July 2016
Issue: 34
Soroptiviews masthead

(L to R) Sherri Tarpchinoff Bennett, President Elect; Trevor Summerlin, 1 year Director; Kellye Edwards Patterson, Recording Secretary; Shirley Lorraine, Vice President; Ann Hewitt, President; Kay Armstrong, Corresponding Secretary; Pamela Pecarich, Treasurer; Cindy Daly, 1 year Director. Missing - Cyndi Damron, 2 Year Director and Sandra Masiel, 2 Year Director.

2016-2017 Board Installed at
June 8 Business Meeting

Our new board members for the 2016-2017 year were installed at the June 8 Business Meeting in a lovely ceremony led by Sherry Cash, District 1 Director and fellow SIV member. (See above for a listing of the new board members and their positions.)

SIV Focus Meeting Takes On a Different Format for 2016-2017 
By Ann HewittSI Ventura President
Our annual Focus meeting was held over two separate sessions, the first on Wednesday, June 22nd during the noon hour and the second on Wednesday evening, June 29th.  On June 22nd, Cyndi Damron reported on our Club's fundraising efforts including our very successful Awards Banquet and Silent Auction.  Karen Flock led us through a very efficient discussion about distribution of funds remaining in our 2015-2016 budget: the group agreed to continue sponsorship of one girl at Day Spring School in Uganda, and assistance for Tender Life at Project Understanding.  We also agreed to provide funds to Forever Found  to be spent on anti-trafficking efforts in the City of Ventura.  We also approved changes to our Bylaws and Standing Rules.
On June 29th the meeting continued at Ann Hewitt's house where, led by Kay Armstrong, we adopted our 2016-17 budget.  Trevor Summerlin and Cindy Daly updated us on public awareness, Cindy Daly on Membership, and Karen Flock on Service.  Kay Armstrong reported on the stethoscope project funded by the Zana Endowment. 
We then took a look backwards and forwards, recognizing our accomplishments and challenging ourselves to recognize where we can do better and where some circumstances are plainly and simply out of our control.  We all agreed that communication is key and we can always improve how we share information, especially with new members, where we might consider a mentoring relationship.  This is something we can control.  We also agreed that we have had a very rough year, with the death of Lorie Balzer, the illness of Lynn Jacobs (who has sadly since passed away) and the prolonged absences of some of our long time members.  We honor their contributions to our club.  And we acknowledged our accomplishments over the year:  providing Girl Scout Cookies to the regional conference was a HUGE HIT (thank you, Gina Jaeger); the "awesome-ness" of our public awareness team: our website, Facebook page, and more; our ongoing support for Project Understanding through gifts of food at Thanksgiving and gifts at the holiday season; the fact that newer Club members have stepped up to participate on the Board; and on and on and on.
Each of us took a few minutes to write down on small pieces of paper (anonymously), three things we love to do as Soroptimists and three things that we would really prefer not to have to do.  More on that in future newsletters and President's messages.... Stay tuned!
Important Things to Know
About Committees
Committees are:     

