Once A Soroptimist…Always A Soroptimist ….Spotlight on Ellie Nixon


better ellie

Ellie Nixon’s friend, Linda Gallagher, first introduced Ellie to Soroptimist International Huntington Beach in 2003.  Ellie joined because she believed in our mission, to improve the lives of women and girls through programs leading to social and economic empowerment, but, life took over and although Ellie continued to support us at fundraisers and events, she took a leave of absence from the club for about five years.

But now…she is back…and she hasn’t skipped a beat.  As Co-Vice President of Programs, along with Linda Lyons, Ellie leaped back into service.  Being a Soroptimist to Ellie means “being a part of a community of women who help women and children”.

Ellie’s nature is to help others.  A consultant for Heritage Memorial Services, Ellie also volunteers for the Alzheimer’s Orange County as a support group facilitator and advocacy communications.

Ellie loves to read and also must have some kind of connection to Gardnerville and Carson City, Nevada as that’s is where her travels have taken her the last 12 months.  Do you think one of her two grown children, a son who is a transmission re-builder or her daughter, who is a homemaker, may live there?  You’ll have to ask Ellie to find out the answer to that question 🙂

I asked Ellie if she could describe herself in one word, what would that word be and she said, “Doer”.

Welcome Back, Ellie!! We missed you!!

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Historical Events & Women – August

  • I think it is important that we, as women, continue to remind ourselves of how far we have come and how much farther we can go so, here are some important dates to remember:
  • August 6, 1965 – The Voting Rights Act outlaws the discriminatory literacy tests that had been used to prevent African Americans from voting. Suffrage is finally fully extended to African American women
  • August 9, 1995 – Roberta Cooper Ramo becomes the first woman to hold the office of president of the American Bar Association
  • August 10, 1993 – Ruth Bader Ginsburg is sworn in as the second woman and 107th Justice to serve on the US Supreme Court
  • August 12, 1972 – Wendy Rue founds the National Association for Female Executives (NAFE), the largest businesswomen’s organization in the US
  • August 14, 1986 – Rear Admiral Grace Murray Hopper retires from active duty in the US Navy. A pioneering computer scientist and inventor of the computer language COBOL, she was the oldest officer still on active duty at the time of her retirement
  • August 23, 1902 – Fanny Farmer opens the “School of Cookery” in Boston, MA
  • August 26, 1920 – The 19th Amendment of the US Constitution is ratified granting women the right to vote
  • August 26, 1970 – Betty Friedan leads a nationwide protest called the Women’s Strike for Equality in New York City on the fiftieth anniversary of women’s suffrage
  • August 26, 1971 – The first “Women’s Equality Day,” initiated by Representative Bella Abzug, is established by Presidential Proclamation and reaffirmed annually
  • August 28, 1963 – More than 250,000 gather for a march on Washington, DC, and listen to Martin Luther King Jr.’s famous “I Have a Dream” speech
  • August 30, 1984 – Judith A. Resnick is the second US woman in space, traveling on the first flight of the space shuttle Discovery

And…some important birthdays of women you may or may not know about:

  • August 1, 1923 (2006)beamedicine– Beatrice Medicine, Standing Rock Sioux anthropologist, focused on the roles of Lakota women in changes facing their cultures in areas including bilingual education, alcohol and drug use, abuse, socialization of children, and identity needs, author of Learning to Be an Anthropologist and Remaining Native

  • August 2, 1902 (1997)– Mina Rees, mathematician, first woman president of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (1971)
  • August 3, 1905 (1995) – Maggie Kuhn, senior rights activist, founded the Gray Panthers
  • August armstrong_barbara thumbnail4, 1890 (1976)– Barbara Armstrong, lawyer, first female law professor at a law school of a major university, Boalt Hall, at the University of California at Berkeley, expert on social economics


  • August 6, 1886 (1916) – Inez Milholland Boissevain, a lawyer and suffrage leader; gowned in white and riding a white horse, she lead a suffrage parade in Washington, DC, during Woodrow Wilson’s inauguration
  • August 6, 1903 (1999)–Virginia Durr, civil rights activist and author, founding member of the Southern Conference on Human Welfare (1938)
  • August 6, 1911 (1989)– Lucille Ball, comedian, actress, and television executive, starred in TV series “I Love Lucy” from 1950 to 1960, first woman to own a major television studio, Desilu Productions
  • August 9, 1919 (1986)– Leona Woods Marshall Libby, physicist, only woman on the team that built the world’s first nuclear reactor,worked on the Manhattan Project, professor at New York University and UCLA
  • August 11, 1941– Elizabeth Holtzman, youngest woman elected to U.S. Congress, (D-NY, 1973-81), first woman District Attorney in New York City (1981)
  • zerna sharpeAugust 12, 1889 (1981)– Zerna Sharp, author, called the “Mother of Dick and Jane,” helped create the popular reading series with bright action picture stories and one new word on each page


