June 2016
Issue: 33
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Annual Focus Meeting Dates Set for June 22 and 29 

The annual Focus meeting will begin at the June 22 program meeting and then will continue on Wednesday, June 29 at incoming President Ann Hewitt's home at 281 Francis St. in Ventura. The focus meeting portion of the evening will begin at 5 pm with a fiesta celebration at the conclusion of our business. 

This is one of our most important meetings as we will be establishing our goals and objectives for the 2016 - 2017 Club year. We also will determine where and to whom we will be disbursing the funds raised for this purpose during the past year. We will consider areas we want to concentrate our efforts, fundraising activities, service projects etc.

Later in the month, you will receive a copy of the Program Plan, which is the document that outlines all the various activities in which SI Ventura is engaged. From this document, we will determine which areas we want to focus on for this coming year and establish objectives for each of these areas. As mentioned above, this is a very important meeting and all members are expected to attend.
Catalysts for Change

herry Cash, 
CRR District 1 Director
SI Ventura Member
It came to me, to recognize the efforts of two shining Soroptimist members. These special women, through their own finess and talents, themselves serve as catalysts for the profoundly important, and much needed change that we as Soroptimist strive to effect.
I have had the opportunity to observe the efforts of these notable women, primarily because I myself joined the STOP Human Trafficking and Sexual Slavery Committee back in 2012. The cause interested me - not only because, as Soroptimist, we were charged with addressing this issue five years earlier - but also beause Debbie Gohlke had spearheaded the annual public awareness event as a past District 1 Director and member of the Oxnard club (SIO).

There is only one, Debbie Gohlke. I have never seen an organizer obtain results like she does. She gets an idea to ask for help, and people simply want to support her because of her humble spirit and gentle presence. As she committed herself to the cause, two other District 1 clubs - Soroptimist International of the Conejo (SIOC) and Camarillo (SIC) - joined her efforts. I am honored to serve on her committee.

As soon as I became District 1 Director, I had a vision to invite the two remaining clubs to our committee meetings, and also, to join in our annual public awareness event. Afterall, the dire issue of human trafficking was now in the media everywhere.

On board came Soroptimist International of Ventura (SIV) and Santa Barbara (SISB)! Because we were recognized by our Ventura County Board of Supervisors for our community work concerning human trafficking, this year we invited Soroptimist of Simi Valley to unite with us. This made sense because Simi Valley is in our county. Their club approved the request and now we are six clubs marching together and this year we hope to add SI Fillmore!

I hope to see all our CRR clubs join in with a public awareness event on this issue. It is my dream, and if I can be a catalyst, I'd help to make it happen.

It takes 20-30 years to influence a society to think differently about matters which affect us all. Ideas such as "Don't be a litter bug", or "Only YOU can prevent forest fires"...these simple, but effective slogans required time to become part of our common way of thinking. It's hard to believe we used to say, "Give me one for the road". Thanks to MADD, that one is repeated no longer.

Another member who comes to mind is SIV President, Kay Armstrong. Kay is like an orchid, quietly observing and absorbing the committee meetings, until one day she suddenly blooms with ideas and says, "I think I can get us some radio coverage through a friend" And BAM! Were on the air! She is a powerful Catalyst this year in putting us on the map.

You never know, just by showing up to a Soroptimist meeting, how your ideas and suggestions will help the public awareness reach a tipping point. A point where the culture shifts!

As our membership continues to grow, I encourage existing Soroptimist to allow for less-seasoned viewpoints, positive change, and especially new ideas that come from the fresh perspectives of newer members. They have much to share.