1.     Important

2.     Powerful

3.     Due Our Respect     

Committees are important because they do the important work of the club.  They are powerful because members are creating, planning and providing the framework for us to provide service, fundraise, bring in new members and support each other.  We need to respect committees for all they do.  We respect committees in many ways.  We respect them by asking appropriate questions.  Appropriate questions would be:  Can we bring guests?  What is the start time?   We need to make sure we are not asking questions that should be asked at committee meetings.  Examples of those questions would be:  Oh we're having it at the Pierpont, I heard that Lure has a nice room.  This is a planning question which should be discussed at committee.  It could be disrespectful to the committee in assuming that they have not thoroughly discussed venues.  Should you have important information that the committee may not know, you should go to the committee meeting or share that information with the committee chair.  Don't start talking about it at a board or general meeting.  We need to respect committees by supporting them in their events.  It is easy to agree that an upcoming event is nice and we should go forward.  We also need to agree to attend and support. 
Committees have responsibilities beyond their planning and implementation.  They need to keep members informed about what is going on in committee work.  That includes sharing plans for future events. Committee chairs need to give monthly reports at the board and general meetings.  We do well when these reports are written.   Committee chairs need to get club buy-in for events. That may mean asking for definite commitments from members. 
Committees need to keep committee work in committee meetings.  Too many times we get interested and start asking questions and offering opinions in board and general meetings that are discussions that should happen in committee meetings.  The person leading the discussion whether that be the committee chair or president should stop the conversation and point out that it should be dealt with in committee.  We cannot use our board and general meetings to brainstorm.  Save that good energy for committee meetings.  As a rule of thumb if your board or general meeting is running over an hour you are doing committee work! 
In conclusion I would like to point out that committee work is also a time of fun and bonding and I would encourage all members to really get involved in her committee's work.  (SOLT Talk given by Peggy Ruesink.)

The following document shows the 2016 - 2017committees as they presently stand. Every member will have the opportunity to add their names and their support to a committee at the July 13 business meeting.

A Tribute to 
Lynn Jacobs

By Karen Flock

Lynn Jacobs, member of Soroptimist International of Ventura for over 35 years, died on July 4, 2016, after a long and valiant battle with acute leukemia.  She was 69 years old.
Lynn was a fierce advocate for housing for all; she believed it was the basis for a strong community.
I first met Lynn in the early 1980s.  She was already active in the community, but she was just learning about housing.  She worked for the owner of Blue Goose Growers, which owned a deteriorating farm labor camp in Santa Paula.  The owner, William Myers, had committed to building new affordable homes for the 88 resident families, and it was largely Lynn's job to figure it out.  She knew about finance, but I don't think she knew anything about housing.  She made it happen.   One hundred twenty-eight farm worker families became new owners of homes that they could afford.  The homes cost about $40,000 each, and Lynn arranged for mortgages at 13.5% interest, in a time when interest rates were in the high teens.  I was already involved in housing, and I knew the residents from my time as a volunteer with the United Farm Workers of America; I got to watch it unfold.  Lynn had figured out that under the right circumstances, low and moderate income families could become home owners and living in affordable housing made a tremendous difference. 
Lynn went on to develop more than 400 homes in Ventura and Santa Barbara Counties.  She was the founder and president of Ventura Affordable Homes.  She developed great partnerships, including with former Soroptimist member Carolyn Briggs.  Lynn built homes in Piru, and made a site available for affordable rental housing that was developed by the Area Housing Authority, where Carolyn was then the Executive Director.
Lynn served on the Ventura Design Review Committee and Planning Commission and became active in housing policy, including through her work with the Building Industry Association where she served as President of the Building Industry Association/Southern California Greater Los Angeles/Ventura Chapter and was on the Board of Directors for the California Building Industry Association.
In 2006 she was appointed by Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger to serve as the Director of the California Department of Housing and Community Development, where she served for five years.  One of her first accomplishments was to build bipartisan support that resulted in the legislature placing a $2.9 billion housing bond on the ballot, Proposition 1C.  The measure passed, and she worked tirelessly to get the funds allocated so that affordable housing could be built.  This resulted in the construction of over 40,000 affordable homes and apartments in California.
Lynn was a great friend and mentor to many.  We will miss her.
Lynn is survived by her husband Gary Jacobs and son Matthew Jacobs.  Condolences may be sent to them at 7937 Calaveras St.; Ventura CA  93004.

