $9,000 in 60 days! Through many small donations by more than 100 members, the $9,000 was raised and deposited in escrow on the 60th day, July 13, 1948.


But the challenges were just beginning. Over the next few years, the current residents of the house - men going to school on the G.I. bill - were asked to move out. The property was remodeled and furnished to convert it into a cooperative residence for 10 women students. Money to pay for the mortgage, improvements and the ongoing Fellowship Award were raised through continued dedication of SILA members and some creative fundraisers, including an Easter bazar, a garden party, and a theater party.


J.Caulfield-Fashion Show
Joan Caulfield, seated, with members, " Paris in the Spring"

fashion showIn 1955 the members, led by then President Muriel Morse, produced a "Stars for Fashion" show which was held at the then famous Moulin Rouge. More than 1,000 people attended, adding over $3,000 to the treasury, enough to pay off the balance of the mortgage. At a regular meeting at the Biltmore Hotel on May 24, 1995, with the Fire Chief of the City of Los Angeles in attendance - armed with a fire extinguisher! - a mortgage burning ceremony took place in which a match was set to the actual paper.



The club was ready for a new challenge: building a second residence on the property to increase the number of women who could live there. The story continues in next month's Newsletter.... 

Youth Forum Will Address Teen Relationship Violence


Youth ForumSILA members will be hosting a Youth Forum on preventing teen relationship violence for girls age 14-17 from throughout LA County on Saturday, February 25 from 8:30am to noon.  The Forum will be held at Children's Hospital Los Angeles, 4650 Sunset Boulevard, LA.  Peace Over Violence is assisting SILA in designing and presenting the content of the Forum.  The primary goals are:


1) to raise girls' awareness of the prevalence and dangers of relationship violence in Los Angeles;


2) to supply information and other resources for coping with the issues; and


3) to stimulate interactive dialogue among the participants to create and implement positive personal and community strategies.


The emphasis will be on the interactive participation of the girls in attendance.  Registrations are now being accepted from girls through local schools, Soroptimist Clubs and Girl Scout troops.  For more information, contact Carole Oglesby.

Tales of Perseverance, Courage and Hope



Women Hold Up Half the Sky




Experience the groundbreaking exhibition inspired by the critically acclaimed book Half the Sky: Turning Oppression into Opportunity for Women Worldwide, by Nicholas D. Kristof and Sheryl WuDunn at the Skirball Cultural Center.  Featuring documentary photographs, visual art, innovative sound installations, and interactive opportunities for visitors to get involved, Women Hold Up Half the Sky addresses gender equality as the human rights cause of our time.


It's not too late to join SILA members on Saturday, February 11 to see this exhibition.  Contact Julie Mairs for more information.

Decade by Decade: 1963-1972