December 2015
Issue: 27
Soroptiviews masthead
Farewell Lorie, Soroptimist & Volunteer Extraordinaire 

Born Lorie Bolton in 1936, she was raised in the valley. Her life took her to Ohio, Colorado, New Jersey, Georgia, Texas, and Wisconsin. She returned to Southern California in the first part of the millennium to be close to her family. She spent her final years fulfilling her lifelong dream of living at the beach. Up until her passing she typically woke at 6:30 and volunteered for many organizations including Soroptomists of Ventura, Tender Life, and working with the homeless. She remained active as a real estate agent and a valued member of the Ventura Chamber of Commerce. Lorie is survived by her two brothers, her two sons, her daughter and her two grandchildren.

These were the facts of Lorie's life but they don't fully capture the dynamic woman we Soroptimists knew and were blessed to work with. She had a passion for improving the lives of the women of Ventura and served them with cheerful, positive and optimistic determination.
You Never Know

You never know when someone
May catch a dream from you.
You never know when a little word,
Or something you may do
May open up a window
Of the mind that seeks the light
The way you live may not matter at all...
But you never know - it might.

And just in case it could be
That another's life through you.
Might possibly change for the better
With a broader brighter view.
It seems it might be worth a try
At pointing the way to the right.
Of course, it may not matter at all,
But then again it might.
Helen L. Marshall  

A Memorial service was held on Saturday November 14, 2015 at the Poinsettia Pavilion in Ventura. It was well attended by family and friends. There were many Soroptimists that were honored to attend. The family spoke about Lorie, there was a nice luncheon provided along with a slideshow from Lorie's life. Lorie will be missed by all.

In lieu of flowers, the family requested that donations be made to Soroptomist of Ventura, with a focus on the Tender Life skills program. If you would like to make a donation in Lorie's honor, please contact Kay Armstrong at 805-340-3937.
Spicetopia to Host a Fundraiser for SIV in Honor of Lorie

On Thursday, December 10, Spicetopia will host a fundraiser in honor of Lorie Balzer. 15% of the proceeds for the whole day will be donated to Soroptimist of Ventura.

Spicetopia is a specialty spice and tea store which uses mostly organic and fair trade certified suppliers. They carry many treasures from local vendors including Ventura Coffee Company, Blue Ridge Honey, Earl's Gone Wild and many more! They also offer cooking classes.

Please stop in for some great holiday gifts or maybe a little something for yourself! Support Soroptimist Ventura and a small local business at the same time.  

Spicetopia is located at 576 E. Main St., Ventura and is open from 11 - 6 daily.

Laurie Bennett will Speak about Camp NAWIC at the January 27th Program Meeting
Ventura County's Camp NAWIC  is a five day, hands on construction basics learning course for high school girls. The curriculum taught includes, but is not limited to, electrical, welding, plumbing, carpentry, painting, heavy equipment operation, hand tool basics and construction safety to name a few disciplines.

The camp teaches responsibility, self esteem, team work and team building as well as promotes empowerment for young women to problem solve in a male dominated industry/profession.

These young women may not have an interest in construction before they begin the camp but will have learned many personal skills that can be used throughout their lives no matter what profession they ultimately chose.

Laurie Bennett
  • 49 year county resident, raised in Ventura, lives in Camarillo
  • Vice President of Arbee Inc, the corporate holding company for Fence Factory and C&W Construction Specialties, a family owned and operated business
  • MBA from California Lutheran University in Business Administration; Organizational Behavior
  • First female president of the Ventura County Contractor's Association
  • Technical Advisory committee member for Green Build Construction program at Center for Employment Training in Oxnard
  • 25 year member of National Association of Women in Construction, current board member
  • Construction and life skill education of "the next generation" have been a long time passion; organizing and chairing scholarships for career & technical programs, computer aided design and drafting (CADD) competitions for high schools, Lego building competitions for K-6 and a high school girls construction camp
  • Spare time is spent with; family wine tasting and bonding, friends playing Mexican Train, traveling with a big fluffy Malamute named Skye and riding a beautiful sparkling blue touring motorcycle
If you are interested in attending this meeting please call Cindy Daly at 805-701-0882 to RSVP by Monday, January 25. The cost is $15.
SIV Members Attend the STOP Human Trafficking Awareness Fundraiser

A good time was had by all at the STOP Human Trafficking Fundraiser which was held on Wednesday, Nov. 11 at the Painted Cabernet in Oxnard.

Masterpieces were created, wine was sipped, snacks were eaten and most importantly money was raised for the upcoming Soroptimist event.

