During the global pandemic, businesses across the country – and certainly here in Vacaville – have struggled to stay alive. It’s especially challenging for women-owned businesses, according to a recent survey by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.
Consider the following:
“We cannot allow this pandemic to set back a generation of entrepreneurial women,” said Suzanne Clark, president of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.
Soroptimist International of Vacaville recognizes the many challenges women-owned businesses face and wants to help with a little extra encouragement: A “Women Investing in Women” business grant.
“This is a one-time award that we’ve dreamed up, to help a local woman in business continue to make their business dreams come true,” said chairwoman Lisa Hilas.
Nominations will open in 2021. To qualify, the business must be owned by a woman and must be in Vacaville, or operated by a woman who lives in Vacaville The winner will receive:
A Giving Tuesday campaign kicked off the fundraising for the grant. Donations are still being accepted, and businesses are invited to help with a sponsorship.
“Your donation will help us support a woman-owned business right here in Vacaville,” said Lisa. “You can make a woman’s business dreams come true with your contribution or sponsorship.”
To donate, visit https://givebutter.com/investinginwomen or text Best4women to 2028581233. For more information about SI Vacaville, to nominate a woman owned business go to www.vacavillesoroptimist.org/soroptimist-means-business.html
Vacaville girls between the ages of 14 and 18 have until Dec. 1 to apply for the Violet Richardson Award, which recognizes young women for outstanding community service. Soroptimist International of Vacaville, an international volunteer organization dedicated to improving the lives of women and girls, will present up to $1,500 to a winner and up to $1,500 to the charity of the winner’s choice next spring.
“It’s what you do . . .
. . . that counts.”
The Violet Richardson Award honors young women, between the ages of 14 and 18, for volunteer action such as helping disadvantaged people; fighting drugs, crime and violence; cleaning up the environment; and working to end discrimination and poverty.
The award program is named after Violet Richardson, the president of the first Soroptimist club in 1921. Richardson believed in personal responsibility and the motto, “It’s what you do that counts.” She lived her life accordingly, as an active member in her community who was committed to creating opportunities for girls and young women.
Applications for the award program are available online at vacavillesoroptimist.org [vacavillesoroptimist.org]. Just click on “Apply” or contact Susan Mays at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Thursday, Sept. 3:
It's Official! Our lobster is missing! Our lobster is missing! Has anyone see Lola the Lobster? She disappeared in October 2019, shortly after our successful Soroptimist International of Vacaville lobster dinner fundraiser! Description: Wearing red, two claws, two antennae, known to wear purple, goes by the name Lola. Be on the lookout!
Just like her namesake, past president Lola Devan, our Lola is impeccably dressed and is quite adventuresome. Last year she and many of her friends and relatives were caught off the coast of Main and air-lifted to Vacaville. They were to be the star attraction of our lobster dinner. But once Lola realized she WAS dinner, she escaped. Could she be headed back to Maine? Or maybe Main Street in Vacaville? Follow here on Facebook or here on our blog!
Saturday, Sept. 5
Lola the Lobster was spotted visiting Wasserman Travel this week. Apparently she was with owner Jim Kellogg looking at brochures showcasing Maine when she spotted her cousin Lesley on a plate! So she may be planning a trip, but probably not back to Maine!
Wednesday, Sept. 9
Lola the Lobster heard KUIC morning anchor John Young interviewing Soroptimist International of Vacaville member Lisa Hilas about the Missing Lobster Dinner this morning (Thank you, KUIC!!) and knows we are onto her! She's going to have to be more careful as she high-tails it around town, or we're going to catch her!
Lola was happy to learn that the "Missing Lobster Dinner," is going to benefit fire victims. We have her full support for both the "missing-lobster theme," and for helping fire victims through the Vacaville City Firefighters Charity Fund.
