Our Vision: "Women and girls have the resources and opportunities to reach their full potential and live their dreams."

Soroptimists Celebrating Success

Soroptimists Celebrating Success


Soroptimists Celebrating Success Awards recognize outstanding club projects that improve the lives of women and girls through programs that provide women and girls with access to the education and training they need to achieve economic empowerment or promotes Soroptimist as an organization that improves the lives of women and girls. These awards recognize the best practices of Soroptimist clubs in each of the four pillar areas supporting the SIA strategic plan: fundraising, membership, program and public awareness. Due to the region on July 1 of each year, the Soroptimists Celebrating Success Awards honor outstanding programs undertaken in that club year.  Clubs don't have to wait until then to submit your applications - consider sending in the application right after completing your project.
The region governors and SIA board of directors decided in June 2013 to revise the Soroptimists Celebrating Success Awards by adding a region‐level component. By expanding the program to include a region‐level component, clubs need only apply once to receive recognition for their best work at both the region and federation level. The awards have been designed to recognize best practices in each region as well as over‐all best practices for the organization. Each region will select a finalist in each of the four pillar areas. Four federation finalists will be selected from the region recipients to be celebrated as the best projects in the organization—projects from which all clubs can learn and celebrate.

Soroptimists Celebrating Success Chair - Debbie Scaife - SI/Eel River Valley. 

 If you have any questions, contact Debbie at timberent@suddenlink.net .


Entries due to region chair on or before July 1 of each year!


2020-2021 Soroptimist Celebrating Success Entries

Below are the entries in the four pillars.

Fundraising Category

SI/Arcata 

 “Grab-n-Go” Box Meal 
Soroptimists held a drive-through boxed meal for the community, catered at her cost, by a local catering service, with choice of pulled pork sandwiches, chicken salad plate, and kale salad with sides and desserts.  Lots of banners, members in aprons, and generally everyone having fun and fellowship.  $2,088 profit.

SI/Benicia

“You’ve Been Flocked”  
In lieu of their annual wine-tasting event, SI Benicia placed flocks of 10 pink and blue flamingos on the front lawns of community members.  Instructions left with the flock explained that in order to have the flock removed, a donation of at least $20 had to be given to their club. Those flocked were also encouraged to have the flock sent to someone else.  Over 300 homes were flocked during these three months and over $11,000 was raised.  In addition to fundraising, this project increased public awareness and resulted in two new members.

SI/Calistoga

“Fundraising”  
This club found two fundraisers it was able to do in this difficult pandemic and fire season time.  Their on-line See’s Candy sales netted them $1,320.  In addition, their big fundraiser was a “Drive-Through Crab Fest” prepared by one of their local businesses, which included a member-donated wine raffle.  Flyers in local newspapers and some free press helped them net $24,245.

SI/Eel River Valley

“50’s Drive-Thru Diner”  
Replacing its biggest fundraiser, “Sips for Soroptimists,” the Eel River Valley club changed to a drive-through concept.  Rather than tea, there were three choices for lunch:  Italian sandwich, kale and broccoli salad, and a gluten-free meat and cheese option. Additions were fruit cup, brownies, and chips.  The 50’s theme saw all members modifying their aprons to sport “poodles” while wearing saddle shoes and other appropriate attire. There were also 10 baskets raffled.  The diner and auction and additional donations totaled $10,145 profit.

SI/Honolulu

”L.O.V.E. (Living Our Values Everyday) Annual Fundraiser"
 Many clubs this year found ways to modify their annual fundraisers.  The Honolulu club changed their big annual fundraising dinner at a local hotel to virtual, comprising a “Brunch at Home” with tickets selling for $150 each for a specially prepared and delivered meal.  In addition, an auction using RallyUp started a week before the meal, with winners announced at a short zoom meeting on the day of the meal.  The LYD award winners and the Violet Richardson award winner were also introduced at that zoom.  Total income $22,804. 

SI/Humboldt Bay

“Dream Maker Drawing”
 Humboldt Bay’s fourteen-year history of “High Heels for Healing” took a tumble due to COVID again this year for the second time.  But to keep the spirit of that fun event, the club members sent a specially-crafted letter with a collage of pictures of previous events in a pink envelope with their shoe design on the front to friends, local businesses, and previous attendees.  The letter and their ads on Facebook and the local newspaper did the trick.  The money came pouring in! With local businesses even offering prizes for their drawing.   Total income $15,135.

