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Soroptimist International of Los Angeles

Growing our membership to increase our service

April-May 2014Vol 5, Issue 7




What a busy time and how fast time goes. Our Awards Luncheon/Fund Raising function was wonderful. The Los Angeles Athletic Club is a great location and everything seems to fall into place with all the work that has been done beforehand. Our women receiving the awards were truly outstanding women, each in her own way, and each with a story about hard work, struggles or service. We are honored to be able to recognize such women. Our fund raising efforts were outstanding too so we can continue to fund our projects and award recipients. Finally, through the generosity of our members we are able to reach beyond what the club is able to do by making larger grants. A great big thanks to all SILA members for your work and accomplishments.


The Camino Real Spring Conference has also been completed. Our own Ginger Cole, CRR Secretary for the past 2 years, will now step into the Governor Elect's shoes as she will serve the Region for another 4 years. The conference was in the capable hands of SILA member Sheila Tatum who has been serving as Conference Manager for several of the past years and will do so again next year. Sheila was recognized for Soroptimist membership of 30 years and Joan Johnson was recognized for 35 years. 


Although SILA is small in size, the leadership, accomplishments and hearts are large. I am very proud to be associated with this club as all should be.



President Bev 
In This Issue
A Grand Event
Ruby Award Winner
Two SILA Graduate Fellowships Awarded
Ginger is Governor-Elect of Camino Real Region
SILA Officers for 2014-2015
Senna's Going to NYC
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;
Webmistress Ann Read at or 626-919-9202

A Grand Event                                          

WOA Winner AnnMarie Thompson and son
SILA Pays It Forward was Soroptimist International of Los Angeles's 92nd Anniversary Celebration and Awards Luncheon held Saturday, March 29, at the Los Angeles Athletic Club.
At the event, five outstanding local women were recognized.
Teresa Harvey, Chair of the SILA Women's Opportunity Award introduced this year's WOA winner, AnnMarie Thompson.
VRA Chair Pam Smith and VRA winner Mara Conway
Pam Smith, Chair of the SILA Violet Richardson Award, introduced this year's VRA winner, Mara Conway.
Read more about the other winners below.
The event also included a luncheon, silent and live auction, an opportunity drawing, and musical entertainment by Caroselo.
Caroselo Trio Katelyn Vahala, Geneva Lewis and Rochelle Lewis
Caroselo is a wonderfully talented trio including Katelyn Vahala, piano, Rochelle Lewis (18), cello, and Geneva Lewis (15), violin.
Even the table decorations paid it forward. Beautiful floral arrangements were made by students in the floriculture class at Don Antonio Lugo High School in Chino.
SILA members: (back l-r) Teresa Harvey, Daphyne Howell, Pam Smith, Ginger Cole, Sheila Tatum, Julie Mairs, Janet Elliott, Carole Oglesby (front l-r) Jeri Durham, Barbara Jury, Bev Johnson, Joan Johnson, Jessica Washington, Joyce Jacob, Emily Dell.

Ruby Award Winner                                                         


Bev Johnson, Ruby Awardee Lisa Watson, Chair Joyce Jacob
Joyce Jacob
, Chair of the Ruby Award, was pleased to introduce Lisa Watson, CEO of the Downtown Women's Center, as SILA's 2014 Ruby Award Winner. 


The award honors a local woman who has made a difference in the lives of women and children. In her 15 years at DWC, she has set the strategic direction of the organization, overseeing a tremendous growth in programming (from 1000 to 4300 women served per year), budget (from $500,000 to $6,500,000) and staffing (from 10 to 65 staff).

Two SILA Graduate Fellowships Awarded    


Through the added generousity of its membership, SILA was pleased to recognize TWO Graduate Fellowship award winner for 2014-15. Fellowship Chair Joan Johnson was pleased to announce this year's Fellowship Award was named the DeAnna Blaylock Graduate Fellowship in honor of long-time SILA member, DeAnna Blaylock.


Joan Johnson, Margaret Anne Viola, Rachel Berry.

Rachel Berry has completed her undergraduate degree (BFA in TV and Broadcast Journalism from Chapman University, Magna Cum Laude) with all her education loans paid off. She is now attending Fuller Theological Seminary working toward a Master of Arts degree in Theology and Ministry which she plans to finish in 2015. After winning the Miss City of Orange Scholarship Pageant, she made over 100 appearances speaking at local Girl Scout troops, Rotary Clubs, schools, and working on behalf of her platform, Girls, Inc., an organization with a mission of promoting self esteem among at risk adolescent girls.


Margaret Anne Viola, aka MAV, graduated from James Madison University with a BS degree in Sociology, earned a professional certificate in screenwriting at UCLA, and is working on an MFA in Theatre, Film, and Television at Cal State LA. A major factor in her purpose of graduate study is her passion for helping underprivileged youth, many of whom she has found to be incredibly talented artists, writers, and visionaries. For nearly five years she has worked, and when funding ran out, now volunteers with the Los Angeles Youth Network helping at risk homeless youth. 


Ginger is Governor-Elect of Camino Real Region                                       


SILA and SI Verdugo Hills members at Installation Dinner

A true highlight of the 36th Annual Camino Real Spring Conference was the installation of SILA's own Ginger Cole as Governor-Elect for 2014-2016.

Besides Ginger's election, individual SILA members were recognized in many ways at the Conference which was held on April 25-27 in Valencia. Ginger was completing her two year term as CRR Secretary; Sheila Tatum served as Conference Chair; Jessica Washington and Carole Oglesby were recognized for their two year terms as Region Committee Chairs.


Sheila Tatum 30 year member



Joan Johnson was honored for 35 years of Soroptimist membership and Sheila for 30 years of membership.

The Club was awarded the second level of Governor's Club Award, a level above last year's award and was recognized for having applied for Celebrating Success Awards although it did not win any. There were 22 applications and SILA sent four. 

SILA Officers for 2014-2015                                     


The new Board of Directors for SILA for the year starting July 1, 2014 has been elected.

President: Joyce Jacob

1st Vice President: Carole Oglesby

2nd Vice President: Daphyne Howell

Secretary: Bev Johnson

Treasurer: Teresa Harvey

2014-16 Director: Barbara Jury (Julie Mairs continues)

2014-16 Delegate: Joan Johnson (Carole Oglesby continues)

2014-16 Alternate Delegate: Jeri Durham (Jessica Washington continues)

Congratulations to all and thanks for all your hard work on behalf of SILA!

WOA is Now LIVE YOUR DREAM                                       


SIA President Cheri Fleming announced a new name and look for the Women's Opportunity Award, a signature Soroptimist program which has helped tens of thousands of women over more than 40 years get the training and education they need.

The award will now be called Live Your Dream, education and training awards for women.

New name. Same life-changing program!

Senna's Going to NYC                                      



Did you see the 2013 feature film, Girl Rising? It's sparked a global movement for girls' education.

One of the nine girls from nine countries who was featured in the film, Senna from Peru, went to New York in April to appear on stage at the 2014 Women in the World Summit.

And she's not the first. In fact, she the third "girl rising" to go to the annual WITW summit.

To learn more about their journeys and watch some amazing performances, go to Girl Rising: From La Rinconada to Lincoln Center.