Thursday, Sept. 10
Lola the Lobster was spotted at Pawsh Place getting a physical exam from veterinarian Dr. Celina Hatt. Apparently she wanted to make sure she is fit before her journey. Dr. Hatt, a Soroptimist, didn’t realize it was THE Lola she was treating, or maybe should would have detailed her! And while Dr. Hatt has treated many different types of animals, Lola was her first lobster. Apparently Lola is the epitome of a healthy crustacean. Sadly for us, she was cleared for travel. We don’t know where she’ll go next, but please keep an eye out for her, Soroptimist International of Vacaville needs her.
Saturday, Sept. 11
While Lola the Lobster was visiting Pawsh Place last week, she ran into Darci Chadwick, and they started chatting about social media. Lola realized she needed a publicist to ensure that she was always putting her best foot, er claw, forward. Darci, owner of Modern Brand Marketing, promised all that and more. And although Sorotpimist International of Vacaville can’t seem to find Lola, we are finding lots of social media posts about Lola, including her very own Instagram account, Lola.thelobster. If you’re helping us in our quest to find Lola before she escapes on her next adventure, you’ll want to check out her Instagram account and report any sightings to us.
Sunday, Sept. 12
Lola the Lobster is getting sneakier and sneaker, as she scuttles across Vacaville, visiting various businesses and organizations. We know she plans to abscond soon, but apparently she stopped by Stems Florists to frolic in the flowers.
Stems Owner Caryn Mikovich never actually saw Lola, or she would certainly have arranged for her return. Please keep an eye out for Lola, as Soroptimist International of Vacaville needs her.
Tuesday, Sept. 15
Lola the Lobster heard that Vacaville firefighters could use a hand, er a claw, what with all the wildfire and smoke plaguing California. She thought it was only appropriate, as a portion of the proceeds from the Soroptimist International of Vacaville’s “Missing Lobster Dinner,” is going to fire relief. And, she pointed out, fire engine red is her color!
Thursday, Sept. 17
Lola the Lobster was spotted at Thrasher Law Office working with Attorney Yvonne Thrasher on her trust. After all, “A Will is a Thrill, but a Trust is a Must,” even for a Lobster. Looks like she’s intent on some serious travel and soon.
Yvonne, a Soroptimist, didn’t realize it was OUR Lola, or she would have surely put her under citizen’s arrest. Please keep an eye out for Lola, Soroptimist International of Vacaville needs her.
Friday, Sept. 18
A message from Soroptimist International of Vacaville: Those of you who have already ordered your “Missing Lobster Dinner” from Erica Marie Catering know that she provides sumptuous, gourmet meals and even offers cooking classes on occasion. Well, it turns out Lola the Lobster knows it too, and showed up at Erica Marie Catering’s kitchen all decked out in her chef hat and apron. Apparently she’s interested in learning how to make NON-seafood dishes.
Lola is still on the lam, but wants to remind you to purchase your Missing Lobster Dinner tickets a soon as possible. For $100, you get a meal that will feed four people plus wine or Brenden Theatres movie tickets.
Saturday, Sept. 19
Since wildfires have caused such destruction in the Vacaville area, Lola the Lobster knows that construction companies are going to be busy – too busy to notice if a crustacean slips in under a hardhat. And so she got swanky at Swank Construction Inc. on a recent visit.Unfortunately, Soroptimist Joy Swank was not in the office during Lola’s visit, or she would have apprehended the lively lobster.
Tuesday, Sept. 22
Everyone knows Joe the Barber, right? Even Lola the Lobster! She decided to visit Joe at Cornerstone Assisted Living recently, and they had a grand time, talking about her namesake, the devine Lola DeVan, who was a Soroptimist International of Vacaville member once upon a time! Lola snuck out before anyone was the wiser and is still missing!
Wednesday, Sept. 23
Lola the Lobster is apparently checking in on her investments, to make sure she has enough funds for a trip out of town. (Out of state? Out of country?) Sounds like the possibilities are endless, now that she conferred with Financial Adviser Beth Rowe, in her Edward Jones Investments Vacaville office.
Turns out, Beth and Lola planned for travel as one of her goals . . . Lola was thrilled that they planned for this and decided now was the time!
“She could be headed anywhere,” said Beth, a past president of SI Vacaville and co-fundraising chair.