SI/Sonoma Valley

SI/Vacaville

“2020/2021 SISV Fundraising During COVID”  
Sonoma Valley was fortunate to be able to continue its fundraising during this difficult time.  Lobster sales, See’s Candy Christmas and Chocolate Cow Valentine’s Day fundraisers, and public donations all helped this club reach its fundraising goals for the year.  Total income $4,396
“The Missing Lobster Dinner”
As a substitute for their annual popular lobster dinner, this innovative, fun event had the whole community following the antics of “Lola” the missing lobster, who was seen around town at various business establishments for two months.  This not only showcased the business, but was an incentive for them to be a supporter.  Tickets for a dinner made by a woman-owned catering business sold for $100 per ticket, were delivered to the winner’s door by a Soroptimist, and did not have to be redeemed on any certain day.  In addition, a bottle of wine and two movie tickets accompanied the dinner.  Eventually, Lola returned and will be honored at their annual dinner next year.  Total income $14,093. 

Membership Category

SI/Arcata 

“New Tagline Adds to Member Inclusiveness”  
Since the disbanding of the McKinleyville club and the transferring of its six members to the Arcata club, the club has been working on being more inclusive of its new members, without officially changing it’s name legally.  So, members decided on a new tagline to go under the name of SI Arcata to be more inclusive.  Members made suggestions and all club members voted.  The winning tagline is “Serving the Mad River Area.”

SI/Eel River Valley

“Soroptimist Buddies”  
In the early months of the Shelter-in-Place orders, many club members felt isolated, missing the weekly interaction.  In order to make sure everyone was “OK,” this club set up a system for checking on each other.  Each member was assigned a buddy, new ones assigned quarterly, to check on.  This was not secret pals, no gifts were required or suggested.  The buddy was to make sure the member was doing well, see if she needs help, share ideas and concerns, and what is going on in their life.  One could contact a buddy by phone, email, card, in person, or however works for them both.  This club considers this a success as it did not lose any members during this difficult time. 

SI/Eureka

“Membership Retention Ongoing”  
Keeping engaged was the focus of this club’s retention activities.  Keeping members informed and providing opportunities to do hands-on service projects was the highlight of their efforts.  Along with personal sharing, members learned to bake cookies for seniors, fire victims and Foster Care and create cards for homebound seniors.  They hosted a Blood Drive and participated in the Founder Region “Dress a Girl Around the World” project.  There were many more organized meetings with speakers and activities, all designed to keep members interested.  Their goal was to retain all their members.  An added bonus…they gained five new members. 

SI/Humboldt Bay

“The Year of the Pandemic”  
This club considers themselves a very tight-knit group, even though there are 42 members.  To stay close, they met for social gatherings via zoom on Monday evenings during lockdown and during the usual-dark summer of 2020.  Starting in the fall, they met via zoom at 7:00 am and had steady attendance.  They even inducted five new members.

SI/Sonoma Valley

“Membership COVID Year - Sincerity of Friendship"  Using materials from the Founder Region website, this club used the website, newsletters and emails to stay in touch.  A Secret Pal program helped, Santa’s Fire Dept antique truck, and a Lucky Card drawing with prizes helped keep all members involved and in touch.  Thanks to a few events they were able to have, they inducted four new members last August and five more in the early part of 2021. 

SI/ 

  

Program Category

SI/Arcata 

“No-Sew Blankets for Hospice”
This project was originally going to be a fun party with members, guests, and potential members, with fabric being donated by members.  But as COVID continued, zoom appeared to be the best way to accomplish this.  This didn’t work well for doing the blankets as a group, so they were each done individually.  Weekly club meeting included discussion on the progress of the blankets.  When finished, the chair of the project took the 14 blankets to the local hospice.