  • August 13, 1818 (1893) – Lucy Stone, suffragist and supporter of rights for women and African Americans, boldly kept her own name when she married
  • August 13, 1893 (1986)– Eva Dykes, first African-American woman to earn a doctoral degree (in English from Radcliffe College in 1921), professor at Howard University, and Chair of the English Dept. at Oakwood College
  • August 14, 1899 (1990)– Caroline Ware, history professor, pioneer in the “cultural approach to History,” expert on consumer affairs, Chair of the American Association of University Women Committee on Social Studies
  • August 14, 1911 (1991)– Ethel Payne, called “The First Lady of the Black Press,” first African American female radio and television commentator at a national news organization (CBS) in 1972
  • August 15, 1903 (1984)– Ellen Winston, first U.S. Commissioner of Welfare in the Dept. of Health, Education, and Welfare (1963-1967)
  • August 15, 1913 (1998)– Aurora Castillo, community activist, co-founded Mothers of East Los Angeles (1984)which worked against a proposed prison and hazardous waste dump in East Los Angeles
  • August 15, 1918 (1995)– Fay Knopp, pacifist and feminist, prison reformer, member of Women Strike for Peace, pioneered more humane treatment of prisoners based on compassion and a belief that people can change themselves
  • August 17, 1891 (1980)– Marion Kenworthy, psychiatrist, first woman president of the American Psychoanalytic Association, professor at New York School of Social Work (now Columbia University School of Social Work)
  • mae westAugust 17, 1893 (1980)– Mae West, iconic actress and sex symbol, started in Vaudeville, starred in plays, movies, radio, and television


  • August 17, 1906 (1998)– Hazel Bishop, chemist, created the first “kiss-proof” lipstick, founded a cosmetics company, Hazel Bishop, Inc.
  • August 17, 1927 (1997)– Elaine Hedges, educator, helped create the field of Women’s Studies, founding member of the National Women’s Studies Association, founded the Women’s Studies Program at Towson University, one of the oldest programs in the country, writer and editor for The Feminist Press
  • August 18, 1893 (1982)– Ragini Devi, American specialist in classical and folk ethnographic dances, won acclaim from dance critics, wrote Dance Dialects of India in 1972, later performed with her daughter and granddaughter
  • August 18, 1902 (1991)– Leona Baumgartner, physician, first woman to be commissioner of the New York City Dept. of Health (1954), advocated for public health education, head of the U.S. Agency for International Development (1962)
  • August 18, 1927– Rosalynn Carter, U.S. First Lady from 1977 to 1981, politically active while in the White House, focused on mental health, senior citizens, and community voluntarism, co-founded the Carter Center with her husband in 1982
  • August 19, 1895 (1987)– Vera Weisbord, radical activist, labor organizer, and feminist,organized women textile worker strikes in the 1920s, active in the Civil Rights Movement, wrote her autobiography, A Radical Life, in 1977, also a painter
  • August 19, 1920 (1999)– Donna Allen, founder of the Women’s Institute for Freedom of the Press in 1972 to publicize and research women’s issues which she thought were ignored by the main stream media
  • August 22, 1883 (1984)– Ruth Underhill, anthropologist and professor, studied with Ruth Benedict who encouraged traveling with native women to learn their history, wrote of the Papago Native American culture, and taught in the Bureau of Indian Affairs schools
  • August 22, 1912 (1996)– Cornelia “Coya” Knutson, first woman elected to the U.S. Congress from Minnesota (1955-1959), first woman on the Agriculture Committee, defeated after an infamous “Come Home Coya” lettersupposedly written by her estranged husband
  • August 23, 1899 (1999)– Grace Chu, cookbook author and teacher, emigrated from Shanghai in 1920 with a scholarship from Wellesley College, taught Chinese cooking, wrote Madame Chu’s Cooking School Cookbook in 1975
  • August 26, 1898 (1979)– Peggy Guggenheim, art collector and socialite, started buying modern art in 1938 and amassed an impressive collection
  • August 26, 1908 (1986)– Cynthia Wedel, first woman elected President of the National Council of Churches (1969-1972), president of the World Council of Churches (1975-1983), argued that women should be treated as equals in the church
  • August 26, 1935 (2011)– Geraldine Ferraro, first woman to run for Vice President of the U.S. on a major party ticketin 1984 (with Democratic candidate Walter Mondale), attorney, U.S. Congresswoman (NY, 1979-1985)
  • August 29, 1913 (1991)– Sylvia Kaye, lyricist and composer, wrote over 100 songs for her husband, Danny Kaye, television producer, and teacher
  • August 30, 1907 (1992)– Luisa Moreno, labor leader and Mexican-American civil rights activist, emigrated from Guatemala, helped organize“El Congreso del Pueblo de Habla Espanola” (Spanish-Speaking Peoples Congress) in 1938, worked for the United Cannery, Agricultural, Packing, and Allied Workers of America (UCAPAWA)