Thursday, Sept. 24
Lola the Lobster is the charitable type, and she heard that Sandy Esparza of Cal Inc., is also so inclined. So she stopped by to check in on Sandy’s work and found that she wholeheartedly support the Relay for Life, which supports the American Cancer Society.
Lola applauded Sandy’s efforts to have a virtual event this year and wished she had time to stay until next year’s event, but she has a big trip coming up, and snuck out quickly. By the time Sandy realized she’d come and gone, all that was left was a little puddle on her couch.
Friday, Sept. 25
Lola the Lobster was so excited! She enrolled in the Witness Protection Program, so she could make her great escape, and *thought* she was going to get a facelift. But instead of arriving at 1-800-FACE-LIFT, she landed at I-80 Forklift Inc.
She thought about taking a ride on one of those lovely lifts, but was afraid she’d attract attention, so she scurried off the lot.
Saturday, Sept. 26
Being an organized and law-abiding crustacean, Lola the Lobster scurried over to CPA office of G&J Seiberlich & Co., LLP, where Soroptimist Yolanda Williams works.
Not realizing it was our Lola, Yolanda dutifully discussed various alternatives. They agreed her tax situation was complicated, requiring much more documentation. Yolanda quickly printed up some forms to have Lola apply for an extension on her taxes.
You wouldn’t think a crustacean would need such services, however, Lola has been on the lam for a year and has had to support herself with some very creative endeavors. She knows Uncle Sam has ways of finding out if you owe him anything, so she is handling her financial affairs responsibly and staying out of trouble.
Breaking News Sunday Sept. 27th
Oh no!! Lola the Lobster apparently convinced The Reporter to publish last year’s press release in today’s newspaper!! Obviously a ploy to throw everyone off her scent. Make no mistake, this year we are having the “Missing Lobster Dinner.” Soroptimist International of Vacaville is contacting the authorities, requesting a publication of the correct press release, and warning the community about Lola. She’s sneaky
Tuesday, Sept. 29
Lola the Lobster could not leave the city of Vacaville without a musical tribute to her many fans at the Vacaville Performing Arts Theatre.
With her magical claws, she tickled the ivories, but alas, it was to an empty house because of COVID-19. Still, rumors persist that the Vacaville Performing Arts Theatre may have caught the performance on tape and could possibly have a pay per view event coming up. Stay tuned for that. VPAT has been very enterprising of late with virtual performances!
Wednesday, Sept. 30e time for coffee? Even Lola the Lobster likes an occasional latte, letting the caffeine bring out her inner crustacean. So of course she stopped by Steady Eddy’s because she heard they rock the beverages, and since she’s got cousins who are rock lobsters, it all made sense. She slurped her way to a caffeinated crescendo and took off for her next adventure before anyone was the wiser.
Soroptimist International of Vacaville is still searching for her. She escaped from last year’s lobster dinner, and we need her to help us with our fundraiser.
Wednesday, Sept. 30 NEWS BREAK!
Thank you to The Reporter for publishing the true tale of Lola the Lobster in today’s edition! Lola is clearly on the run, keep an eye out for her!
Thursday, October 1 LOLA HAS LEFT THE COUNTRY!!
Lola the Lobster thought she spotted a long-lost relative at Sacramento International Airport, but alas, when she got closer she saw it was a giant red rabbit, part of an art project. “Harrumph,” she snarled as she made her way to the gate. At least there weren’t very many people standing between her and freedom! Looks like she boarded an international flight to put some distance between her and Soroptimist International of Vacaville, which is looking high and low for her. Who knows where she’ll go next?
Saturday, October 3
First stop on Lola the Lobster’s sojourn abroad appears to be Cancun, Mexico, where our feisty Crustacean was spotted skinny dipping at Playa Laghosta. Since Lola doesn’t speak Spanish, she had no way of knowing she was at “Lobster Beach. It appears she may have gotten a bit sunburned – she is very red.
Tuesday, October 6
Is that Lola the Lobster? At the Taj Mahal?
