Update on the Walk for Memories

The Manulife Walk for Memories is the largest fundraising event of the Alzheimer Societies in Ontario. In 56 Ontario communities, the Manulife Walk for Memories raises money to fund local programs and services for 166,000 people living with dementia, including Alzheimer’s disease, and their families.

The ladies of SI-DAF gathered by the Old Navy entrance at Limeridge Mall, Hamilton ON for a photo opp with Mayor Fred and local MP, David Sweet, the Mistress of Ceremonies was Connie Smith (from CHTV) and MPP Sophia Aggelonitis shared a touching story of her Grandmother.

Walk for Memories with MP David Sweet and Mayor Fred Eisenberger

Walk for Memories with MP David Sweet and Mayor Fred Eisenberger

With the rhythm of swing playing close by, thanks to the Peter Banting Swingtet, we did laps around the lower floor of the mall. There were 4 activity stations with memory tests … they were much harder than we expected. It’s funny how you associate cows with milk but they actually drink water!

As of Sunday our group had raised over $1,600 but the deadline for submission of donations isn’t until the end of February. If you would like to make a donation, there’s a list of our walker’s webpages with links to donate online.

This is our snazzy banner

This is our snazzy banner

Thanks to everyone who participated but especially to those who sponsored us!!

Walk for Memories 2009

This is a reminder to those who may want to participate in the “Walk for Memories”  for Alzheimer Awareness month.  There will be 2 locations for the walk, Limeridge Mall and Burlington Mall, January 18th starting at 9 a.m.

We have always had a wonderful representation from S.I. DAF and I would be honoured to have you walk with me.  If you can not walk on that day, would you consider sponsoring one of us in the walk?

Barb McCoy, Alzheimer’s Society

Sandy Gray, Weeks of Waterdown

Shirley McCoy, Lucky Day Nursery

Brooke & Steve Lascos

Margaret Kovacs

For the newer members, you may not know that my Mother has had Alzheimer Disease for the past 25 years.  It has been a difficult journey for all of our family.  I am sure all of you know someone who has been affected by this disease and we can only hope that in time we will find a cure.

You can register at www.walkformemories.ca, call 905-529-7030 for a pledge form, or sponsor a registrant (see the links above).  I have booked us as a Team under Soroptimist Dundas/Ancaster /Flamborough for the Limeridge Mall Walk.  You can register under the team and still collect individual pledges. Thank you for all of your kind support in this area.

Barb, SI-DAF President

Giving Back at Christmas

It is funny how everything seems to come together at Christmas time!

Newest SI DAF member, Cheri DeMenna was telling a friend Jane about her joining Soroptimist International. It turns out that her friend had a ‘conflicted’ background and she appreciates the work SI and similar organizations do.  Jane, who wanted to ‘give back’, asked Cheri if she would be able to help her by distributing some Avon product gift bags to women who may otherwise not have a gift on Christmas morning.  So Cheri emailed Sandy about where we could direct these.  Sandy first directed Cheri to Drummond House, a local women’s transitional home in Waterdown.  Executive Director Debbie Tigchelaar gratefully accepted 5 of these for their residents and also gave Cheri a tour of the facility.

The ladies of SI-DAF visit Interval House for a tour

The ladies of SI-DAF visit Interval House for a tour

The other place Sandy suggested was Interval House, a crisis shelter for abused women & their children, that serves our communities.  Just so happens that Sandy was needing to visit Clare Freeman, the executive director, with a donation of her own so they decided a visit & tour of that facility was in order.  They were joined by SI DAF member Lynda Switzer who just so happened to have a large number of ‘Franklin the Turtle’  children’s books that needed to be enjoyed by young readers. Clare treated us to a full tour of the facility along with some short informative video’s and we returned the favour by donating $500.00 in cash, 15 gift bags, large number of Franklin books and a number of stuffed animals!

President’s Appeal

Soroptimist Appeal Restores Dignity to Women with Obstetric Fistula

Each year on December 10th (United Nations’ Human Rights Day), the Soroptimist International president asks all Soroptimists worldwide to contribute to a project that helps women living in extreme poverty. In 2007 almost £135,000 was raised to help fund the Desta Mender village in partnership with Hamlin Fistula Relief and Aid Fund for women with obstetric fistula.

This year’s appeal by Margaret Lobo, Restoring Dignity – Securing a Future, will extend the support provided last year to Ethiopian women suffering from this debilitating condition.