On July 7, 2016, the Ventura County Star ran a great article about Lynn. Click here to read that article.
2016 Violet Richardson Award Winner, Fidelity Ballmer, to Speak at August 24 Program Meeting
Fidelity Ballmer graduated from Foothill Technology High School as the Class of 2016 Valedictorian. Throughout high school, Fidelity served women and girls through founding and leading a 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 club raised awareness and funds through campaigns, movie screenings, fundraisers; advocacy with members of Congress; guest speakers; and initiating a campus conversation on women's empowerment. 
Don't miss out on meeting our Violet Richardson Award winner, Fidelity Ballmer and hearing her speak on the Girl Up campaign. If you are interested in attending this meeting please call Sandy Masiel at 805-278-3607 to RSVP by Monday, August 22. The cost is $15.
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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 
July 13 Meeting: 
Pledge - Kellye Patterson   
Inspiration - Sherri Bennett      
July 27 Meeting:
Pledge - Shirley Lorraine 
Inspiration - Karen Flock

Please email Cyndi Damron at damroncyndi@gmail.com  if you would like to lead the pledge or inspire us at a meeting. 
Soroptimist logo
July 13 - Business 
Meeting  - Noon 

July 27 - Program
Meeting - Noon

August 2 - Board 
Meeting  - Noon 

August 10 - Business 
Meeting  - Noon 

August 24 - Program
Meeting - Noon
Check out our new Website 
July 27 Lunch Meeting will Feature 2016-2017 Fundraising Planning

As we begin our new board year, we have an opportunity to reflect on one of our club's ongoing goals and challenges - fundraising efforts. 

We will be talking about things at the July 27 meeting. In the meantime your ideas (no matter how wild and crazy!) are welcome. 

Please submit ideas to me or anyone on the board, or bring them up at this meeting.  What's working? What hasn't worked so well? Is there something new we should try? Remember, every member is a fundraiser - the more we collect, the more good we can do for women and girls in our community.  

Think of it as Fundraising. 
Let's have fun!

Shirley Lorraine
Vice President

First, a HUGE thank you to our outgoing President, Kay Armstrong and those Board members who are taking a "sabbatical".  We are so grateful for all the work you have done.  And welcome to our incoming Board, especially new Board members. 
The beginning of each "Soropti-year" is exciting and challenging.  We are starting up our fundraising efforts, forming and re-forming our committees, getting our program meetings in line, and vacationing - all at the same time!  Aren't we fortunate to have a wonderful blend of dedicated and tolerant women who will take and have taken us through this first quarter with grace and humor?
We are off to a good start with all the hard work that was done last year.  Kay mentioned many of the projects in her June President's Message, and I want to express particular gratitude to Kay, Peggy Ruesink and Pam Pecarich who successfully updated our Club By-Laws and Rules of Order.  I know these will be one of my lifelines during the coming months.  And thanks to the Focus Group participants who voted on the changes!
The theme I chose for this year is "It Starts With Us".  It has a lot of meaning for me. 
First, there is the word "start".  It conveys action and intent.  We Soroptimists think about helping women and girls, and then we DO it.  I was speaking to a friend on the east coast who is involved with another service organization, describing all the activities and achievements of our small but mighty club.  She was floored! We finish what we start.
Second, there is the word "with".  We do these things together.  We work in committees.  Last year Peggy Ruesink gave a very powerful talk on the importance of working in committees.  This is where our work gets accomplished and in the wise words of Donna Nelson, this is also where we make friends.  Remember, the Soroptimist Pledge includes the sincerity of friendship.
Third, there is "us".  The work that is done by us. Soroptimist members donate money and endless hours, on activities like the annual luncheon/awards ceremony, the Life Skills Program (think about the time Lorie Balzer put into this program), our direct mail campaign, our stethoscope donations funded by the Zana endowment, and on and on...
If you are reading this message and have been thinking about joining us, please contact me or our membership Chair, Sandra Masiel.  You would never regret the day you joined our amazing group! 
Ann Hewitt 
SI Ventura 2016-2017   

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, July 13. 

Don't miss out!!

Arlene Briggle 7/7
Sandra Masiel 7/8
Celia Sugden 7/18
Donna Nelson 7/26

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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