Word has it that Lola visited Soroptimist Dawn Shepherd and husband John before her trip and she was so inspired by the newlywed’s love that she decided to visit the Taj Mahal, which was built as a monument to a great love between a Maharaja and his beloved wife. Lola couldn’t resist jumping in.
Wednesday, October 7
“‘O sole mio, sta nfronte de te...” Who could resist the charms of a singing gondolier! Not our Lola the Lobster. She was seen in Venice, enjoying all the sights, including the lovely waterways. At this point, she knows Soroptimist International of Vacaville is looking for her, but her answer? “Ciao!”
Thursday, October 8
You have probably seen those funny photos of tourists holding up the Leaning Tower of Pisa. Well, would you believe that our silly Lola the Lobster is measuring the Eiffel Tower between her claws?
Saturday, October 10
Is that the Amazon River? Lola the Lobster! What are you thinking? Don’t you know there are creatures in that river that could eat you for dinner? And you thought we were the enemy?
Wednesday, Oct. 14
This just in: We have intel on how Lola the Lobster is eluding customs from country to country! It seems Lola stopped by All Size Flooring Center before she disappeared. During her visit, owner Colleen Stafford tucked something special into Lola’s suitcase. Colleen is a Twilight Soroptimist, and she probably didn’t realize that SI Vacaville had an All Points Bulletin out for Lola’s return. Otherwise, she would have notified us pronto, as our clubs are very friendly! But Lola is as charming as she is devious, and so she tricked All Size into giving her not just any carpet, but a magic carpet! Who knows where she will go next?
Thursday, Oct. 15
Co-fundraising Chair Lisa Hilas files a Missing Person, er Lobster, Report with the Vacaville Police Department. Watch out, Lola, the PD is looking for you now!!
Friday, Oct. 16
Lola the Lobster was spotted walking on the Great Wall of China! She could be very ambitious and walk 1,000 miles or more, if she wants to. Although she is quite fit, we hope she is not planning on going very far. We need Lola to come home.
Saturday, Oct. 17
Lola the Lobster has found her way to the Cannes Film Festival. Where are the celebrities? Lola wanted to see the rich and famous. However, in fear of being trampled, she has scurried out of the crowd, back to a quiet park. If only there had been some Soroptimists’ in the area, she would have been FOUND and returned to us.
Sunday, Oct. 18
We have tracked Lola the Lobster down to a street fair somewhere in Europe. We think it could be France, or Italy, judging from the masterpieces she’s considering. Even more important, where will she be next?
Tuesday, Oct. 20
Lola the Lobster is quite familiar with sand, but not hot dry sand with a camel and pyramids. She thinks a ride on the camel would be great fun, but the camel is simply not having it. Better to have a siesta and relax in the heat.
Thursday, Oct. 22
After the heat in Egypt, needing to cool off, and never one to pass up an opportunity for a little fun, Lola The Lobster traveled to Switzerland. While in the alps, she couldn’t miss a little frolic in the snow. She found a saucer just waiting for her to take a mad dash down the mountain. We hope she dashes back to Vacaville soon, we miss her!
Monday, Oct. 26
SHE’S BACK IN VACAVILLE! Apparently Lola The Lobster learned that the Vacaville Farmer’s Market was extended to Oct. 24, and so here she is, pinching peaches with those claws of hers! If you spot her, please notify a Vacaville Soroptimist member ASAP!
We think she’ll be happy to know that lobster is NOT on the menu this year. But many other delectable dishes are! You won’t know how delicious unless you buy your ticket for “The Missing Lobster Dinner!”
Tuesday, Oct. 27
Be on the Lookout: Lola The Lobster was last spotted clawing her way around Main Street. She was spotted by one of our roving photographers trying to sneak into Fuso’s Italian Restaurant. Could she be looking for Soroptimist International of Vacaville? It could be, as we met at Fuso’s every week, prior to COVID-19. Oh Lola! Just say the word and we’d be happy to meet you somewhere!!
