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Soroptimist International of Los Angeles

Growing our membership to increase our service

December 2012Vol 4, Issue 4


President Bev

Congratulations members of SILA. The Bylaws revisions were approved at the November business meeting.  We have one small item being rewritten by Jeri and Teresa. It will be circulated shortly. After your consideration, we will be ready to approve that item at the January Business meeting. We will then prepare a copy of the completed Bylaws for distribution.


The November recruitment event was cancelled and replaced with a super Membership and Retention Committee meeting. Discussion dealt with a club commitment to bring potential members to a different recruitment event. Plans were made for the March 9th event. Each member should identify an individual to attend. At the District 2 President's meeting on Wednesday, I discovered three other clubs approximately our size are also trying to increase membership.  At the next D2 meeting, each club is invited to bring a member of the Membership Committee as the major topic will be membership.


Last year, we were very generous by individually contributing $840 for our gifts for our annual event at 1736 crisis center. With the addition of $500 from our club treasury, we were able to buy lots of Christmas gifts for the mothers.  I know we will want to make it another Merry Christmas for the mothers and children currently staying at the houses.


Be sure to join in the Christmas luncheon that will follow this event for fun. Bring your appetite, your $20 gift, and your fellowship.


As we move into the Holiday Season, we need to send our special prayers to members and their families facing health and other issues.

President Bev

In This Issue
Save the Date(s)
Domestic Violence Proclamation
Camino Real in Partnership with the Girl Scouts
How is SI influencing International Policy
Join in the Holiday Spirit!
Social Media: Facebook Wall Posts
Stephanie Struck Update
Quick Links

2012-2013 Board


President: Bev Johnson
1st VP (Programs): Joyce Jacob
2nd VP (W&M): Jessica Washington
Secretary: Daphyne Howell
Treasurer: Janet Elliott/Teresa Harvey
Director 2011-13: Joan Johnson
Director 2012-14: Diane Vernon
Contact Information


For more information about SILA or this Newsletter, please contact:


President Bev Johnson at or 818-563-3775.
Editor Janet Elliott at or 310-809-2438; Co-Editor Ann Read at or 626-919-9202

Save the Date(s)


Put this on your calendar

Wednesday, December 5, 6pm at Taix Restaurant: Program Meeting featuring Tanya Ybarra, Certified Child Life Specialist


Saturday, December 15, 9am at 1736: Xmas Gift Boutique event followed by a holiday luncheon


Saturday, February 2, 2013: Teen Forum on Relationship Violence


Friday, February 15, 2013: Reading is FUNdamental event


Saturday, March 9, 2013: Member Recruiting event


Saturday, April 6, 2013: Annual Awards Luncheon at the LA Athletic Club

Domestic Violence Proclamation

Naomi Carmona-Morshead, Supervisor Antonovich, Governor Linda Haines, Nicolassa Galvez of SI Long Beach, CRR Treasurer Patty Kotze, Gwyne Petrick of SI Woodland Hills, and Jessica Washington of SILA at presentation of Domestic Violence Proclamation


On November 13, 2012, LA County Supervisor Michael Antonovich presented a proclamation proclaiming November as "End Domestic Violence Month" to Camino Real Regional Governor Linda Haines and representatives from several of the Camino Real Clubs for the work Soroptimists are doing to end domestic violence.


The proclamation was spear-headed by Naomi Carmona-Morshead, Regional Chair of Color Me Pink and Color Me Purple and a guest speaker at SILA's October 3 meeting. After Supervisor Antonovich presented the proclamation, Naomi gave a short speech on the goals of Soroptimist and the importance of getting everyone involved with ending domestic violence.

Camino Real in Partnership with the Girl Scouts         by Jessica Washington 


Girl Scout logo

Following the Soroptimist International Convention in Montreal in 2011, Camino Real Region reached out to the Greater Los Angeles Girl Scouts to explore where there can be a partnership with Soroptimist Clubs and Girl Scout Troops.