SI/Calastoga

“Palasaides Pals”  
This club joined with the local continuation high school to assist the students with catching up their work so they could transfer back to the regular high school to graduate. They did this with scholarship funding, local business-owners as motivational speakers, having League of Women Voters teach about the voting process and help them register, helping a student “shadow” a professional is a field of her interest and apply for a scholarship, and helping students with projects to allow them to get the community service hours they needed to graduate.  According to the club President, this is an ongoing program that emphasizes the collective impact that this club makes with the focus being on to help the girls realize their dreams.

SI/Eureka

“Programs – Live Your Dream Awards”
Last year, SI/Eureka was able to double the number of Live Your Dream Awards they gave from the previous year:  from one to two.  This year, they were again able to double that number from two to four.  In addition, they gave each girl a book by Melinda Gates, The Moment of Lift:  How Empowering Women Changes the World, a gift card, and a certificate.  And, they visited one of the girls and recorded it for Facebook. 

SI/Vacaville

“Zooming Our Way to More Live Your Dream Applicants”  
Using both in-person and zoom formats, the LYD chair presented seminars to the EOPS students (a program for retention of students disadvantaged by language, social, economic, and educational circumstances) at the local junior college to assist them in using the LYD portal and completing the application.  Twelve girls took advantage of this instruction; eight completed applications. The chair offered her contact information for the girls if they had more questions or problems.  Several took advantage of this. 

Public Awareness Category

SI/Arcata 

“Proclamations for International Women’s Day”
 This proclamation was read at the McKinleyville Municipal Services Committee on February 27, 2021, to raise awareness of the role that women play in society and to emphasize the existence of the Soroptimists in the community.  The proclamation was also read at the Humboldt County Board of Supervisors meeting on March 2, 2021, including the five Soroptimist clubs in Humboldt County:  Arcata, Eel River Valley, Eureka, Humboldt Bay, and the Redwoods.

SI/Benicia

“2020 Winter Fundraising Campaign”  
In order to let the public realize that, even though there is a pandemic, SI Benicia is still there and committed to their mission, they created an Impact Report and a Brochure.  Chairs of each committee reported on their activities and professional layouts and graphics were designed.  Two hundred impact reports were sent and 1000 brochures were sent.  Donations were $12,000 from these two mailings and many businesses were reminded or learned of the great work the local Soroptimist club has been doing.

SI/Eureka

“Public Awareness”  
Eureka had some good public awareness coverage this year.  It uses the local newspaper, a website, and an active Facebook page to deliver its message.  Three articles in particular were of interest.   One was the acknowledgement of a $5,000 donation from Valley Pacific Petroleum.  The second was about the club’s book donation program in which they give books about famous women to schools during Women’s History month.  And the third was about their participation in the Founder Region’s “Dress a Girl Around the World” project in which the club made 35 dresses for girls. 

SI/Humboldt Bay

“You’ve Been Heeled”  
Following the concept of the traveling Flamingos and using their own “High Heels for Healing” theme, this club modified their fundraiser to allow the community to donate to the club to have the High Heel signs be put in a friend’s yard. Accompanying the signs was a flyer telling about the club, what it does, and encouraging the recipients to be a part of a program that changes lives.  The high school “S” club, Facebook, Instagram, and the local TV news program helped get the word out.  They “heeled” over 250 homes and gained five new members. The club has continued this media to spread information about its programs including the Girls of the Month program, their projects for Club Giving, and their Food for People involvement. 

SI/Vacaville

“Soroptimist Means Business”  
This is a media campaign created to help the women-owned businesses in their community.  Through sponsorships and fundraising, they were able to help 21 women-owned businesses, giving both the business and Soroptimist extensive media presence.  The businesses shared the posts with members of the community that the club would not normally have reached.  Traffic from social media was driven to their website where more information was available on the clubs, awards, and Soroptimist’s global involvement.

SI/Willits 

“Third Tuesday Speaker Meeting”
 This small club of only seven (small, but mighty) women have used zoom to engage some very interesting female speakers including an author, a veterinarian, and a fire captain.  These monthly presentations have been advertised on the local radio station, Facebook and the local blog Mendocino Voice.  The local women-owned newspaper prints a PSA and bio for each of the speakers monthly.  The meetings have attracted members from many other clubs in Founder Region, as friends, region board members and other district clubs are invited and often participate.