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Soroptimist International of Los Angeles

Continuing the Journey

May 2012Vol 3, Issue 9

President Ginger


To all SILA Members and Friends,


Even as she was on a well-earned vacation in Maui, President Ginger sent in this poem to be used as the Inspiration at SILA's May 2 program meeting. Although most had never heard it before, Joyce Jacob added a touching personal note when she said she recognized it as a poem she found in her father's wallet when he died, more than 50 years ago! Good inspiration is timeless. Enjoy!


Janet Elliott and Ann Read, Co-Editors




Today, upon a bus,

I saw a girl with golden hair
I envied her; she seemed so gay

And I wished I was as fair.
When suddenly she rose to leave,

I saw her hobble down the aisle.
She had one leg and wore a crutch,

But as she passed, she smiled.
Oh God, forgive me when I whine.
I have two legs. The world is mine.

I stopped to buy some candy.

The lad who sold it had such charm
I talked with him, he seemed so glad;

If I were late, it'd do no harm
And as I left, he said to me,

"I thank you, you've been so kind
It's nice to talk to folks like you.

You see," he said, "I'm blind."
Oh God, forgive me when I whine.
I have two eyes. The world is mine.

Later, walking down the street,

I saw a child with eyes of blue.

He stood and watched the others play;

It seemed he did not know what to do.
I stopped a moment and then I said,

"Why don't you join the others, dear?"
He looked ahead without a word

And then I knew, he couldn't hear.
Oh God, forgive me when I whine.
I have two ears. The world is mine.

With feet to take me where I'd go
With eyes to see the sunset's glow
With ears to hear what I'd know
Oh God, forgive me when I whine.
I'm blessed indeed. The world is mine.


Author Red Foley (1958) 

In This Issue
SILA Hosts International Visitor
Cooking at Downtown Women's Center
Women and HIV
SIA's Changing Brand Identity
Report on Spring Conference
Cheri Fleming: SIA President-Elect
Member News: Ginger & Sheila's Adventure
Decade by Decade: 1983-92
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

SILA Hosts an International Visitor          



Violeta & BarbaraWhere in the world is Chisinau? Does it help to know it's the capital of Moldova? SILA members had a lesson in geography and a delightful time hosting Violeta Bunescu during her first visit to America.


Moldova was formerly part of the Soviet Union but became an independent republic in the early 1990s. It is surrounded by Romania and Ukraine. Violeta became a Soroptimist in 2007 and is currently President of the club in Chisinau.


She applied for and was awarded the Camino Real Region 2012 Friendship Grant and is being hosted by several clubs in the Los Angeles area during her three-week stay from April 18 through May 9. During her four-night stay with SILA, Barbara Jury picked Violeta up in Oxnard, arranged for her to stay in a guestroom at Hollenbeck Palms, took her sightseeing around LA and to two concerts. Responding to Violeta's interest in domestic violence programs, Daphyne Howell provided her with a tour and explanation of the services provided at 1736 Family Crisis Center's head office and shelters. Janet Elliott showed her the LA Cathedral, Union Station, Hollywood Walk of Fame and Griffith Observatory.


DWC-members workingBut a highlight had to be when Violeta joined SILA members at the Downtown Women's Center to prepare the noontime meal.


Getting to meet and spend quality time with Soroptimists from other parts of the world really puts the "International" in Soroptimist International.

Cooking at Downtown Women's Center     


When does work turn into fun? When SILA is preparing lunch for the clients of the Downtown Women's Center. SILA members prepared soy chicken, jasmine rice, Asian green salad and a fresh fruit salad for over 100 homeless women, with the patient assistance of Cathrine, a long time DWC volunteer. Judging from the number of women who came through the line for seconds, the lunch was a success!


Those enjoying the fellowship and cooking were Elizabeth Dell, Carole Oglesby, Emily Dell, Bev Johnson, Diane Vernon, Ann Read, Janet Elliott, DWC volunteer coordinator Catherine, Violeta Bunescu from Moldova (see story above), and Karen Johnson (not shown). 


DWC cookers 


Women and HIV    


HIV Presentation"There is a growing risk of HIV infection among young adults and senior women in Los Angeles."  We all know about young adults, those invulnerable, risk-taking teens. But senior women? Who knew that older ladies, maybe recently widowed or divorced, who always used the pill during their fertile years, now have a new thing to worry about, sexually transmitted diseases, and a new rule to live by: always use a condom.


This was just some of the information presented to SILA members at the program meeting on April 18 by four representatives of the OASIS Reflection Group, Brenda Darby, Flor Monterroza, LaWanda Gresham and Sonseeahray Brown. All are personally aware of the shock, fear, and social stigma associated with contracting the HIV infection. But they are committed to sharing their personal experience to educate, encourage and support women. They can testify that being HIV positive is no longer the death sentence it once was, but prevention, early detection, medical treatment and community support are critical.  