This information is compliments of the Natural Women’s History Project – Writing Women Back Into History.  For more information, go to www.nwhp.org.



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With Love & Licks From River


I can’t believe our 4th Annual Walk To Make A Difference, aka “The River Walk” was over a month ago, and I am just getting my thank you’s out to all of our sponsors, donors and two and four-footed walkers but…..after all, I am a dog….and at the mercy of my busy mother!

river walk 2017

I’m so excited to announce that we raised over $4000 and had dogs, their parents, club members and friends, old and new, from all over Orange County including two Soropti-pups from SI Capo Bay, one borrowed dog and a SI Huntington Beach Meet Up dog and his family.

Next year will be even bigger because, I will be 10 years old by then!  But that is far away…especially in dog months and not the real reason my mom let me write this blog.

The real reason is that I wanted to express my gratitude for all who helped us continue our mission of improving the lives of women and girls through programs leading to social and economic empowerment so here goes….

At the Face Licker level ($1000):
Mary Sue Bowden
Diana Perna (PK Real Estate)

At the Barker Level ($250):
★Cathy Standiford

At the Couch Potato Level ($100-$250)
Gifts from a Distance
Linda Lyons
UBS Financial Services
Seacliff Electronic Commerce
Lynn Shrum
Affinity & Co Jewelers

At the Litter Mate Level (under $100)
Donna Skinner
La Belle Gifts
Barbara Lacy
Leslie Miller
Pamela Waller
Freda Matsuda
Marcelle Capps
Eva Lowenstein
Jaye Johnson
Georgette Sleeth (The Gift Cave)
Catherine Hetzel
Susan Gilbey
Sally Lane
Mary Clifford
Hal & Terry Rose
Diana Orlando
Robert Thompson
Linda Martin
Judy Hirsch
Amy & Bruno Lacombe
Lorraine Crawford
Michele Wilkosz

And so…I thank you again from the tip of my nose to the tip of my tail!

Love & Licks,
Proud SI Huntington Beach Soropti-Dog
getting tired but still going river 062814








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What We Accomplished in 2016-17


Our SI Huntington Beach year ended on June 22nd when we bid a fond farewell to our outgoing board and welcomed our incoming board.

Before outgoing President Georgette handed the torch to incoming President Marcelle, she reminded us of what we had accomplished during our 2016-17 Soroptimist year.

Here it is…..

