May 2016
Issue: 32
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Soroptimist of Ventura Celebrates 85th Anniversary, Honors Long-time Members and Awards Scholarships 

Soroptimist International (SI) of Ventura celebrated their 85th anniversary, honored longtime members and announced this year's scholarship award winners at a luncheon on April 16, 2016, attended by 84 members and guests. This year's funds were raised through a direct mail campaign, a silent auction at the event and various restaurant/local business fundraisers.
At the event we honored nine long-time members who have devoted thousands of hours of personal and professional time to our cause. Our longest serving member was with our club for almost 54 years. The members who have been with our club for over 30 years include: Dixie Adeniran (36 years), Arlene Briggle (35 years), Liz Heaton Brown (31 years), Garnet Carroll (54 years), Lynn Jacobs (35 years), Sandra Masiel (34 years), Donna Nelson (31 years), Dorothy Prairie (33 years) and Dolores Taylor (34 years). We thank them for their service and for helping to make the Ventura Soroptimist club what it is today.
We also awarded our scholarships for 2016 at the luncheon. The Violet Richardson Award honors young women for their volunteer efforts in their school or community. It is awarded annually to a teen, ages 14-17, and her volunteer organization to recognize the inspiration and dedication it takes to be a volunteer making a difference in the lives of others. This year's scholarship was awarded to Fidelity Ballmer who is a senior at Foothill Technology High School. Fidelity started the Girl Up club at Foothill. Girl Up, a campaign of the United Nations, works to prioritize the health, safety, leadership and education of girls in developing countries. Fidelity's mother, Shelly Ballmer, and  Linda Kapala, Counselor at Foothill, accepted the $1500 award which is shared between Fidelity and the Girl Up club at Foothill.
The Woman's Opportunity Award is dedicated to women who are heads of household and need to further their skills, education or training to upgrade their employment status. This year's scholarship of $1,500 was awarded to Mary Kay Leon, a single mom of six children who is student and a business owner. Mary Kay wants to make a difference for families trapped by addiction and abuse. She is on track to obtain her AA and then wants to transfer to a University so she can work as an advocate within the court systems.
A special thank you goes to Erik Nasarenko, Ventura City Mayor, Anna Gonzales, 2014 SIV Women's Opportunity Award winner, our event sponsors, the businesses and individuals that donated items to our silent auction and all of the individuals that helped make our 85th anniversary celebration/scholarship awards event a success!

Vicki Frederick of Forever Found Will Speak at the May 25 Program Meeting     

Vicki Frederick, local program coordinator with Forever Found, assists in educating and promoting human trafficking advocates in Ventura County.  She felt led to serve in this area after learning that the tragedy of human trafficking is not just an overseas crisis, but is happening right here in our own community. Through focusing on awareness, prevention and rescue Forever Found aims to not only rescue thousands of children from this modern day slavery, but address the underlying causes of child trafficking.

Vicki will be talking about the local programs in Ventura County and opportunities for our Soroptimist Club's involvement.

If you are interested in attending this meeting please call Cindy Daly at 805-701-0882 to RSVP by Monday, May 23. The cost is $15. 
SIV members presented the Freedom Welcome Bags, put together for Human Trafficking victims, to Julie Williams from Forever Found at the April 13 business meeting. (L to R) Kay Armstrong, Julie Williams, Shirley Lorraine & Cindy Daly.
(L to R) Alondra Serna with Soroptimists Karen Flock & Kellye Patterson
Alondra Serna, Program Coordinator of House Farm Workers! Spoke on Farm Worker Housing at the April 27 Program Meeting 

Ventura County's farms and ranches employ nearly 36,000 men and women. These farm workers are critical to Ventura County's $2 billion-a-year agricultural industry. The average income of those workers is about $24,000 - $33,000 a year. Yet the average apartment rent in Ventura County is more than $18,000 a year. This combination of low wages and high housing costs means farm workers often must pool their resources to live in overcrowded apartments, motel rooms or houses. Sometimes they live in garages or sheds neither intended nor fit for human habitation.
When farm workers and their families live in safe, decent and affordable housing, their children are healthier and do better in school. Families experience less stress, and can devote more resources to food, clothing, health care and other needs. 

Employees in secure housing provide a more stable and dependable work force for one of the county's most important industries. 

Neighborhoods are improved when substandard, overcrowded housing is replaced by well-designed, properly maintained homes that provide adequate parking and dedicated play areas.

Much more remains to be done. House Farm Workers! invites everyone who cares about farming and farm workers to join it in its mission to "support and promote the provision of safe, decent and affordable housing for all farm workers."

For more information on how you can be involved please visit!/Home.html

April 16, 2016


Dear Soroptimist of Ventura,


It is with great pleasure, sincerity & thankfulness that I am able to join you all in celebration of your organization's 85th
Anniversary & Scholarship Awards.This thank you card may be overdue but please know the thankfulness & gratefulness has & will always be in my heart.


Your kind words, encouragement, and inspiration have contributed to the woman, mother, daughter, sister, friend, and co-parent that I am today. I thank you all for investing in my potential and sincerely believing that my future was greater than my past.