SIA's Changing Brand Identity                  


early iconBy definition, a logo is a distinctive visual image, often paired with a tagline. Think Nike's Just do it. Both are used to identify products, companies, as well as groups. SIA's use of the distinctive Soroptimist emblem has undergone a revision since it was first used as part of SIA's magazine masthead. Although never intended to fulfill the role, the magazine masthead became the "de facto" logo, along with with the tagline, Making a Difference for Women.


current logo-taglineIn 2003, SIA commissioned a major membership/marketing study to help the organization remain competitive in today's climate. As a result of the study, it was recommended that SIA discontinue using the Soroptimist emblem on its materials because it had limited appeal, particularly among younger women and women of diverse nationalities. Additionally SIA was advised to replace the Making a Difference for Women with Best for Women.



 This was an improvement in a number of ways since Best for Women:

1. is the translation of the word Soroptimist.

2. has a "feel-good" quality.

3. better describes both the qualities of Soroptimist membership and the service it offers.

4. provides a natural jumping off point for editorial copy materials such as the website and   the newsletters.


After nine years, the Best for Women tagline and the strong but graceful "S," which is symbolic of the feminine form, remains fresh and contemporary. Although SIA continues to use the Soroptimist emblem in emblematic jewerly, SIA has extended the use of modern graphics to all of its other programs, as evidenced by the Live Your Dream logo. 




logo group

Report on Spring Conference                                    


Spring Conf Michele & Joyce
Gov. Michele congratulates Joyce Jacob on 15 years of service.

SILA's Sheila Tatum received a standing ovation at the annual Camino Real Region Spring Conference for her role in coordinating and organizing a fantastic conference.


Held at the Maya Hotel in Long Beach on April 20-22, the conference included a Leadership Academy for club officers to help them learn how to handle their responsibilities, recognition of Distinguished Soroptimists (including Joan Johnson, Karen Johnson and Jeri Durham from SILA), recognition for years of service, a parade of first-time attendees, (including SILA's Jessica Washington), recognition of winners of the Ruby Award, Women's Opportunity Award and Violet Richardson Award at the regional level, election and installation of the new Camino Real Region Board, a Trade Fair ("one of the best in recent years") and entrance to the film festival LunaFest (see below).







Spring Conference InstallationThe theme for the installation dinner was Hawaiian, complete with musicians, Polynesian dancers, and all the accoutrements. The 2012-2014 Camino Real Board is composed of Governor Linda Haines, Governor-Elect Dora Zavala, Secretary Ginger Cole (yes, SILA's own President Ginger!) Treasurer Patty Kotze, District 1 Director Barbara Hatch, District 2 Director Liz Mirzaian, District 3 Director Josette Utke, and District 4 Director Darlene Gandara. Installing officer was Cheri Fleming, new president-elect for SIA (see below).










LunaFest logoWhile at Spring Conference, Sheila Tatum and Jessica Washington attended LunaFest, a traveling film festival featuring nine award-winning short films by, for, and about women. "The films were extremely provocative," said Sheila. "Most of the films were from countries other than the U.S. but the story lines were compelling and something that could be related to by most of us."  She also noted it was an interesting concept for a fundraiser. LunaFest donates the films as well as Luna Bars. The club just needs to find a site. The host can charge whatever they wish. It's definitely a vehicle for female filmmakers. For more info, click here.

Cheri Fleming is SIA President-Elect                                    


Cheri FlemingDid you hear?! Cheri Fleming, currently Secretary/Treasurer of the Soroptimist International of the America's board, a member of SI/Santa Clarita Valley, and former governor of Camino Real Region, has been elected SIA's 2012-2013 president-elect. Most SILA members know Cheri well as she was a very dynamic governor of Camino Real Region and has attended SILA club meetings.


Cheri will assume the office of SIA president-elect on September 1, 2012, and will become SIA's 2013-2014 president on September 1, 2013. She will serve in that position through August 31, 2014. Congratulations Cheri!

Member News: Ginger & Sheila's Adventure       


Axis deer
Full grown Axis deer still have spots

And this just in from President Ginger and Sheila Tatum while they vacation in Maui: "While traveling on a mountain road in Upcountry on Maui, on the way home from the Lavender Farm, traveling about 25-30 mph, we heard a rustling sound. Out of nowhere, a fully grown Axis deer darted in front of our car! Both driver and passenger slammed on the breaks (real and imaginary) as the deer bolted from one side of the two lane highway to the other. Thank God for good reflexes! As the car came to a screeching halt, we missed Bambi by inches, as her hind hoofs cleared our right front fender.What a day!!"


For more information on the Axis deer problem in Maui click here.

Decade by Decade 1983-1992*

decade by decade final

     *Past President names in blue are current members.