  • Made 18 beautiful new-sew blankets and donated them to C.A.R.E. Orange Coast College
  • Provided Halloween costumes, pumpkins and trick or treat bags to our two Dolly Wakeham families
  • Purchased a mixer for our Dolly Wakeham mom Megan as an early birthday present so that she could use it for her midterm exams for her culinary classes
  • Donated pantry items to C.A.R.E. Orange Coast College multiple times throughout the club year
  • Assembled meals to feed hundreds of homeless people at Temple Beth Shalom for their Mitzvah Meals program
  • Donated $600 to the HB Youth Shelter and earned our snowflake on the HB Pier
  • Provided Halloween decorations and pantry items for the C.A.R.E. Goldenwest College Halloween party
  • Mailed off a very full bag of clothing and purses to the Malala Fund
  • Purchased a refurbished PC for our volunteer graphic artist extraordinaire – Janet Slinkard
  • Donated approximately 30 beautiful dolls for women suffering from Alzheimers after learning from a guest that caring for the baby dolls often helps sooth them when agitated
  • Donated a $100 visa card to the HB Youth Shelter so they could take the kids to the movies during the holiday season
  • Showered our two Dolly Wakeham families with Christmas gifts and love
  • Donated 2 bikes and helmets to Project Self Sufficiency for their holiday party
  • Showed our support for an incredibly inspirational human trafficking survivor by having her speak at our January program meeting and purchasing several of her Hero Bands
  • Donated $100 to a past Dolly Wakeham mom who needed help with school supplies
  • Donated money to the HB Senior center to purchase a vacuum for one woman and to pay for a cleaning service for another senior woman in need
  • Handed out $4500 in Live Your Dream awards to four very deserving recipients
  • Donated $1000 to Kathy Tillotson of Build Futures to help her wonderful organization
  • Held our signature Day of Self Esteem, with 17 women getting pampered, receiving work clothing and goodies, and, most importantly, being shown that they are worthy, supported and loved
  • Assembled 25 shoe boxes filled with toiletries and handmade cards for the Youth Shelter
  • Donated $250 to a local human trafficking organization to use for purchasing crafts for a party they threw for some of the survivors they work with
  • Provided Easter cards and baskets for our Dolly Wakeham families
  • Donated multiple gift cards and a silent auction basket at the District Spring Conference
  • Gave $100 to one of our Dolly Wakeham moms to purchase a car battery
  • Worked in conjunction with the boys from a local Lions Heart Club to donate 20 Mother’s Day gift bags to C.A.R.E. Goldenwest College
  • Donated $1,138 to Soroptimist International for Club Giving
  • Awarded a $1,250 scholarship to a Project Self Sufficiency participant
  • Gave $100 gift cards to two of our past and one current Live Your Dream award winners who were graduating from college
  • Gave a final donation of $100 to each of our Dolly Wakeham moms
  • Gifted a 1 year Soroptimist of Huntington Beach membership to volunteer Janet Slinkard to thank her for all of the support she has shown our club
  • Sponsored a little girl in Haiti so that she may attend school
  • Awarded our $500 annual Catou Defriend Scholarship to a Huntington Beach HS Student

Whew…..and this year we will accomplish even more in the area of service as we implement our Dream It Be It partnership with SI Newport Harbor Area.

Thank you to all who helped us improve the lives of women and girls locally and around the world!

With gratitude….



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Women and History – June


June has arrived.  It’s almost summer, and I have so much to tell you but don’t have much time this morning so…I thought I would point out a few notable women and events that are important to women that occurred in June.

  • June 1, 1993 – Connie Chung becomes the second woman to co-anchor the evening news, 17 years after Barbara Walters became the first in 1976
  • June 9, 1949 – Georgia Neese Clark confirmed as the first woman treasurer of the United States
  • June 10, 1963 – Equal Pay Act enacted: “To prohibit discrimination on account of sex in the payment of wages by employers engaged in commerce or in the production of goods for commerce.” (PL 88-38)
  • June 11, 1913 – Women in Illinois celebrate passage of a state woman suffrage bill allowing women to vote in presidential elections
  • June 17, 1873 – Susan B. Anthony’s trial starts for illegally voting in Rochester, New York on November 5, 1872
  • June 20, 1921 – Alice Robertson ((R-Oklahoma) becomes the first woman to chair the House of Representatives
  • June 21, 1997 – The Women’s National Basketball Association (WNBA) plays its first game
  • June 23, 1972 – Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 is signed by President Nixon, one of the most important legislation initiatives passed for women and girls since women won the vote in 1920. This legislation guarantees equal access and equal opportunity for females and males in almost all aspects of our educational systems (Note the word “almost”)
  • June 25, 1903 – Madame Marie Curie announces her discovery of radium

