Archive for February, 2010

Ancaster Food Drive

Thanks to all of the Soroptimists that participated in the Ancaster Food Drive [yesterday].  With our eye catching T-Shirts, we were the most visible group there!  I would like to extend a special thanks to Erica and Paige for getting up early this morning and volunteering with their Mom’s ( Alice & Shirley E).  It was wonderful to see so many from the community helping for this much needed service.  I have attached a few pictures of the highlights. Again, thank you for all of your help.  We are one awesome club!

Update: The spirit of generosity and sense of community was once again clearly evident for the annual Ancaster Community Food Drive.  On Saturday, February 20, 2010, hundreds of volunteers canvassed door to door throughout the community collecting a record total of 75,000 lbs of food and $7000 in cash donations.

Thank you to the Flamborough Chamber of Commerce, Bottom Line, for their article (page 9) »

February 21 2010 under Programs of Service

Thank you Cards

Soroptimist International is now offering beautiful cards as a fun and special way to share a gift, while telling the stories of amazing women helped through Soroptimist programs.

After you make an online donation, simply choose the occasion and image, and print your card. Folding is easy (view folding instructions) and the card fits in a regular envelope. There are sample cards for you to preview on the SIA website »

February 19 2010 under General

Report on Chocolate Fest

Quick update on Chocolate Fest 2010:

We ate until we couldn’t eat anymore and had to sit down! Guests were welcomed with plates, programs and Ferrero Rocher. Tables lined the walls with additional booths down the middle, interspersed with water & milk stations; such variety of vendors.

Next time we will go earlier because many stations had already run out of delicious things, such as chocolate chili. Sandy would be ashamed, but we didn’t even have room for red wine and the chocolate fountain actually went untouched … however, the earl grey cups by Weil’s were something special!

The music by the Hamilton Youth Steel Orchestra was great and so were the McMaster Dance Company performances. The silent auction room even had a Jazz Trio (guitar, bass guitar and drums) accompanying the giant chocolate fountain.

See you next year – bring comfy shoes and stretchy pants!

February 17 2010 under General

Empowering Girls

Her newest career is Computer Engineering Barbie

After about half a million votes poured in from all over the world, Mattel announced their newest career for Barbie on Friday. Voters had the opportunity to choose from an Architect, an Environmentalist, a Surgeon, a News Anchor, and a Computer Engineer. This was the first time during the course of Barbie’s 51 year history that fans were able to voice their opinion about her next career move and they were so surprised by the response that this year there will be two: News Anchor and Computer Engineer Barbie.

Barbie® I Can Be…™ dolls and accessories empower girls to play out different roles and “try on” fabulous careers, including computer engineer, the first Barbie® profession chosen by popular vote! This digital diva engineers the perfect geek-chic look, with hot pink accessories and sleek gadgets to match. The inspiring set also comes with a special code that unlocks career-themed content online, for even more digital play (how fitting)! - Mattel website

According to Lauren Dougherty, director of Barbie marketing for Mattel, voting for the Computer Engineer Barbie became viral amongst female engineers and other women in the tech industry. “All the girls who imagine their futures through Barbie will learn that engineers — like girls — are free to explore infinite possibilities, limited only by their imagination,” says Nora Lin, President, Society of Women Engineers. “As a computer engineer, Barbie will show girls that women can turn their ideas into realities that have a direct and positive impact on people’s everyday lives in this exciting and rewarding career.” - ChipChicklets

Computer engineer Barbie will be released in winter 2010, wearing a geeky binary code patterned t-shirt; she comes equipped with everything a modern day tech girl would need: a smartphone, Bluetooth headset, laptop travel bag, and a pink laptop with a dual monitor set up!

February 16 2010 under General

February is Teen Dating Month

According to Soroptimist International, fifty-seven percent of teens know someone who has been verbally, physically, or sexually abusive in a dating relationship; females ages 16 to 24 are more vulnerable to intimate partner violence than any other age group. Educate yourself on how you can impact the life of a teenager (male or female). Download your copy of the Soroptimist White Paper »

Soroptimist International of the Americas, working to improve the lives of women and girls in local communities and throughout the world, examines the issue of teen dating violence. Dating and intimate relationships are a normal part of growing up for many adolescents. Yet teenagers frequently form their first romantic relationship without a clear understanding of what constitutes a healthy versus an unhealthy relationship. As a result, they are particularly vulnerable to becoming targets of dating abuse. Fifty-seven percent of teens know someone who has been verbally, physically, or sexually abusive in a dating relationship.