Two years ago, I was somewhat a broken woman - trying to find my way, provide for my children, be self-sufficient, and be a productive member of society & my community. I was a new student, single part-time mother of three, and residing in a transitional living center. Today I am a confident woman, self-sufficient, full-time mother of three (Landon, Lia, & LeAnna), two time graduate of Ventura Adult Continuing Education Medical Billing & Front Office. I am currently employed by Dr. Kevin White, MD of Surfside Pediatrics (whom I met at the Awards Luncheon, 2014) and absolutely love my job. Life certainly is not perfect, however, it is because of my faith and kind human beings like yourselves that have allowed me to believe in me again. I've learned to strive to be a great role model for my children & my community. There is always room to grow, learn, explore, set new goals and succeed! Someday, I hope to become a certified coder.


Again, I sincerely thank you for the wonderful opportunity!


I would love to volunteer with your organization and help other women in our community. Thank you for contributing to my life, my dreams, and my meaning.

God Bless!

Anna Gonzales

(2014 recipient of SIV's Live Your Dream Scholarship) 

SIV President Kay Armstrong finds Soroptimist friends in Delft, Netherlands. Soroptimists are everywhere!
The 38th Annual Camino Real Region Spring Conference May 13-15, 2016  

 "Dreams on Parade: Change Makes It Happen"

Please join the Soroptimist Camino Real Region on May 13-15, 2016 at the Pasadena Hilton Hotel at the annual Spring Conference.  The Region Board and Spring Conference Committee have been busy creating a fabulous experience specifically for you!  Spring Conference is designed to recognize the work, members, and what has been done collectively to carry out the vision and mission of Soroptimist.    

We will see a return of Club photos, Women's Health Related workshops in the morning and the Leadership Academy in the afternoon.  The Dreams on Parade is Friday night where each clubs creative banners are on display. Governor Elect Ginger Cole will be installed on Saturday evening with a Mardi Gras themed celebration so put on your glitz and glamour for this.

SIA Federation Director, Beverly Bucur, will be a special guest during the Conference. The speakers for Friday and Saturday lunch will inspire as well as call on you to be the catalyst for change in a positive fun way.  The week-end will be filled much shopping, education, region updates and lots of celebration! 

The Call to Conference, agenda and pertinent forms are available here on the Camino Real Region website for your convenience.
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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.
2016 Pledge & Inspiration Schedule 
May 11 Meeting: 
Pledge - Kellye Patterson 
Inspiration - Cindy Daly    
May 25 Meeting:
Pledge - Karen Flock            
Inspiration - Gina Jaeger

Please email Karen Flock at if you would like to lead the pledge or inspire us at a meeting. 
Soroptimist logo

May 11 - Business Meeting  - Noon 
May 13 - 15 - Spring Conference

May 25 - Program 
Meeting - Noon  

June 8 - Business 
Meeting  - Noon 

June 22 - Installation 
of 2016-2017 SIV 
Board - Noon 
Check out our new Website 

Vote for Your
2016 - 2017 SIV Board at the May 11 Meeting

The nominating committee has come up with an outstanding group of candidates for our incoming 2016 - 2017 board. Please be at the May 11 business meeting to vote for these candidates or any nominated from the floor.

The proposed slate:
Ann Hewitt
President Elect:
Sherri Bennett
Vice President:
Shirley Lorraine
Pam Pecarich
Recording SEC:
Kellye Patterson
Correspondence SEC:
Kay Armstrong
Two Year Directors:
Sandy Masiel
Cyndi Damron 
One Year Directors:
Trevor Summerlin
Cindy Daly 


On a personal note, while visiting the city of Delft it was my pleasure to meet the president of one of the Soroptimist clubs there.

It was a special holiday in the Netherlands called Kings Day. It is the celebration of the King's birthday and one of the customs is to rid yourself of excess stuff, hence many second hand stalls are set up around the cities. I just happened to come upon a Soroptimist stall. Such fun!

The premier showing of The Abolitionists will be on May 16 at 7:30 pm at The Collection.

So much has been accomplished this year culminating with our 85th anniversary celebration and awards luncheon.
Kudos to our fundraising/ service committees and all who joined in to make this occasion an inspirational, fun and profitable event. Everyone was fabulous! Thank you!!

We will vote in our new officers for 2016/17 at the May 11 business meeting. I think we have an excellent slate and that my new favorite word next year will be "fabulous"!

Ann, Pam, Peggy, Sherri and I will be attending the Friday lunch and training programs at Spring Conference. Then, Peggy, Sherri and I will remain for the weekend as delegates. Lorie Balzer will be remembered at the memorial service on Sunday morning.

We will be inducting our new officers at the June 8 business meeting and Sherry Cash, our District 1 Director, will be presiding.

I ask all of you to attend the focus meeting if possible as it is here that we set our direction, plan our budget, and review and expand programs. More will follow.

The SIA convention is in July in Orlando. Hopefully our president elect will be able to attend.

Meanwhile, we will be watching each other's backs and providing the best to women and girls.

Kay Armstrong 
SI Ventura 2015-2016  

2016 Axxess Books are
Still Available

The 2016 Axxess Books are still 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 

Kellye Patterson 5/15
Dixie Adeniran 5/26

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805-647-1554 or
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Club Meetings
  • 2nd & 4th Wednesday of each month
  • Luncheon Meeting at 12 noon
  • Ventura Beach Marriott Hotel, 2055 Harbor Blvd., Ventura