June Birthdays

  • June 2, 1907 (1998) – Dorothy West, writer, novelist during the Harlem Renaissance
  • June 3, 1924 (1991) – Colleen Dewhurst, actress, winner of 4 Emmy Awards, 2 Tony Awards, 2 Obie Awards, and 2 Gemini awards
  • June 3, 1916 (1995) – Gloria Martin, socialist, feminist organizer who began Shakespeare & Martin Booksellers
  • June 3, 1919 (1989) – Elizabeth Koontz, first African-American president of the National Education Association
  • June 7, 1910 (1990) – Marion Wolcott, documentary photographer during the Great Depression
  • June 7, 1909 (1994) – Jessica Tandy, award-winning actress, from “A Streetcar Named Desire” (play, 1948) to “Driving Miss Daisy” (film, 1989)
  • June 7, 1917 (2000) – Gwendolyn Brooks, poet, first African American to win the Pulitzer Prize for Poetry (1950)
  • June 8, 1900 (1981) – Estelle Griswold, birth control advocate and pioneer, defendant in the Supreme Court case “Griswold v. Connecticut” which legalized contraception for married couples in 1965
  • June 8, 1903 (1996) – Jessie Bernard, feminist critic and author
  • June 9, 1896 (1994) – Catherine Shouse, philanthropist and political activist, benefactor of the Wolf Trap Farm Park for the Performing Arts
  • June 9, 1921 (1993) – Phyllis Wallace, economist, first African-American woman full professor at the Sloan School of Management at MIT, pioneer in the study of sex and race discrimination in the workplace
  • June 12, 1892 (1982)- Djuna Barnes, artist and journalist, author of “Nightwood”
  • June 12, 1899 (1994) – Anni Albers, textile artist and printmaker, had the first textile art show at the Museum of Modern Art in 1949
  • June 14, 1811 (1896) – Harriet Beecher Stowe, author of Uncle Tom’s Cabin
  • June 14, 1952 – Pat Summitt, former coach of Tennessee’s Women’s Basketball team, scored the most wins in NCAA history for both men’s and women’s teams
  • June 15, 1901 (1993) – Ruth Cowan, journalist, one of the first women military correspondents, president of the Women’s National Press Club
  • June 15, 1916 (1989) – Olga Erteszek, Polish immigrant, established the Olga Company in 1960, maker of women’s undergarments, one of the first companies to offer employee profit sharing
  • June 15, 1920 (1994) – Amy Clampitt, poet and author, her first poem was published when she was 58 years old
  • June 16, 1892 (1972) – Jennie Grossinger, highly successful hotel proprietor, managed Grossinger’s in the Catskills, the first resort to use artificial snow (1952)
  • June 16, 1895 (1990) – India Edwards, political activist in the Democratic Party, served as Vice Chairman of the DNC from 1950 to 1956
  • June 16, 1902 (1992) – Barbara McClintock, biologist, awarded the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine in 1983
  • June 16, 1915 (1990) – Lucy Davidowicz, Polish refugee, one of the foremost historians of the
  • June 17, 1865 (1915) – Susan La Flesche Picotte, first Native American physician (1889)
  • June 17, 1908 (1989) -Trude Weiss-Rosmarin, editor, writer, co-founder of the School of the Jewish Woman (1933), publisher of the “Jewish Spectator” (1936)
  • June 18, 1913 (1991) – Sylvia Porter, finance columnist and author
  • June 19, 1888 (1984) – Hilda Worthington Smith, labor educator and social worker, first Director of the Bryn Mawr Summer School for Women Workers in Industry (1921)
  • June 20, 1905 (1984) – Lillian Hellman, playwright, credits include “The Children’s Hour”(1934), “The Little Foxes” (1939) and “Toys in the Attic” (1960); blacklisted by the House Committee on Un-American Activities in 1952
  • June 21, 1912 (1989) – Mary McCarthy, author and critic, her novel “The Group” remained on the New York Times Best Seller list for almost two years
  • June 22, 1906 (1993) – Anne Morrow Lindbergh, author
  • June 22, 1909 (2006) – Katherine Dunham, dancer and choreographer, combined African movement and classical ballet
  • June 22, 1929 (1990) – Rose Kushner, journalist, challenged the practice of radical mastectomy in the 1970s
  • June 23, 1905 (1983) – Mary Livingstone, radio comedian, Jack Benny’s wife (1927) and showbiz partner (1932-1958)
  • June 23, 1921 (2010) – Jeanne M. Holm, first Air Force Major General (1973)
  • June 23, 1940 (1994) – Wilma Rudolph, athlete, first woman runner to win 3 gold medals in a single Olympics
  • June 24, 1893 (1983) – Suzanne LaFollette, journalist, author, and editor, radical libertarian feminist, served as managing editor of William F. Buckley, Jr.’s the “National Review,” 1955-1959
  • June 26, 1902 (1989) – Antonia Brico, conductor,
  • June 26, 1911 (1956) – Mildred “Babe” Didrikson Zaharias, athlete, outstanding in basketball, track, swimming, golf, and billiards
  • June 26, 1922 (1982) – Carolyn Sherif, social psychologist, pioneer researcher in group psychology, self-system, and gender identity
  • June 27, 1880 (1968) – Helen Keller, advocate for the disabled, writer and lecturer
  • June 28, 1946 (1989) – Gilda Radner, comedian, and original cast member of “Saturday Night Live”
  • June 29, 1897 (1992) –Kazue Togasaki, physician who pioneered a place in medicine for women of Japanese ancestry and was one of the few physicians allowed to practice medicine in the Japanese Interment Camps during World War II
  • June 29, 1900 (1997) – Margaret Grierson, archivist, professor, founder and first director of the Sophia Smith Collection at Smith College which she molded into a women’s history archive
  • June 30, 1883 (1970) – Dorothy Tilly, civil rights reformer, devoted her life to reforming southern race relations
  • June 30, 1899 (2001) – Margaret Byrd Rawson, educator and researcher, identified and treated reading disorders including dyslexia
  • June 30, 1903 (1999) – Glenna Collett Vare, first U.S. Women’s Golf Champion (1922)
  • June 30, 1917 (2010) – Lena Horne, singer, first African American woman to sign long-term Hollywood contract, fought for contracts guaranteeing African Americans could attend her shows