And, just as an artist needs a canvas, let our Soroptimist mission - which includes the opportunity for professional women to work toward improving the lives of women and girls who need us to be their voice - allow a space for members, old and new, to be a catalyst which furthers our goals.
Excerpts previously printed in CRR newsletter.
SI Ventura Awards the Edna Wirt Woods/Ruth Nagel Scholarship

Evelyn Selby (r) and her mother, Kristen. Evelyn is the 2016 recipient of a $1,500 scholarship award provided by Soroptimist of Ventura

Ventura County Community Foundation recently honored recipients of VCCF scholarship funds, including a $1,500 scholarship award provided by our Soroptimist International of Ventura - Edna Wirt Woods/Ruth Nagel Scholarship Fund. Congratulations to Evelyn Selby who is graduating this month from Foothill Technology High School. She will be attending Ventura College in the fall.

Our scholarship fund with VCCF was established in 2001, and was funded by fundraising efforts and donations from our members. The fund continues to be supported by other ongoing gifts and donations. Our club's primary directed purpose of the fund is to award scholarships to women and girls from the City of Ventura who are pursuing a degree in a health related field.

This scholarship was created in honor of two of our club's long-time members.

Ruth Nagel became a member of SIV in 1987, transferring from the Santa Barbara club. She was retired and in our 1990-91 club year she and her husband, Charles, left Ventura for the good life in Vegas. In 1989 she made a substantial donation to our club to establish a scholarship to assist persons enrolled in a course of study leading to a career in the health care field. This scholarship fund, in 2001, became part of the VCCF Woods/Nagel Scholorship Fund.

Edna Wirt Woods became a member of SIV in 1943 and was our club president in 1950-51. In 1960-62 she was Governor of Soroptimist Pacific Region (the predecessor of our currently named Camino Real Region). She was the matriarch of our club, always keeping us "professional" and doing the right thing in the proper manner. Her SIV scholarship was funded by the fund-raising efforts of our members and was to assist persons pursuing careers in the field of hearing and speech disorders, a cause that dominated her career. This scholarship fund also, in 2001, became a part of the VCCF Woods/Nagel Scholarship Fund.

Both of these women were role models for what a dedicated member of a community service organization should aspire to be, and our club is pleased to remember them and to continue to honor their memories with this valuable community service scholarship.
Camp NAWIC Looking for Adult Volunteers - (You do not have to volunteer everyday of the camp!)

Monday - Friday, 
July 25 - July 29, 2016 - 8:00 am to 3:00 pm

WHAT IS CAMP NAWIC: The Camp is a unique one week hands-on training camp which teaches the basic skills of the trades such as carpentry, electrical, plumbing, painting, masonry, etc., as well as instruction on using hand and power tools and comprehensive safety.
Team work, responsibility and job skills training, combined with fun projects the girls make with their own hands keep their interest and focus throughout each day.

Local contractors, building trade's journeymen/women, construction technology instructors & community volunteers work side-by-side to mentor the girls. The volunteers do not have to have any construction or handy experience. There will be a meeting the beginning of July, to go over what and who will be needed and when. The camp will be held Monday, July 25, 2016 - Friday, July 29, 2016, 8:00am-3:00pm at the Arnaz Program Center 155 E. Sulphur Mountain Rd., Ventura, CA 93001

Please register at no cost via the registration link provided.
After completing the above application, please email Amanda: ahofmann-handy@girlscoutsccc.org

