The month of June brought the 60th anniversary year of Soroptimist International of Oakdale (SIO) to a successful close. First chartered on June 5, 1954, the all-women’s service group has served the community of Oakdale since the fall of 1954.
SIO is a global volunteer organization with close to 80,000 club members in 130 countries and territories. The focus of the group is to educate, empower and enable opportunities for women and girls on the local, national and international level.
“What makes me most proud is the difference we make in the lives of the women who receive our Live Your Dream Award (formerly Woman’s Opportunity Award),” outgoing president Tamberly Stone shared, “and the girls who attend the Dream It, Be It Conference and participate in Distinguished Young Women.
“I am proof, because Soroptimist made a difference in my life in high school and because of that I have been a part of SIO for the past seven years.”
Stone was the youngest President to serve the club during its 60 years of service.
“I want to be a part of making a difference and giving back to our community,” she added.
The mission of SIO states: “Improving the lives of women and girls through programs leading to social and economic empowerment.”
Their ‘vision’ on the local chapter website (www.oakdalesoroptimist.org) states: “We are a dynamic organization, meeting needs in our community with integrity through leadership and service. We strive to help as often as we can with local community projects. Most times it is a one time event, but often it becomes annual.”
Longtime community member Suzette Titus has been an active SIO member for 21 years, first joining in 1994. During her 21-year tenure she has served in varying Board of Director positions, as well as led a number of SIO projects.
“The biggest service we have done for the community is our transitional house and our Distinguished Young Women program,” she said. “We’ve also furnished and decorated the nursery at the Childrens Guardian house, gave a $10,000 donation to go toward digital mammography at the hospital, the list goes on.”
The local chapter is involved with a number of community service projects in addition to the ones named by the two women: Center for Human Services, Oakdale Literacy Program, Oak Valley Hospital Foundation, “S” Club at Oakdale High School, Saturday of Service and STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering & Mathematics).
“Developing and seeing a girls conference come to life was a highlight,” Stone said of her fondest memory of her Presidential year. “I have a passion for young people and with the help of the amazing team of women in Soroptimist we were able to make ‘Dream It, Be It’ happen. I had an awesome DIBI Chair, Clarissa, who took my vision and ran with it. It was one of those moments when you look back and realize we really do improve the lives of women and girls. It makes my heart happy.”
“The work we do in the local community makes me most proud,” Titus stated. “I like what we do here. I just hope we continue to do work in the community and we have the people to do it. Most of our members are retired now.
“Retired and tired,” she chuckled. “People can always come visit the meetings, they don’t have to be a member.”
SIO meets the second, third and fourth Wednesday of each month at noon. Meetings are hosted at Papapolloni Bistro, 1214 W. F St., Oakdale. For additional information visit their website or e-mail email@example.com.