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March is a Surprising Month!


Growing up in the Midwest, I never knew what March would bring….warm spring weather with flowers blooming or cold freezing winds and one last snowstorm but, here is southern California, we don’t have to worry about snowstorms!  That doesn’t mean that March is a month that slips by without any memories.  So….what are my memories of this month now that it is almost over?

Several of us attended SI President Yvonne’s event at the Rose Center in Westminster.  It was an amazing and magical evening.

marilee, governor-elect laurel, terry, president yvonne, governor susan, dawn marie

marilee, governor-elect laurel, terry, president yvonne, governor susan, dawn marie

We had our second Savers Drive and raised $99.40.  We would have topped $100 if I would have remembered a vase donated by Anne Gillespie which was hiding behind the front seat of my car.

Leslie, David & Terry receive BIG check!

Leslie, David & Terry receive BIG check!

Thank you to the following who contributed “stuff”: Gerry De Boer, Georgette Sleeth, Vanessa Kezios, Fred & Carol Speaker, Anne Gillespie, Linda Cahill & Leslie & David Miller.  A special thanks to David Miller who, without his big pickup truck, I would have been making a lot of trips to Savers!

Rae Davis, one of our 2017 Live Your Dream Honorees & student at Vanguard University, is on their Women’s Basketball team, and they made it to the Final 4 (technically ended up #3) in the 2017 NAIA Division 1.  They were eliminated in the semi-finals.  You can congratulate Rae at our Style Show on April 23rd.

Jessica Fey, former Live Your Dream honoree, Dolly Wakeham mom & attendee at our jessicas restaurant 032017Day of Self-Esteem: planned and executed a super successful “restaurant” for one of her classes.  It was called A Taste of Persia.  She did everything from planning & creating the full menu highlighting the courses we would be tasting that day, finding the healthy recipes (everything was gluten free) and communicating with the culinary students, planning and securing the décor and greeting guests and informing them of what their dining experience was going to be.  Jessica will be graduating with her Bachelor’s degree from Cal State Long Beach  in May.  Like Rae, you can say hi to Jessica at our Style Show on April 23rd.

Jessica's Menu - the food we sampled was highlighted in each section.

Jessica’s Menu – the food we sampled was highlighted in each section.

Megan Lattimer,  former Live Your Dream honoree, current Dolly Wakeham mom and culinary arts student at Orange Coast College, was invited by one of her teachers to help prepare food at the Power Rangers Premiere which was held in Westwood on March 22nd. Megan arrived early and was not sure how to get in so, she walked the Red Carpet (before the stars, like Brian Cranston, got there).  Megan did such a good job that the Chef catering the event asked her if she would like to work future movie premiers.  Of course, she said yes.  Megan will be one of our special models at our Style Show on April 23rd.

Janet Slinkard, attendee at our Day of Self-Esteem, single mom, student and graphic artist: created the fantastic flyer for our Style Show on April 23rd and will be one of our models that day, as well.

Ingrid Serna, current Live Your Dream honoree and attendee at our Day of Self-Esteem, will graduate with her Bachelor’s from Cal State Long Beach in May.  Ingrid will not be able to join us at our Style Show as she is volunteering at another event that day.

Several members of our club, Alisa Armstrong, Marcelle Capps, Nouha Hreish & yours truly, attended Newport Area Harbor’s LunaFest along with approximately 100 other women and one man, Governor Susan’s husband, Lyon.  He didn’t know he was going to be the only man until he got there.  LunaFest features short films by women and about women.

