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Soroptimist International of Los Angeles

Growing our membership to increase our service

September 2013Vol 5, Issue 1


Welcome Back!  



Bev Johnson with troutIt is amazing how fast last year went and how much we accomplished.  We started this year with a very successful Retreat and now we head into our first Business meeting and a new year of service. I give one final big thank you to the entire membership for all the wonderful work done and the planning for an even more exciting and busy year.
Our main goal is to increase our membership with many interested and talented women to help us provide more service to the women and girls of Los Angeles. We want to have an event for potential members early so the new members can become involved quickly. Every member is leading at least one activity and assisting with others. New members will have a variety of opportunities to interest them.



A highlight of the Fall will be the awarding of the Joe Shapiro Award to our own Joan Johnson at the Billie Jean King Dinner in Pasadena on October 12. She is most deserving and will be supported by all at the event.  She coached Billie Jean King at CSU Los Angeles, and she served the University for many years as a professor, coach and administrator. She was also prominent in the development of programs for girls and women under Title IX.




We, however, must not rest on our past work but look ahead for new and better ways to show the meaning of the service of Soroptimists.




President Bev

In This Issue
Are these dates on your calendar??
Making Plans for 2013-2014
Joan Johnson to be Honored as Billie Jean King's Coach
Thank Yous from Young Students
Restoration Project for Fern Dell Park
Member Update: Emily Dell
Quick Links

2013-2014 Board


President: Bev Johnson
1st VP (Programs): Joyce Jacob
2nd VP (W&M): Jessica Washington
Secretary: Daphyne Howell
Treasurer: Teresa Harvey
Director 2012-14: Diane Vernon
Director 2013-15: Julie Mairs
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

Are these dates on your calendar??



Don't forget!Wednesday, September 4, 6-8pm:  Business Meeting at Taix Restaurant. Board Meeting at 5:45pm.


Monday, September 12: SPARKS Women's Basketball Game. Contact President Bev if you don't have a ticket yet.


Wednesday, September 18, 6-8pm:  Program Meeting at Taix Restaurant. Speaker Carole Oglesby on the Future Plans of the United Nations


Wednesday, October 2, 6-8pm: Program Meeting at Taix Restaurant honoring Founder's Day (Oct. 3) and UN Day (Oct. 24).


Saturday, October 12, 8:30am-5pm: Camino Real Region Fall District Workshop at the Glendale YMCA. Bring your check for $40 to the September 4th meeting to be part of SILA's Club Registration.


Saturday, October 12, 5:30-9:30pm: Billie Jean King & Friends Dinner, Auction & Awards Gala in Pasadena at which Joan Johnson will be honored (see more below).


Wednesday, October 16, 6-8pm: Program Meeting at Taix Restaurant.


Saturday, October 17, 3-6pm: Open House at Hope Street Margolis Family Center. Vickie Kropenske, director of the Hope Street Margolis Family Center, was recipient of the SILA Ruby Award in 2013. The Center is a vibrant, engaging new center for health and wellness, helping to transform the lives of children, families and the entire downtown Los Angeles community.

Making Plans for 2013-2014                                                  

Planning RetreatFifteen SILA members spent their Saturday on August 10 at Hollenbeck Palms for the annual summer SILA Planning Retreat. This meeting helps the club make plans for the new Soroptimist year which officially starts in September when semi-monthly meetings resume.

Joyce Jacob arranged for the ideal location and great food. Barbara Jury provided some history about SILA's involvement in the creation of shelters for victims of domestic violence. Carole Oglesby and Ann Read were declared winners of care and development of last year's Retreat plants. 

Members discussed priorities, objectives, committee assignments, and next year's calendar and events. Membership was set as the #1 priority of the year. Each member must be looking for good potential new members.

Watch for more details from President Bev for action items to be taken at the first business meeting on Tuesday, September 4.

Joan Johnson to be Honored as Billie Jean King's Coach

Joan JohnsonLong time SILA member, Dr. Joan Johnson, is going to be honored as a co-recipient of the Joe Shapiro Award at the annual Billie Jean King & Friends Dinner, Auction and Awards Gala on October 12 at the Langham Huntington Hotel in Pasadena.
Joan is being honored as one of Billie Jean King's coaches and mentor. Joan was a pioneer in the development of women's sports in Southern California and coached Cal State LA's first women's tennis team in 1959. She was also the co-coach of the men's team in 1955-56.
She helped organize the Southern California Women's Intercollegiate Tennis League in 1959 and, 18 years later, coached the United States women's team at the World University Games in Sofia, Bulgaria. Her players at Cal State LA included Billie Jean King and 1963 women's collegiate doubles champions Connie Jaster and Carol Loop.
The Gala Event on October 12 raises funds to support scholarships for student-athletes for the Division of Intercollegiate Athletics at Cal State LA. Tickets to join a table of SILA members are $200. For more information, click here.

Thank Yous from Young Students                           


Reading is FUNdamental Thank Yous 

SILA received an array of colorful thank you notes from the students at Hollywood Primary Center for the books given to them by SILA last Spring in support of the school's Reading is FUNdamental program. 


Reading is FUNdamental Thank You 

Restoration Project for Fern Dell  Park                                 


Ferndell Picnic 2013SILA members and guests celebrated SILA's 91st Birthday on July 19 with a picnic at Fern Dell Park, a section of Griffith Park where Soroptimists planted a grove of redwood trees in the 1940's. At the picnic, Marian Dodge, a board member of the Friends of Griffith Park, gave a presentation on Fern Dell Park, including Soroptimist history in the area and some wonderful old photos.


Marian said the Friends of Griffith Park started the Historic Fern Dell Preservation Project in the Fall of 2011 and are working hard to obtain grants and to work with landscape architecture, historic preservation and horticulture experts to assess what can be done to restore the area. The Soroptimist Grove is included in these proposals.  


Member Julie Mairs is pursuing ideas of how SILA, perhaps in conjunction with local Girl Scouts, could adopt a restoration or cleanup project that would had value to the grove. Julie will present a proposal at the September 4th business meeting.

Member Update:  Emily Dell                              


Emily in action


Emily Dell is still actively directing films. Her work filming a short action sequence on a vineyard in Paso Robles last June is currently in post-production.


And her work with a Chinese film studio is continuing. Last April, the studio flew her, her sister Elizabeth, and brother Joseph to Beijing for studio meetings and location scouting. She's prepping for another trip to Beijing in September. 

Emily in China