Although the patterns and signs of teen dating violence tend to mirror those exhibited in adult abusive relationships, there are some unique issues that teens face. This white paper examines those unique issues as they relate to the factors that influence teen dating violence, as well as the consequences thereof.  The paper also addresses the unique obstacles teens face when seeking help and/or deciding to end an abusive relationship.

If you want to get involved, there is a Model Program Kit that you can implement through your club. You can also order Soroptimist Teen Dating Violence bookmarks to distribute. The 2 x 7 inch glossy bookmarks promote healthy dating relationships among teenagers.

February 14 2010 under Programs of Service, SI News

Christmas Store in Dundas

It was wonderful to see so many excited happy children that were able to select a special gift for their parents or caregiver from the vast assortment of items that had been donated to the Christmas Store in Dundas.  This is an outreach program of the churches of Dundas and they rely on the community for support.  Our club purchased $600 worth of gifts, each valued at approx. $25-$35, primarily for women.

For Kid Only strives to brighten the hearts of children aged 5 to 12, whose families participate in the Salvation Army Christmas hamper program.  At the Christmas store, the children exchange a nominal fee for the unique opportunity to shop for gifts for their parents and caregivers.  The joy of giving and an air of hope envelop the children, their guardians and those who volunteer at the store.  I worked in the kitchen, making tea, coffee, and punch, and restocking goodie trays for the children and their parents to feast on.  Each child had their own special elf to help them make their selections, as well as wrap them and make a card.  We had a live jazz band, and the little ones danced, made crafts, and got their faces painted, as well.  All this time, the parents enjoyed the music, the company of one another, and the wonderful assortment of sweets.  It was truly a wonderful experience and I know our funds went a long way to make a difference for women and children.
– Respectfully submitted by Nancy Davidson

February 9 2010 under Programs of Service

Donated items give new life to women in need

Rescued and Restored, Drummond House’s new fundraising initiative, has secured 3,000 square feet of warehouse space on Hwy. 6 thanks to Soroptimist member, Maria Demkowich, owner of J.D.J. Trailer Manufacturers.

The fundraising venture is set to operate as a used furniture, clothing and accessory shop. Funds generated from the sale of items will go towards the shop’s operational costs. Additional funds will support Drummond House’s operational costs.

Organizers and project volunteers, wishing to see a good turnover, are constantly collecting new items. To donate, interested individuals can call project manager Nick Marusich to arrange a pickup: 905-876-8281

Rescued and Restored, located at 1056 Hwy. 6 in Flamborough, is open for business and the public is invited to shop every Saturday from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m.

Read full story in the Flamborough Review »

February 8 2010 under Programs of Service

TIS Goes Digital

The International Soroptimist (TIS) will no longer be produced as a subscription-based print magazine. Starting in March 2010, the magazine will change to a quarterly electronic publication available online at Soroptimist International. Existing 2009 subscriptions are unaffected, but new subscriptions will not be accepted.

February 7 2010 under SI News

SIA Annual Report (2008-09)

SIA’s 2008-2009 Annual Report is now available online » In addition to financial information, the report includes information about the impact of SIA’s programs that improve the lives of women and girls. SIA is in the process of creating a Japanese version, which will be available shortly.

February 7 2010 under SI News

Opening Inspiration

I’d also like to share the opening words of inspiration from our February meeting:

Time passes.
Life happens.
Distance separates.
Children grow up.
Jobs come and go.
Love waxes and wanes.
Men don’t do what they’re supposed to do.
Hearts break.
Parents die.
Colleagues forget favours.
Careers end. BUT …

Sisters are there, no matter how much time and how many miles are between you. A girl friend is never farther away than needing her can reach.

When you have to walk that lonesome valley and you have to walk it by yourself, the women in your life will be on the valley’s rim, cheering you on, praying for you, pulling for you, intervening on your behalf, and waiting with open arms at the valley’s end.

Sometimes, they will even break the rules and walk beside you … or come in and carry you out.

Girlfriends, daughters, granddaughters, daughters-in-law, sisters, sisters-in-law, mothers, grandmothers, aunties, nieces, cousins, and extended family, all bless our life! The world wouldn’t be the same without some, and neither would I.

When we began this adventure called womanhood, we had no idea of the incredible joys or sorrows that lay ahead. Nor did we know how much we would need each other.

February 7 2010 under General