Our club truly believes in service so at our Program Meeting on March 23rd, we put together “shoe boxes” full of items like lotion, soap, shampoo, etc. for the teenage girls at the Huntington Beach Youth Shelter plus, we made cards for each of them.  A special thanks to Georgette Sleeth and Jennifer Klein for providing us with so many fun and inspirational tools, including a die cutter,  to help us make our one-of-a-kind cards extra special.
creating cards for girls at youth shelter 032017And, I couldn’t let this month slip by without a very special announcement.  Our wonderful treasurer, Linda Lyons, got engaged to her boyfriend of over a year, Kurt. Linda’s engagement will be one she will never forget.  She and Kurt were out in Indian Wells attending a tennis match.  According to Linda, Kurt was not acting like his usual “laid back” self….and then she found out why….The Jumbotron flashed a message: “Linda, will you marry me?” and then the Jumbotron focused on Linda.  You can see her beautiful ring, which Kurt picked out all by himself, on the ring finger of her left hand.  CONGRATULATIONS LINDA!

As we slip out of March and into April, I just want to wish our Corresponding Secretary, Kimberly Kent, a very, very happy milestone birthday on April 1st!

And speaking of April…did you know that on April 1st…
~ 1792 Gronings feminist, Etta Palm, demanded the women’s right to divorce.
~ 1916 1st US national women’s swimming championships held
~ 1930 The Blue Angel, Marlene Dietrich in her breakthrough role, premiered in Germany
~ 1931 Jackie Mitchell became the 1st female in professional baseball
~ 1941 Lillian Hellman’s “Watch on the Rhine” premieres in NYC
~ 1984 3rd NCAA Women’s Basketball Championship: USC beats Tennessee 72-61
~ 1990 9th NCAA Women’s Basketball Championship: Stanford beats Auburn 88-81
~ 2001 20th NCAA Women’s Basketball Championship: Notre Dame beats Purdue 68-66

I hope to see you at our Style Show on April 23rd!

Yours in service,




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Soroptimists Around The World Celebrate International Women’s Day 2017


Malaysian women peacekeepers of the UN Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL) at a medal ceremony in Kawkaba, south Lebanon.

The theme of 2017’s International Women’s Day is “Women in the Changing World of Work: Planet 50-50 by 2030”.

The following is taking from www.un.org.
“International Women’s Day is a time to reflect on progress made, to call for change and to celebrate acts of courage and determination by ordinary women who have played an extraordinary role in the history of their countries and communities.

The idea of this theme is to consider how to accelerate the 2030 Agenda, building momentum for the effective implementation of the new Sustainable Development Goals, especially goal number 5: Achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls; and number 4: Ensure inclusive and quality education for all and promote lifelong learning. The theme will also focus on new commitments under UN Women’s Step It Up initiative, and other existing commitments on gender equality, women’s empowerment and women’s human rights.

Some key targets of the 2030 Agenda:

  • By 2030, ensure that all girls and boys complete free, equitable and quality primary and secondary education leading to relevant and Goal-4 effective learning outcomes.
  • By 2030, ensure that all girls and boys have access to quality early childhood development, care and preprimary education so that they are ready for primary education.
  • End all forms of discrimination against all women and girls everywhere.
  • Eliminate all forms of violence against all women and girls in the public and private spheres, including trafficking and sexual and other types of exploitation.
  • Eliminate all harmful practices, such as child, early and forced marriage and female genital mutilation.

The world of work is changing, and with significant implications for women. On one hand, we have globalization, technological and digital revolution and the opportunities they bring, and on the other hand, the growing informality of labour, unstable livelihoods and incomes, new fiscal and trade policies and environmental impacts—all of which must be addressed in the context of women’s economic empowerment. ”

For more information, please go to http://www.unwomen.org/en/get-involved/step-it-up.

Together we can make it happen!



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It All Began With A Meetup…Focus on Leslie Miller


Corporate Head-shots

In order to promote Soroptimist in Huntington Beach and hopefully attract more women to either join us or support us, I decided to create a Meetup for our club.  I had no idea or expectations of what would happen but, we struck gold when Leslie Miller found us!

Leslie joined our Meetup and then came to a meeting in September, 2016.  In October, she joined our club.

When I asked Leslie what made her decide to become a Soroptimist, here is what she said, “I have been seeking a volunteer organization that was in line with my own interests – specifically organizations that support women and children.  And importantly, I am looking for new avenues to meet new people!  I was so excited when I read about SI and all the great programs you work with.  and my first meeting made a great impression – a very lively bunch indeed!” (No one will ever accuse us of being any less than “lively”.)

