Soroptimist names new board, award winners

Soroptimist International of Davis members during the 2021-2022 Installation of Club Officers

After a successful year of fundraising and community support, Soroptimist International of Davis wrapped up its 2020-2021 year with its installation of officers. 

June 22 was the club’s final event of the fiscal year. Board members for the 2020-2021 year, starting July 1 are: Katherine Hess, president; Lori Hansen, treasurer; Sandra Bachand, assistant treasurer; Phyllis Himmel, secretary; Emily Ziser, director of fundraising; Mary Chapman, director of membership; Karen Westphalen, director of programs; Lisa Adda, director of public awareness; and Evie Wright, immediate past president. President-elect and parliamentarian will be named in July.

The club thanked the outgoing board: Evie Wright, president; Katherine Hess, president-elect; Carol MacDonald, coordinator of calendar; Heather Carpenter, treasurer; Lori Hansen, assistant treasurer; Kacie Woodward, secretary; Karen Westphalen, director of fundraising; Maggie Memmott, director of membership; Lynn Fowler, director of programs; Wendy Weitzel, director of public awareness; Emily Ziser, immediate past president; and Elaine Barratt, parliamentarian.

Live Your Dream Awards

SI Davis’ two signature programs are Live Your Dream: Education and Training Awards for Women, and Dream It, Be It: Career Support for Girls (run at King High School). It also funds high school scholarships, grants to nonprofits that align with the Soroptimist mission, and anti-trafficking efforts. 

This year, the club awarded six Live Your Dream grants, helping single mothers pay for expenses while they further their education or training. These recipients often survive hardships like domestic violence, poverty, homelessness and foster care but are working to better their lives for themselves and their children. The club initially budgeted $10,000 for the award this year, but was able to add $3,000 more when an anonymous donor stepped forward to support the program.

Ashley Matlock of Davis received $4,000. The single mother of one attended Woodland Community College and plans to transfer to Yuba College and then Sacramento State to study nursing. Her goal is to continue on to UC Davis to become a nurse practitioner, and work in hospice care.

Leticia Garcia of Dunnigan received $3,000. The single mother of five attends Woodland Community college and wants to become a registered nurse. 

Angela Tamagni of Clearlake received $3,000. The single mom of two attended Woodland Community College and will transfer to Sonoma State University in the fall, studying accounting.

Three other recipients received $1,000 each. Due to the nature of the award, some recipients wish their names to remain private.

Soroptimist scholarships

The club awarded six high school scholarships – two to King High School graduates and four to Davis High graduates – for a total of $10,500. SI Davis is the largest donor of scholarship money to the local continuation high school. King High School recipients were Gianna Robles and Shanty Ramirez Chavez. Davis High recipients were Emma Carney, Rosie Mariano, Athena DiLello and Natalie Ries. These women’s accomplishments and dreams closely align with Soroptimist’s focus on empowering women, and tie in with its signature Dream It, Be It program. The curriculum of the DIBI mentorship program helps girls discover their dreams, explore careers, create achievable goals, rise above obstacles, turn failure into success, balance stress and put dreams into action.

Soroptimist is a global volunteer organization that provides women and girls with access to the education and training they need to achieve economic empowerment. It was founded in Oakland in 1921, and will soon celebrate its 100th anniversary. Davis was chartered in 1954. A second Davis club, Greater Davis, formed in 1985. Local members join some 80,000 Soroptimists in 120 countries and territories to contribute time and financial support to community-based projects benefiting women and girls. Its core values are gender equality, empowerment, education, diversity and fellowship. Learn more about membership or donations by visiting https://www.sidavis.org and following its Facebook or Instagram pages: @SoroptimistDavis.

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