At the Camino Real Region Fall Workshop in October, Jessica Washington, Regional Girl Scout Chair and a member of SILA, presented the overall concept of the Girl Scouts of today. Many Soroptimists have been involved in Girl Scouts either as past Girl Scouts and/or leaders.  However, the focus of scouting has changed as have many of the traditional programs throughout the country.  Jessica presented the new program which focuses on leadership development, how the Girl Scout Council is structured, and the overall goals of Girl Scouts, which is closely related to the mission of Sororptimist.Jessica at CRR Fall Workshop


On November 7th, Governor Linda Haines and Jessica presented an overview of Soroptimist International to the senior managers of the Greater Los Angeles Girl Scout Council. The goal of this presentation was to inform the Girl Scouts about the programs and activities of Soroptimist clubs throughout the Camino Real Region and hopefully provide ideas for the Girl Scout troops at all levels to see the benefits of reaching out to Soroptimist clubs as the clubs see benefits to reaching out to the troops.


Jessica presented information about the Soroptimist Violet Richardson Award. The qualifications for receiving this award closely match the qualifications for Girl Scouts receiving the Girl Scout Gold Award for Seniors (Grades 9-10) and Ambassadors (Grades 11-12). Sandy Silva, Vice President, Membership & Regional Mission Delivery has been the liaison between the Girl Scouts and the region. She is sending out the information on the Violet Richardson Award to the troops within the Region.


Jessica also spoke about SILA's Teen Forum. There was a lot of interest and Jessica will be sending the Council more information as plans for the Forum are finalized.


It is the hope of everyone involved that we are opening this door to expand the resources of two groups whose major focus is the betterment of girls and woman. Although the goals and activities of Greater Los Angeles Girl Scouts and Camino Real Region do not completely overlap, hopefully this is will be the beginning of a solid and long lasting relationship.

How is SI Influencing International Policy?

 SI logo





Don't forget Soroptimist is an international organization. Part of Soroptimist International's focus has been on the follow-up to the Rio+20 conference which took place last summer.  The Rio+20 United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development (UNCSD) in Rio de Janeiro on June 20-22, 2012, brought together world leaders, government officials, and civil society and private sector representatives who sought the best ways to work towards achieving a global "green economy", poverty eradication and sustainable development. Long before the conference even began, however, there was considerable pessimism that Rio+20 would amount to anything more than another elite talk-shop. The outcome of this massive multilateral effort appears to vindicate this gloomy forecast. What did Rio+20 achieve? Read here to find out more.



Earlier this year, SI UN Representative Wilfrida Hendrickx attended a CoNGO and Human Rights Council session on women's rights and the multiple discrimination women face around the world. During this session, the various barriers women and girls face in realizing their full rights were reviewed and debated, taking  into account the various cultures, legal systems, and traditions around the world. These ranged from cultural and social, to legal and political obstacles. Click here to read more about these obstacles and how SI fits into the current landscape. 

Join in the Holiday Spirit!


Santa and helperIt is time again for one of SILA's most popular and rewarding activities: the annual Gift Boutique for the women and children currently staying at 1736 Family Crisis Center. Members Pam Smith and DeAnna Blaylock are shopping for gifts for the 11 women currently at the houses. The club supports this activity out of our service project funds but also asks members to make personal donations to ensure we have plenty of gifts for each mom. Checks should be made payable to SILA and are tax deductible. Please mail or give your donations to Treasurer Teresa Harvey at the meeting on December 5. Then everyone is invited to meet at the houses Saturday morning, December 15, to set up a Gift Boutique and help the children select and wrap gifts for their moms. This will be followed by a member luncheon and gift exchange.


What a wonderful way to spread holiday cheer!