Budding Artists Sherry Cash, Cindy Daly, Cyndi Damron and Trevor Summerlin represented our Ventura Club at the event.  
Why Not Use Amazon Smile for all your Holiday Shopping Needs?
What is AmazonSmile?
AmazonSmile is a simple and automatic way for you to support your favorite charitable organization every time you shop, at no cost to you. When you shop at, you'll find the exact same low prices, vast selection and convenient shopping experience as, with the added bonus that Amazon will donate a portion of the purchase price to our Soroptimist International of Ventura.

How do I select a charitable organization to support when shopping on AmazonSmile?
On your first visit to AmazonSmile ( ), you need to select Soroptimist International of Ventura to receive donations from eligible purchases before you begin shopping. Amazon will remember your selection, and then every eligible purchase you make at will result in a donation.

How much of my purchase does Amazon donate?
The AmazonSmile Foundation will donate 0.5% of the purchase price from your eligible AmazonSmile purchases. The purchase price is the amount paid for the item minus any rebates and excluding shipping & handling, gift-wrapping fees, taxes, or service charges. From time to time, there may be special, limited time promotions that increase the donation amount on one or more products or services or provide for additional donations to charitable organizations.

AmazonSmile Donations to Charitable Organizations
100% of the donation amount generated from your eligible purchase on AmazonSmile will be donated. The donation amounts generated by your purchases are combined with the donation amounts from all other customers that selected the same organization, and each quarter the AmazonSmile Foundation makes donations to registered charitable organizations by electronic funds transfer. Donations are generally transferred approximately 45 days after the end of each calendar quarter.

Please tell all your family and friends to choose Soroptimist International of Ventura to support in their Amazon online purchases through the AmazonSmile program.
Applications for the 
Live Your Dream
Scholarship are Due Jan. 15, 2016
The Violet Richardson Award Application Deadline is
Feb. 15, 2016

Applications and information about Live Your Dream (formerly called the Women's Opportunity Award)
and the Violet Richardson Award are now available on our website at

Live Your Dream is a scholarship awarded to a local woman who is the primary wage earner in her family to assist with meeting career/educational goals.  Click here to download the application.   
Live Your Dream also requires two reference forms.  Click here to download the reference form.

The deadline for the
Live Your Dream application is
January 15, 2016

The Violet Richardson Award is a scholarship awarded to a local young woman, age 14-17, recognizing her commitment to the betterment of our community through her volunteer efforts. This scholarship is shared with the volunteer organization she has volunteered for. Click here to download the application.

The deadline for the Violet Richardson Award application is February 15, 2016.

The minimal award to be given is $1500 per winner. Completed applications and reference forms can be emailed to or mailed to Sherri Tarpchinoff Bennett, PO Box 6133, Ventura, CA 93006. For questions, please contact Sherri at 805-910-9620.
Former SIV President Betty C. Black Passes Away    

BETTY C. BLACK, 90, of Las Cruces, New Mexico, passed away on November 13, 2015 at Mountain View Regional Medical Center.

She was born September 3, 1925 in Sioux City, Iowa to Philip S. Canfield and Hazel Goodyear. She was married to Robert Black on May 5, 1946 in Des Moines, Iowa in the Unitarian Church. Her beloved husband Bob passed away in Ventura, California on August 20, 2001, where they had lived since 1964.

Betty graduated with a Master's degree in Library Science from the University of Illinois, Champaign-Urbana, and was a member of the Phi Beta Kappa honorary fraternity. She worked as a supervising librarian in the Ventura County Library System for 24 years, retiring in 1988. She was active after retirement with Soroptimist International, Friends of the Library, Battered Women's Shelter, and was a docent at the historic Dudley House. Her passion was meeting with her dear friends in their monthly book club. Betty served as the 56th President of SI Ventura in 1986 - 1987. 
Soroptimist International Survey 
Soroptimist logo
We, as club members, have been asked to 
participate in a conversation around the future of Soroptimist. Kay sent an email containing a discussion quide and survey. The discussion guide explains what we are trying to do as an organization to create another outstanding 100 years. It also introduces the concept of a big goal and asks for the club's help in defining our organization-wide big goal. 

Please read and reflect on the discussion guide and
share any ideas about how we can grow our organization-wide collective impact to help more women and girls achieve their goals and live their dreams directly to Kay at She will compile and pass along any ideas and input we have to the SIA board of directors.

The deadline for our response is December 28. 
Advertise in Our E-Newsletter and Help Support Our Community Service Fund
For a donation of $100 to our community service fund, we will advertise your business in our e-newsletter every month for a year. That is a $20 dollar savings over the monthly rate of of $10 per month. 
Or, donate $50 to our community service fund and we will advertise your business in our e-newsletter every month for six months. 
Mail your donation check to:  Soroptimist, P.O.Box 6133, Ventura, CA 93066 -- Include your ad information and email contact -- or contact us at We will contact you to finalize the ad copy.