For additional information please contact: Laurie Bennett
(805) 689-0791 cell

Vicki Frederick of Forever Found Spoke at the May 25 Program Meeting     

On May 25th, Vicki Frederick joined us to make a presentation about child sexual trafficking and how her organization, Forever Found, seeks to prevent, rescue and restore victims of this widespread practice. Children who are trafficked are stripped of their humanity and sold like objects. Make no mistake: there is no such thing as a child prostitute. Children cannot give consent. As Forever Found's local program coordinator, she inspired us with the quote that keeps her motivated day to day: I cannot change this world but I can change this child's world. 
Forever Found advocates for children internationally and domestically.  This article focuses on their domestic work. The organization has two homes where victims of child sexual exploitation/slavery can voluntarily find a place to recover from their trauma and to feel valued and loved - one in Oklahoma, one in Northern California. They also have a Survivor Mentor Program, where victims, primarily girls, experience the support of a trained "friend" who helps them with life skills, something closely aligned to our Club's values. Forever Found also provides training on human trafficking to anyone interested and on being advocates for trafficking victims in the community. 
In early 2016, Forever Found funded the first child trafficking "sting" by police in Simi Valley. In less than 8 hours, more than 100 calls were received in response to an ad for a minor for sale. Three arrests were made. Another sting in Oxnard, in April, partially funded by Forever Found, resulted in many more arrests. 
SIV will continue to work with Forever Found to provide Freedom Bags for girls who find themselves freed from their traffickers but needing the basics - toothbrushes, shampoo, PJs, and .... mascara. We need to remember they are teenagers.

More information about this inspiring program is available at www.foreverfound.org. 
Why Not Use Amazon Smile for your regular Shopping Needs? Try the Subscribe and Save Service.
Subscribe and Save is a subscription service that will automatically ship the products you purchase every 1, 2, 3, or 6 months.
Amazon gives you discounts on these items + free shipping and you can cancel at any time with no penalty. Subscribe and Save also gives you 15% off purchases when you add 5 or more items to your subscription plan for any month or 5% off for less than 5.

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 smile.amazon.com, you'll find the exact same low prices, vast selection and convenient shopping experience as Amazon.com, 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 (smile.amazon.com ), 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  smile.amazon.com 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.
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 siventura@soroptimist.net We will contact you to finalize the ad copy.
2016 Pledge & Inspiration Schedule 
June 8 Meeting: 
Pledge - Shirley Lorraine  
Inspiration - Karen Flock     
June 22 Meeting:
Pledge - Donna Nelson            
Inspiration - Sherri Bennett

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

June 8 - Installation 
of 2016-2017 SIV 
Board - Noon  

June 22 - Focus  
Meeting - Noon

June 29 - Focus  
Meeting/Fiesta - 5pm
Ann's House,
281 Francis St.

July 13 - Business 
Meeting  - Noon 

July 27 - Program Meeting - Noon

Check out our new Website 

2016 - 2017 SIV Board to be Installed at the June 8 Business

Our new board members were voted in at the May 11 business meeting. The installation of the 2016 - 2017 board will take place at the meeting on June 8 at Noon at the Ventura Beach Marriott Hotel, Ventura. SIV member and District 1 Director, Sherry Cash will conduct the installation. 

Don't miss out!!!

I want to tell you all how thankful I am that you all
"had my back" this year. It was, indeed, a learning time for me.

I so appreciate you all!

We have accomplished so much. When you could participate you did; when opportunities arose to reach out to the community you did.

Womentum was a first for us and thanks to Cindy Daly and others we were able to connect with women and girls at the event. We were also able to display information about our club and the scholarships we give every year.


We received recognition at the Regional Spring Conference for our participation in our area's Stop Human Trafficking program.


There are many more examples but I will lastly mention our fantastic 85th Anniversary/Scholarship Luncheon. You all made that a most wonderful event!


The loss of Lorie Balzer was difficult in so many ways. She loved and was an integral part of our club. Her beloved Life Skills Program was put on hold until we could regroup and reformulate the process. It will have the same vision... to help women and girls reach their full potential but with a different approach. Thanks goes to Cyndi Damron and Sherri Bennett for taking on this mission.

In July, with Ann as president and a new board in place, we will move on to new projects and even more opportunities!

Thank you all again for allowing me to be your president this year but I could not have done it at all without my great board and fantastic club members.

Let's continue keeping each other's backs.
Kay Armstrong 
SI Ventura 2015-2016  

This Could be Yours!

We will be auctioning off this beautiful 5th Avenue Muirfield crystal jar with a lid, valued at $40, at our Business meeting on Wednesday, June 8. 

Don't miss out!!

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 

Cyndi Damron 6/11
Trevor Summerlin 6/13

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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