 Social Media: Facebook Wall Posts                      by Carole Oglesby                       


Facebook logoSome SILA member are not active users of Social Media. For them, a common question is what are "Wall Posts"? Here's a short primer:


Whether speaking of 'Pages' or 'Groups' on Facebook, basically one is provided with an electronic bulletin board that, initially, is blank. The manager of the Page or Group takes opportunities, and makes decisions, to post information on the 'blank wall'. Whenever a picture, or paragraph, is sent to the 'wall', it becomes a 'wall post'. Anyone who has identified as a 'Friend' to the group, or has 'Liked' a Page will find the wall post noted on his/her own personal 'Wall'. For example, SILA has a Page 'Liked' by 15 people and a Group having about 40 'Friends'. Many of the Friends are other SI Clubs both in the USA and internationally. When we post a picture or story, it is immediately shared with almost 60 sources around the world. This accounts for the amazing potential reach and power of social media.


Six Reasons It's a Great Time to Be Alive                    by Diane Vernon 


(The following is excerpted from the Reader's Digest, UK edition as told to John Dyson and offered by Diane Vernon as an inspiration at a recent meeting.)

"The world has never been a better place to live in", says science writer Matt Ridley, "and it will keep on getting better." Though this seems hard to believe after yesterday's elections and the long political process we have had to withstand, and the devastation from Super storm Sandy, Ridley, age 54, holds firm to his beliefs. 

As an author, most recently of the Rational Optimist, Ridley says,"it is not insane to believe in a happy future for people and the planet."  Ridley, who has been a foreign correspondent, a zoologist, an economist, and a financier, brings a broad perspective to his sunny outlook. "People say I am bonkers to claim the world will go on getting better, yet I can't stop myself."

He then makes the following points to illustrate why he feels this way.


He says compared to 50 years ago, when he was just 4 years old, the average human now earns nearly three times as much money (corrected for inflation), eats one third more calories, buries two thirds fewer children, and can expect to live one third longer. 

He says, in fact, it's hard to find any region of the world that's worse off now than it was then, even though the global population has more than doubled over that period.



The rich get richer, but the poor do even better.  Between 1980 and 2000, the poor doubled their consumption. 

The Chinese are ten times richer and live about 25 years longer than they did 25 years ago.  Nigerians are twice as rich and live nine more years. The percentage of the world's people living in absolute poverty has dropped by over half. 

The United Nations estimates that poverty was reduced more in the last 50 years than in the previous 500.



One reason we are richer, healthier, taller, cleverer, longer-lived, and freer than ever before is that the four most basic human needs- food, clothing, fuel, and shelter- have grown markedly cheaper. 

Ridley cites one example: In 1800, a candle providing one hour's light cost 6 hours' work.  In the 1880's, the same light from a kerosene lamp took 15 minutes' work to pay for it.  In 1950, it was eight seconds.  Today, it's half a second. 

In these terms, we are 43,200 times better off than in 1800.



Some people argue that in the past there was a simplicity, a tranquility, a sociability, and a spirituality that has now been lost.

This rose-tinted nostalgia is generally confined to the wealthy.  It is easier to express sorrow for something that is irrecoverably past, such as living the life of a pioneer when you don't have to use an outhouse.



The more we prosper, the more we can prosper. 

The more we invent, the more inventions become possible. 

The world of things is often subject to diminishing returns. The world of ideas is not.

The ever-increasing exchange of ideas causes the ever-increasing rate of innovation in the modern world. 

There isn't even a theoretical possibility of exhausting our supply of ideas, discoveries, and inventions.



For 200 years, pessimists have had all the headlines - even though optimists have far more often been right.  There is immense vested interest in pessimism.  No charity ever raised money by saying things are getting better. 

No journalist ever got the front page writing a story about how disaster was now less likely. 

Ridley says - "Don't be browbeaten - dare to be an optimist!"



At every meeting, SILA's agenda is full and our opportunities are many. Our committees are focused on improving the lives of women and girls, and our ideas are flowing to help them live their dreams.  Fellowships, Opportunity Awards, Christmas at 1776, education about relationships and respect, are just some of the projects that are directing our actions so that more women and girls may feel that yes, it's a great time to be alive. 


Reader's Digest, Large Print, April 2012, pp. 172-181



happy holidays