Wednesday, Oct. 28
Vacaville Museum staff were shocked to find Lola nonchalantly posing on a plate in their Sole Italiano exhibit. Perhaps she was thinking about what it would be like to BE dinner. As you know, you are not allowed to touch the artifacts in a museum, so she was quickly shooed away. It all happened so fast they didn’t have time to call us before Lola had scurried out of the museum.
Saturday, Oct. 31
Lola The Lobster
HAS BEEN FOUND!
She was visiting The Place of Peace, which is a lovely spot in Andrews Park, down by the creek. (In fact, Soroptimist International of Vacaville contributed to establishing the Place of Peace, which was the brainchild of one of our former members, Patricia Hunter, who dreamed of a community where there was no room for bigotry or hatred.)
Past President Jill Hunter, President Mary Dickey, Publicity Chair Diane Barney, and Past President and event Co-Chair Lisa Hilas were tipped off and found Lola checking out the plaque. We were able to convince her that she doesn’t need to run from us anymore. We will keep her safe until next year’s Lobster Dinner. In truth, Lola has become a local celebrity, so she will NOT be on the menu!
Soroptimist International of Vacaville, an international volunteer organization dedicated to improving the lives of women and girls, is seeking local applicants for its recognition program targeted to young women who make the community and world a better place.The Violet Richardson Award honors young women, between the ages of 14 and 18, for volunteer action such as helping disadvantage people; fighting drugs, crime and violence; cleaning up the environment; and working to end discrimination and poverty.
The award program is named after Violet Richardson, the president of the first Soroptimist club in 1921.
Richardson believed in personal responsibility and the motto, “It’s what you do that counts.” She lived her life accordingly, as an active member in her community who was committed to creating opportunities for girls and young women. Soroptimist established this award to honor her memory and her dedication to volunteer action.
Judges have the discretion of presenting up to $1,500 to a winner (or winners) and up to $1,500 to the charity of the winner’s (or winners’) choice.
Applications for the award program are available online at vacavillesoroptimist.org [vacavillesoroptimist.org]. Just click on “Apply” or contact Susan Mays at email@example.com.
Applications must be submitted to Soroptimist International of Vacaville by Nov. 15.
Here is a short cut to download the application and the media consent form. Click below!
VRA Application | Media Consent Form
Chartered in 1960, Soroptimist International of Vacaville is part of Soroptimist International of the Americas, which has its headquarters in Philadelphia.
What has happened to Soroptimist International of Vacaville’s annual lobster dinner for 2020? Depends on who you ask.
Some may say it’s a clever marketing campaign, while others will point to a thread of Facebook clues that challenge visitors to solve the mystery of “The Missing Lobster Dinner.”
“For 18 years, SI Vacaville has hosted a wildly successful lobster dinner every October, with themes ranging from Peace, Love & Lobster to Mobster Lobster and Lobster Safari,” explained President Mary Dickey. “But now, with a global pandemic raging, we had to get creative.”
So apparently, did the lobster – nicknamed Lola – who “disappeared” after the 2019 “Lobsters Around the World” event.
According to a website account, she was seen in downtown Vacaville booking a trip at Wasserman Travel. There have been other sightings – at Pawsh Place, Stem’s Florist, and other businesses around town. There is some speculation that Lola is planning a trip abroad – to escape the boiling heat of Vacaville.
“Apparently there are no travel restrictions for Crustaceans,” explained club member Tara Baumann, who created Lola’s image for a milk carton message. It reads:
“Last seen 2019. Description: Wearing red, two claws, two antennae, known to wear purple, goes by the name Lola. Be on the lookout!”
While there won’t be a lobster dinner for 2020, there will be a dinner, insists past President Lisa Hilas, who teamed up with past President Beth Rowe to organize the lobster-less virtual event.
The group is selling a $100 meal ticket for a dinner provided by Erica Marie’s Catering. The chef features one, two and sometimes three different entrée courses a week, and those who purchase a ticket will be able to decide when they want to use it. The meal will feed four and includes salad, bread, an entrée, two sides and dessert. It also comes with either a bottle of red or white wine, or two tickets to Brenden Theatres.
