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Sixty years ago today, June 8, 1957, President Audrey Bell Vincent called to order the first meeting of Soroptimist International of Carson City. So . . . what have we been up to since then?
Two local organizations owe their beginnings to Carson City Soroptimist, when the local need outgrew the abilities of our volunteer organization to provide. The Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA) Program began as a cooperative effort between Judge Robey Willis and Soroptimist in the 1980's, until the need to reorganize as a separate non-profit in 1998. The Soroptimist Legal Fund, funded by the club's Annual Sizzle and coordinated by club volunteers, provided legal aid for victims of domestic violence. That Program, too, outgrew the club volunteers' ability to manage, and so Volunteer Attorneys for Rural Nevada (VARN) also incorporated as a new non-profit in the '90's to serve that need.
Carson City Soroptimist continues to support these organizations financially, as well as others in the community that serve the needs of women and girls. More than $12,000 in grant funds were awarded last month to Carson City non-profit organizations. Educational opportunities for women are also an important part of the Soroptimist mission. More than $15,000 in scholarship monies have been awarded this past year.
The Soroptimist High School Girl of the Month Program has honored generations of Carson City high school Seniors for their commitment to community service, exemplary volunteerism, and efforts to enrich the experiences of others in society, at school and at home. Since 2002, the Club's Signature Program, Breast Cancer Awareness and Prevention, has provided more than 1,200 local women with screening and diagnostic mammograms, breast ultrasounds, and biopsies, at a cost of more than $160,000. Ages helped have ranged from 14 to 70 years of age. Funds for these programs, and more, are raised through the Stroke to Help Golf Tournament held each September, community donations, and scholarship endowments.
Soroptimist is still a vital part of this community, with an active membership of more than 30 women, and more seeking us out to join every year. How about you?