For Leslie, her membership “means supporting causes, developing friendships and helping the community in an impactful way.”

Although Leslie is employed full time, she is fortunate to be able to work from home.  In her role as the Director of Administration & Operations for Beaker Inc., an executive search and management consulting firm focused on the life science industry, she supports the administrative side of the entire company – from HR to operations to project management and more.  As a charter member of the company since its launch in 2008, she has actually worked for the CEO for 17 years (12 virtually, as he is based in North Carolina).

Work and raising kids has kept Leslie busy for several years but she has still managed to be a Girl Scout Troop Leader (for her daughter’s troop) and has periodically supported other non profits, like the Project Self-Sufficient Adopt-A-Family at Christmas.

Leslie says she is “devoted to her family and dog, Rocko, (who we hope will join us at our Dog Walk to Make a Difference this coming June) but when she does find herself with spare time, she enjoys walking, reading, water fitness classes, bicycling on the beach, travel, enjoying wine (we like that) with friends and laughing!”

Speaking of travel, she and her husband, David (they’ve been married since 1994) took their family to Maui, and she is planning her first vacation to Europe (on a River Cruise) this spring with her well-traveled mother.

And speaking of David, they met through friends.  Leslie says, “he was always the third wheel” but, he must have been the best “wheel” for her.  He is funny and smart!  Daily laughter and “I Love You’s” are a must in their household.

Leslie is also the proud mother of two: Her son, Jared (19) graduated in 2016 from Marina High School with honors.  He is attending Goldenwest College and deciding which direction he wants to go.  His passions are music production, photography and psychology.  Her daughter, Jordan (age 14) is a freshman at Marina High School and is a member of the Field Hockey team and several clubs as well as taking advanced coursework.  (Need to find out if there is a story or reason behind the fact that both of their kids have names beginning with the letter “J”.)

I am honored and proud to be Leslie’s SI Huntington Beach mentor and hope our friendship and the friendships she will make as a member of our club will continue to grow for years and years and will include many joys, adventures, laughs and glasses of wine!



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The Spirit of Giving


The Spirit of Giving shouldn’t be limited to one season but should be something we all do on a daily basis.  Christmas has past….Hanukkah continues for another day, and the new year begins tomorrow.

Will you make a New Year’s resolution?  Will you stay up until midnight to watch the ball drop in Times Square?

Hal & I are celebrating our 23rd anniversary today by having dinner at wonderful little french restaurant, Pescadou Bistro, in Newport Beach.  Is there anyone else who is reading this post celebrating their anniversary or birthday today?  If you are, let me know and I will add it to my first post of 2017….or, even if you are not celebrating an event and want to share how you spent the last day of 2016,  please let me know.

I would like to begin 2017 with this quote from Gandhi, “The best way to find yourself is to lost yourself in the service of others.”  Isn’t that what Soroptimist is all about?  Being of service to women and girls?


“Today I give thanks to everyone who has been part of my life’s journey” – anonymous

Until next year,


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Welcome Home….Spotlight on Michele Robb



When Michele Robb decided to come home to Orange County, SI Huntington Beach got lucky.  Michele not only jumped in with all her heart, she immediately became an active participant.

Why is Michele a Soroptimist?  In her own words, “so I can have a life that is ever so much more so!”

Although Michele joined Soroptimist of Huntington Beach in June, 2016, she has been a Soroptimist a lot longer.  In 2007, she joined Soroptimist International of Roxborough, PA and held many offices including Corresponding Secretary, Vice-President and President.  And, she continues to support them as best she can…long distance!

Although Michele says she is “retired” from the grocery industry and from the archdioceses of Philadelphia, she really isn’t.  Michele continues to work part-time for the Public Authority, managing the affairs of disabled people.  And, in her spare time (if she really has any), she walks neighborhood dogs.

For fun, Michele is a practicing musician – guitar.  In fact, her email address is “oldguitarlady”, and she is very big on promoting and supporting other musicians.

Michele says she doesn’t travel as much as she used to and has only been to Temecula (wine tasting, Michele?) in the last 12 months.

Michele is a mother to 4 grown children, one of whom lives with her in Huntington Beach.

And last but not least, she has a dog!  Next time you see Michele, be sure to ask her what her dog’s name is.

Moving from Philadelphia to Huntington Beach was certainly SI Roxborough’s loss but it was definitely our GAIN!

I am sure that I speak for the whole club in saying, “we’re so happy you are here!”



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