The price does not cover tax, tip and special packaging. Dinners can be picked up at Erica Marie’s Catering at 819 Davis St., Suite A.
“We thought this was a great way to support a local, female-owned business, and still maintain social distancing,” said Lisa. In addition, a portion of the proceeds earned from the fundraiser will go toward fire relief.
“It’s been our tradition to have a “Fund-a-need” highlighted at our lobster dinner every year,” explained Lisa. “This year, a portion of the proceeds will go to the Vacaville City Firefighters Charity Fund, a nonprofit dedicated to assisting victims of tragedy and underfunded programs in the community.”
Raffle tickets are available via email (firstname.lastname@example.org), and are four for a $100 donation.
Raffle prizes include a bouquet of flowers each month from Stems Florist for a year; a dessert of the month, every month for a year; and a catered lobster and beef dinner from Erica Marie’s Catering for eight.
“Even though we can’t get together and celebrate at this time, we think ‘The Missing Lobster Dinner,’ will be fun for everyone who decides to participate,” said Lisa. “This is our key fundraiser and will help us support all the many programs, awards, scholarships and international projects this year, and will go a long way in helping us make our community a better place for women and girls.”
To buy dinner tickets, visit www.vacavillesoroptimist.org and select “Events.” Sponsorships are also available for $250, and come with a dinner ticket, a visit from Lola and a choice of wine or theatre tickets.
“We invite everyone to follow us on Facebook and watch for Lola sightings! Share with your friends,” said Lisa. “It’s all for the good of the community.”
In the meantime, SI Vacaville’s Facebook page will offer posts twice a week to help visitors discover the whereabouts of Lola. Everyone who correctly guesses the final stop in her tour will be entered into a drawing. The winner of a gift basket will be announced in October.
With a theme of
“Soar to New Heights,”
Vacaville resident Mary Dickey has taken the reins as president of Soroptimist International of Vacaville for the 2020-2021 term.
The nonprofit international organization dedicated to making the community and the world a better place for women and girls selected Jackie DeVries to take on the role of vice president/president-elect, Chantel Reyes as recording secretary, Nancy Bennett as corresponding secretary, Vicki Nash as treasurer and Diane Irby as assistant treasurer.
Serving in the two-year director role will be Sandy Esparza while Sharon Marcacci will take the one-year director duties.
The two-year delegate will be Lisa Hilas, and one-year delegate will be Beth Rowe. The two-year alternate delegate is Lenora Fuller, while the one-year delegate is Faye Sheppard.
New officers were installed during a special Zoom ceremony on June 23.
Soroptimist International of Vacaville was chartered in 1960 and will celebrate its 60th birthday on Aug. 20
By Diane Barney
Soroptimist International of Vacaville didn’t let a global pandemic stop it from celebrating a number of outstanding women in the community with accolades, grants, donations and pins via a lunchtime Zoom meeting June 16.
“Our awards honor women of all ages, celebrating the natural evolution of a woman’s life,” said Lisa Hilas, president of SI Vacaville. “It starts with the Violet Richardson awards, which goes to young women between the ages of 14 and 18. Then there’s the Live Your Dream awards, which support women who are head of their household, often with young children, and still trying to get their education so they can land better jobs. And finally, we offer the Ruby Award to women who have accomplished great service in their community.”
Three amazing woman were equally honored with a Ruby Award – named after the first president of the Washington, D.C., Soroptimist Club, Ruby Lee Minar. The award acknowledges outstanding community achievements and comes with a $1,000 donation in each winners’ name, made to their charity of choice.
Karenda Stinnett, founder and deputy director of Solano Advocates for Victims of Violence (SAVV) helped identify gaps in services needed for the healing of those impacted by violence. SAVV delivers a comprehensive program that empowers and supports the journey from victim to successful survivor. Stinnett’s charity of choice is the Courage Center for Children funded through the Napa Solano SANE/SART programs.
