Archive for October, 2009

54th Sessionof CSW at the UN in New York

The 54th session of the Commission on the Status of Women will take place at the United Nations in New York City, March 1-12, 2010. The commission will undertake the 15-year review of the implementation of the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action (1995) and the outcomes of the 23rd special session of the General Assembly (2000). In addition, the NGO Committee on the Status of Women will hold the NGO Global Forum for Women: Beijing +15 on February 27-28. Soroptimists are invited to participate in both meetings (at their own expense). Contact Lori at SIA-HQ for details.

October 31 2009 under SI News

Welcome to SIA President Cathy

New SIA President, Cathy Standiford of Garden Grove, CA, left for the Soroptimist International of Great Britain and Ireland (SIGBI) Conference in Cardiff, Wales. She will be posting highlites on her new SIA President’s Blog that launched at the beginning of her one year tenure on September 1, 2009.

The site is using actual blog software (same one as this website) so you can subscribe by RSS and keep up to date on what she has to say. Cathy keeps it updated at least weekly and she writes about really interesting topics on Soroptimist but also about Women’s Issues and public opinion. A good read!!

October 24 2009 under General

TO Multicultural Women’s Fair

This year’s Toronto Soroptimist Multicultural Women’s Fair. The event takes place on Saturday, October 24 at Trinity St. Paul’s United Church, near Bloor & Spadina, from 11 to 5. There will be entertainment and refreshments and fair trade items from around the world, with sales supporting women from various countries, in addition to representation from a number of agencies supporting women.

For more information, download the flyer »

October 20 2009 under SI News

Welcome Members

We would like to welcome the newest members to join our club: Trish Johnson (Sep) and Bonnie Treacy (Oct).

October 15 2009 under General

Annual Awards – request for assistance

We are requesting the help of the community to help share this opportunity:

Women’s Opportunity Award applicants are women, who as head of their household, have returned to school or a training program to improve their working status to assist their family. Download our Women’s Opportunity Award flyer »

Violet Richardson Award applicants are girls between the age of 14-17 years old who volunteer in their community. Download our Violet Richardson Award flyer »

These are our signature programs and we really need to be able to recognize and reward wonderful women who are making a difference in our community, so please assist us in encouraging these women to apply.

Thank you so much.

October 7 2009 under Programs of Service

Wine for Sale

We’d like to thank Dale for getting us a Danby Wine Fridge, filled with 18 assorted red and white bottles of LCBO wine. At only $20 for 5 tickets (or $5 each), tickets will be drawn at the Christmas auction … just in time for the Christmas entertaining & gift giving season. Winner need not be present.


Contact us for tickets »

download our flyer »

October 4 2009 under Fundraisers

FWRC planned to open soon

Members of the local Soroptimists chapter (in white shirts) join Clare Freeman, Rachael MacLean, Debra Tigchelaar and Judi Partridge at last week’s Women’s Centre meeting. Photo by Dianne Cornish • Review

Members Soroptimist join Clare Freeman, Rachael MacLean, Debra Tigchelaar and Judi Partridge at last week’s Women’s Centre meeting. Photo by Dianne Cornish • Review

Support services for women in Flamborough will soon be closer to home, with the opening of the new Flamborough Women’s Resource Centre (FWRC) in Waterdown tentatively planned for October 19.
News of the opening means many women with family issues will no longer have to travel to Hamilton or Burlington to access services that they need, as they will be available in their home community. Guests attending an information meeting at Waterdown District High School (WDHS) last Wednesday welcomed the prospect of a community-based facility that will assist women in areas such as accessing government assistance, providing parenting support for teen mothers and offering credit and legal counseling.

Community volunteer Judi Partridge, one of the founding members of the FWRC, presented sobering statistics at last week’s meeting to demonstrate the need for the centre. She noted that about 1,000 seniors live in isolated rural areas of Flamborough, where access to services is virtually non-existent. And, she said, there are more than 2,000 people in Flamborough, including 630 children, living below the poverty line.

Already lacking infrastructure to serve existing needs, Flamborough will be faced with even greater pressures when its current population of 39,000 increases by about 17,000 as projected residential development comes on stream over the next decade or so, Partridge stated.

The new centre is the product of a collaboration between volunteers in the Flamborough community, Drummond House transitional home for women and children and Interval House in Hamilton and its umbrella organization, the Hamilton Women’s Resource Centre. Partridge said the three groups have worked for two years to lay the groundwork for the Flamborough centre.

Debra Tigchelaar, executive director of Drummond House in Flamborough, has seen first-hand the need for the new centre. “We don’t have enough resources in our area to serve women’s needs,” she said, noting that legal aid for women is sorely lacking in Flamborough. The FWRC plans to partner with the Ontario government to ensure that a legal aid centre is included at the Waterdown site.

Clare Freeman, executive director of Interval House, which provides accommodation and services for women who are victims of domestic violence, also supports greater access to women’s services in Flamborough.

Pointing out that suburban and rural women are more at risk of violent crime than their urban counterparts because of their isolation, she also acknowledged that women’s needs go beyond those associated with domestic violence. She encouraged guests to let project workers know what types of services they feel are needed in Flamborough.

One vehicle being used to determine local needs is a survey available electronically to residents in the area. It can be accessed online at

The Waterdown centre will be a satellite location affiliated and supported by Interval House and its Women’s Resource Centre, both of which will provide staff, furniture and a small budget for monthly rent through existing federal government funding directed to Flamborough through the City of Hamilton.

The balance of funding must be raised locally; applications will soon be submitted to the Soroptimists women’s club, United Way and the Trillium Foundation.

Volunteers are needed to help with fundraising, office support and peer support, said Rachael MacLean, who will manage the centre and serve as senior counselor. Volunteers are also needed to serve on an advisory committee.

Partridge said community support has been overwhelming; the Carlisle Optimists offered to donate the proceeds of their spring fundraiser to the centre, and local businesses, such as Weeks Home Hardware and Boston Pizza, also offered to help out. In addition, MP David Sweet, MPP Ted McMeekin and Flamborough councillors Margaret McCarthy and Robert Pasuta boosted the centre with letters of support when an application for government funding was submitted earlier this year.

Stressing the need for community partnerships involving the centre, Partridge suggested Waterdown needs a Food Bank and it would be ideal if a suitable location could be found in town.

The women’s centre will occupy 700 square feet at 17 Main Street South. It will provide outreach, support programs and counseling, as well as connect struggling women, children and families with professional services, legal aid support and local programs.

The centre will be particularly beneficial to women in rural Flamborough, who have limited transportation and lack access to city services.

The Flamborough Women’s Resource Centre will run life skills classes and provide help with job searching as well as access to counseling, children’s services and government programs. It will also be equipped with private rooms for counselors to work with clients.

Reproduced with permission of Flamborough Review

October 1 2009 under General