SISP: Professional women’s club celebrates community, world service

July 06, 2011
Santa Paula News

Soroptimist International of Santa Paula celebrated its mission of bettering the status and lives of women and girls at its annual awards dinner, hosted by Tuscany Pizza.

Held June 22 at the Limoneira Pavilion, SISP President Barbara Kroon oversaw the evening including the honors for Juliet Wilson, who received the Scholarship Award, Cindi Bermudez the Violet Richardson Award and Mallory Ruiz the Women’s Opportunity Award.

Kroon introduced board directors in attendance and awarded a 10-year Pin to Past President Donna Stewart. She also formally installed new members Becci Orlando, Sandy Easley and Judy McCarthy. 

Orlando noted she has been a member for three years and Easley one year. “I have no idea why you didn’t get inducted,” said Kroon.

“We were busy setting up and stuff,” said Orlando. The statement is true and reflects the fundraising undertaken by SISP for various causes including the annual awards.

Soroptimist is a worldwide force in humanitarian efforts on behalf of women, girls, men and boys. “Soroptimist does have a seat on the United Nations,” said Kroon, “and we are extraordinarily proud of that.” And, on a personal level, “I don’t know what I would do without my Soroptimist girlfriends.”

Kroon said the Santa Paula chapter is currently “celebrating and honoring” its 80th year helping the community and the world: SISP was chartered October 3, 1930, making it the perhaps the second oldest club in the state. The longevity of SISP “shows a tremendous amount about Santa Paula” and the care residents show each other and the community.

The name Soroptimist was coined from the Latin “soror” meaning sister, and “optima” meaning best. Soroptimist is perhaps best interpreted as “the best for women.”

The founding of the first Soroptimist club occurred in Oakland, California in 1921, and the Founder President was Violet Richardson Ward. The purpose of SI was “to foster the spirit of service as the basis of all worthy enterprises and to increase the efficiency by its members in the pursuit of their occupations by broadening their interest in the social, business, and civic affairs of the community through an association of women representing different occupations.”

There are now more than 3000 Soroptimist International clubs flourishing throughout the world.

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