Lynn Gallagher, a charter member of the NorthBay Hospice & Bereavement Program, has been helping families through end-of-life challenges since 1987. She has also been active in her church, St. Mary’s Catholic Church, and in food distribution programs to help those in need. Her charity of choice is NorthBay Hospice & Bereavement.
Pat Dennis, is a volunteer extraordinaire in Solano County and has held leadership positions with the NorthBay Healthcare Guild, the Saturday Club and the Wednesday Club of Suisun. She has also been involved as a volunteer for the Vacaville Museum. Her charity of choice is the Saturday Club’s scholarship program.
Two young women walked away with Violet Richardson awards, honoring them for community service. Violet Richardson was president of the first Soroptimist club, which was founded in Alameda County in 1921.
Tatum Wurzbach, is a recent graduate of Buckingham Charter Magnet High School. As president, she led her S Club to raise funds and awareness to help deliver feminine hygiene products for girls in Rwanda, enabling girls to continue to attend school, which helps reduce unemployment, sex trafficking and children having children. She received $1,000 for her efforts, and $1,000 went to the Days for Girls Rwanda outreach project.
Vanessa Lechuga, a recent graduate of Will C. Wood High School, earned $500, and chose to have $250 donated to the 68 Hours of Hunger program, which helps feed students during weekends, when they might otherwise go hungry and $250 for the Will C. Wood Associated Student Body for her key project of composting at the school. Lechuga was president of her school’s Interact Club, active in the Associated Student Body and an advocate for the environment, volunteering for Earth Day , Coastal Creek Clean Up and Park Clean Up events.
Four women were awarded Live Your Dream awards to help them continue their education and support their families.
LaToya Mosley is the first-place winner, earning $5,000. She earned an associate’s degree in science but wants to earn her bachelor’s in health care administration. She is raising two children and has dreams of owning a nonprofit health care organization.
Two women, Monique Barrett and Lindsey Sorensen, earned $2,000 each.
Barrett quit a full-time job so she could attend school to become a policy analyst and help analyze social issues such as welfare, poverty, substance abuse education, education, discrimination and health disparities. She wants to bring out policy and legislative change, while making the future brighter for her and her daughter.
Sorensen has turned her life around and is raising her 11-year-old while attending Solano College to work toward becoming an X-ray technician.
Jennifer Artz was presented with $1,000. She has escaped abuse and addiction and is raising three girls while attending Solano Community College to earn a degree so she can become a social worker.
Liz Fuller, chief consultant for the Assembly Aging and Long-Term Care Committee, was the afternoon’s keynote speaker, touching on women’s rights and the suffragette movement that celebrated success 100 years ago when women finally claimed the right to vote. “It took many women fighting to make it happen,” she said, noting that women must continue to fight for the right to serve in the Legislature and work to hold important jobs.
Fuller has worked 20 years in the Capitol, with 13 of those learning on the job as Consultant to the Legislative Women’s Caucus. Her knowledge has grown in all areas impacting women and children, with an emphasis in lactation accommodation, early care and education, military families and women in the military, harassment and sexual violence, economic and reproductive justice, domestic violence and human trafficking. She was recently honored by Leadership California as a “Capitol Woman Who Gets the Job Done.”
“We still do not have parity, there is much work ahead,” she said.
It was also an afternoon for Soroptimists to honor some of their own, for longevity, service and commitment.
Nancy Bennett was surprised to learn that she had been chosen to receive a Fellow Pin by her club, for all the work she’s done in the five years since she joined the group. A donation of $1,000 in her name will support women who are in the final phase of their doctoral degrees. Her daughter pinned her.
President-Elect Mary Dickey received her first Fellow pin presented by Pam Parker, president of the Founder Region Fellowship committee. Mary made monthly payments and reached $1,000, and is well on her way to earning another, said Parker.
The club’s Laurel Pin went to longtime member Lenora Fuller. A $1,000 donation made in her name will support the Live Your Dream and Dream It Be It programs. Her family presented her with leis and pinned her.