2015 Pledge & Inspiration Schedule 


December 9 Meeting: 

Pledge - Cindy Daly      

Inspiration - Karen Flock      
January 13 Meeting:

Pledge - DeDe Taylor        

Inspiration - Shirley Lorraine


Please email Karen Flock at if you would like to lead the pledge or inspire us at a meeting. 
Soroptimist logo
December 9 - Holiday Celebration & Gift Exchange - Noon

January 13 - Business Meeting - Noon

January 27 - Program Meeting - Noon

March 9 - Stop Human Trafficking Event
Ventura County Government Center

April 16 - Scholarship Awards/85 Celebration 
Pierpont Inn, Ventura 
SIV's Holiday Celebration is on Dec. 9th
We will be celebrating the season and having a gift exchange at our December 9 meeting. Anyone interested in participating in the gift exchange should bring a wrapped gift worth $20. 

Reminder - We will not have a Program Meeting in December. 

2016 Axxess Books are Now Available

The 2016 Axxess Books are now available for $30.

If you are interested in either selling the books or buying a book for yourself, please contact Cyndi Damron for details and more information at 805-216-4728 or email her 
Save the Date
Scholarship Awards Lunch and 85th Celebration

April 16, 2016
11 am - 2:30 pm 
Pierpont Inn, Ventura
Please plan on attending this special event and bring a guest or two!  Help celebrate our Scholarship Awards winners and our Club's 85th Birthday.

There will also be a silent auction so that we may continue supporting our efforts to help women and girls in our community.

We will be selling business card ads as well as looking for sponsors for this event. Please think about businesses and individuals that might support our efforts.  
If you would like to help plan this event, donate an item for our silent auction, or have a sponsor please contact Cyndi Damron at 216-4728 or email her at
More information will follow. 
I want to wish you all a happy, safe, loving and fun holiday season. It is a season to give thanks and to reflect on our priorities in life.

It is a time to be grateful for and to appreciate those people in our spheres who bring richness into our and others lives.

We have lost one of those people. Lorie Balzer was an ageless women with so much energy. She strove to improve the lives of others and touched many people in the process. She loved being a Soroptimist - like being president three times- and put her energy into creating our Life Skill program. But most of all she was a genuine person who was always ready to be of help. You could rely on her really being there.
She loved her family and it was always good to hear about her grandchildren and how supportive she was to their endeavors. This was evident at her memorial celebration. Each of her three children recalled her presence and influence in their life and described her as an adventurous person who was not afraid to step to the edge and take some risks for them and for her own life.

I will miss her greatly but am so grateful to have known her. She embodied the goal of our organization which is to be in service to others especially women and girls.
Kay Armstrong 
SI Ventura 2015-2016  

Project Understandings
Adopt a Family 

We have agreed to participate in Project Understandings Adopt a Family program for this holiday season. You will find details on the family we have been assigned below as well as commitments from SIV members. Please bring your donations to the December 9th meeting. They should be unwrapped but labeled for the intended recipient. Let's transform this families holiday!

Mom - size XL likes Christian books, Michael's craft store arts/crafts
Sherri -
Michaels GC
Trevor -
Art Supplies 
Kellye -

- size 2XL likes action movies, Christian books, going to the shooting range
Cindy -
Cindy -
Camo Shirt 
Celia -

15 yr old boy - size XL likes playing guitar, action movies, music and NY Yankees
Pam - 
Yankee Hat
Shirley - Music GC 
Trevor - 
Saints Jersey 

12 yr old girl - prefers gifts cards to Forever 21, Target, H&M or Claire's
Cyndi - 
Celia - 
Target GC 

10 yr old boy - size 12 likes Raiders, sports and drawing
Pam - 
Raiders t-shirt
Trevor - 
Art Supplies

4yr old twin boys - size 5T like Disney's Cars, Minions, and drawing
Sandy - 
Art Supplies
Penny - T-shirts 
Karen -
Disney Cars 
Trevor -
Art Supplies 

Contact Cyndi for
more information at 216-4728.

Sherry Cash 12/6
Dorothy Prairie 12/9
Shirley Lorraine 12/14
Gina Jaeger 12/25
Peggy Ruesink 12/26
Kay Armstrong 12/29
Have you Liked us on Facebook?

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Support SI Ventura

Advertise your business here and reach over 200 people!!!
Only $10 per month.
For Information call
Cindy Daly at 
805-647-1554 or
email her at

Club Meetings
  • 2nd & 4th Wednesday of each month
  • Luncheon Meeting at 12 noon
  • Ventura Beach Marriott Hotel, 2055 Harbor Blvd., Ventura