Shauna Manina was honored for 15 years of membership. Earning Five-year pins were Susan Mays, Nancy Bennett, Ellen Simonin, Bridgit Strachan, Beth Rowe and Sandy Esparza.
Soroptimist International of Vacaville was honored to present – via a virtual Zoom meeting – a total of $12,000 in scholarships to four outstanding college students and two high school students.
Sadie Cunning, a Will C. Wood graduate currently attending Point Loma Nazarene University, received a $3,000 scholarship. She is majoring in nursing with a minor in pre-therapeutic psychology.
She received $1,000 from Soroptimist International of Vacaville in 2019 and $2,000 in 2018, bringing the total support for her education to $6,000.
As the COVID-19 crisis developed into a global pandemic, Sadie signed up to volunteer for the California Health Corps. Sadie has a long list of achievements, including being on the Academic Dean’s List her entire college career, president of Link Crew Leadership and was involved in Key Club. She also works with Special Olympics and is a microbiology tutor.
Julia Walton, a 2019 Vacaville High School graduate, was awarded $2,000. She is currently attending San Diego State University with a major in speech language and hearing sciences.
Julia served on her high school’s student council and was captain of the volleyball team. Her life-long desire has been to work with children with communication disorders.
Caitlyn Neitz, a 2017 Vacaville High School graduate, received $2,000. She is also a previous scholarship awardee, earning $3,000 in 2018, bringing total support for her education to $5,000. Caitlyn is seeking a degree in communication science and disorders from California State University, Fullerton.
Caitlyn wishes to return to Vacaville after finishing her education to work with students in overcoming communication barriers.
Allison “Lei” Kenui, a 2019 Will C. Wood graduate, earned a $1,000 scholarship. She is currently majoring in nursing at Montana State University.
She was a member of her high school’s Link Crew Leadership and a community volunteer for environmental causes.
Sadie Cunning Julia Walton
Caitlyn Neitz Allison Kenui
It was the first time in the Vacaville club’s 60-year history that S Club members received scholarships. Two high school students, Tatum Wurzbach and Kourtney Yamada, both from Buckingham Charter Magnet High School, received $2,000 scholarships.
Tatum Wurzbach & Kourtney Yamada.
February 4th, 2020 – Therapeutic Recreation Program
Elizabeth Crisante and Breah Haddon, from the City of Vacaville Parks and Recreation, shared at our recent club meeting how the new Therapeutic Recreation Program was developed for disabled adults and children in Vacaville. They explained the mission and purpose of the program and talked about the many different activities that they are currently doing and those they are planning to do as they grow the program. They have programs already in place for Disabled adults and are working on the Teen programs. They talked about their goal of offering a week long Summer Camp for disabled individuals starting this summer. The cost charged to each participant would be $110 for the week. The actual cost per participant is about $650 so they are looking for donations from the community to help sponsor the camp. Elizabeth and Breah talked about the importance of the summer camp and how much it means to the participants and their families and are looking for donations and volunteers. If you are interested in donating or volunteering you can contact them directly or go the City of Vacaville Parks and Recreation website.
Soroptimist International of Vacaville meets weekly, and during some of those meetings we have guest speakers. A Big Thank You to Candy Pierce, Executive Director of CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocates) for her wonderful presentation about the work CASA volunteers are doing to make a difference in the lives of foster children in our county.
Candy provided a brief history of the origins of CASA in the country and told us that 10 years ago Solano County hired her in a temporary position to get the program started here. Now 10 years later she shared many wonderful stories about how these volunteers affect the lives of foster children. What CASA needs now is more volunteers especially male volunteers.
To become a volunteer one must complete 40 hours of training and undergo a thorough background check. Also the volunteer must agree to see his/her assigned child for 3 hours every week and make a 2 year commitment. She also mentioned that once all the training is completed the volunteer takes an oath administered by a judge and becomes an officer of the court with a court order that permits the volunteer to meet with any person who interacts with the child and report their observations back to the judge.
Candy also stated that they have just received a grant to add a Community Outreach Person to their team to help educate the community about the purpose and work of CASA.