Obstetric fistula occurs as a result of several days of obstructed labor without timely medical intervention, a Caesarean section. The constant pressure of the baby’s head in the birth canal causes a fistula (hole) to form between the bladder and the vagina, and/or between the rectum and the vagina. The baby usually dies and the mother is left with urine and waste leaking from her body.

“Sadly, in Ethiopia, an obstetric fistula can be worse than death,” said Leigh Wintz, executive director of Soroptimist International of the Americas in Philadelphia. “The smell of constantly leaking body fluids results in young women, many of them girls, being rejected and outcast by their community. They are doomed to a life of shame and isolation. This is why our December 10th Appeal is so critical in helping women with this condition.”

An estimated 8,000 to 9,000 women in Ethiopia suffer with obstetric fistula each year and don’t have the money for fistula repair via surgery or the access to medical care that most women in developed nations have. At least 93 percent of fistulas can be repaired, but three percent are so badly damaged in childbirth, they cannot be healed.

Funds from the December 10th Appeal will help women who cannot be fully cured by providing ongoing medical care at the Desta Mender Village of the Hamlin Fistula Hospital in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. In addition, the self-help rural village provides skills and vocational training to the women, encourages their independence and helps improve their morale and self-esteem. Find out more about the hospital and the positive outcomes these women are experiencing »

End Domestic Violence

In 1994, Soroptimist International of the Americas (SIA) made the prevention of domestic violence an organizational focus. Each year, on November 25 (the International Day to Eliminate Violence Against Women), members participate annual in the Soroptimist Workplace Campaign to End Domestic Violence.

The campaign targets domestic abuse as a workplace concern. Domestic violence is a workplace issue because it affects both women and business, as most women work and they do not leave abuse behind while at the workplace. Abusers often harass their partners at work. In worse case scenarios, abusers come to the workplace and threaten their partners and their co-workers.

As business and professional women, Soroptimists are in a position to educate people in the workplace that women have the right to live free from violence. This year, our club members will distribute flyers at their workplace provided by the Neighbours, Friends and Family program of Ontario. There were safety cards and three brochures: How You can Identify and Help Women at Risk of Abuse; Safety Planning for Women Who are Abused; How to Talk to Men Who are Abusive.

For more information, we recommend you read the SIA whitepaper on Domestic Violence as a Workplace Concern »

Drummond House Bakesale on Nov 22

When they said deck the halls, Drummond House took is seriously! The hallways, eight rooms and third floor losft of Drummond House will be decorated for their open house, while four Christmas trees will twinkle throughout the house. Read the full story at the Flamborough Review.

The Drummond House Christmas Open House and Bake Sale will be held on Saturday, November 22 from 1p.m.-6 p. m. The facility is located at 67 5th Concession East in Waterdown.

Sales of bakery items were provided by SI-DAF and members of the Waterdown community. Sandy Gray conincided the club board meeting and collecting baked goods with her annual bake exchange last night. There were literaly dozens of treats covering her dinningroom table: fudge, meringues filled with chocolate chips, cookies, date squares, chocolate covered pretzels and more …

$400 to the Dundas Food Bank

Soroptimist International of Ancaster-Dundas-Flamborough provided the Dundas Food Bank with a $400 cheque in October. Programs of Service Committee Chair, Nancy Robertson, met with Dianne Dunnett, Food Bank Coordinator.

Paul Johnson

Thank you Pauline for inviting Paul Johnson as our guest speaker on September 4. Paul is the Executive Director at the Wesley Urban Ministries in Hamilton. He came to inform our group about the transitional housing project.

The Wesley Youth Housing Program is a collaborative project that offers the street-involved or homeless youth (ranging in age from 16-21 years) access to safe, affordable, one-year housing with on-site support programs to aid the youth in building the skills necessary to reach their ultimate goal.

Find out more >>

Women’s Opportunity Award Statistics for 2008

This year, a record 946 clubs participated in the Soroptimist Women’s Opportunity Awards and honored 1,120 deserving women in their communities. These awards provided more than $1.3 million to help women reclaim their dreams of a better life for themselves and their families. All participating clubs will receive a certificate and the sincere thanks of the women they helped.

Thank you to all the Soroptimist clubs working to improve the lives of women and girls, in local communities and throughout the world.


President Machiko Yamada
SIA President

Award Ceremony

Congratulations to our award winners. The Women’s Opportunity Award is given to a female head of the household retraining for the workforce and the Violet Richardson Award to for a young woman that is an active volunteer.

Women’s Opportunity Award ($2,500) was given to a nursing student who is a single monther and supporting her family while getting her degree.

Violent Richardson Award ($500, of which a portion is given to her charity of choice) was given to a highschool student who is actively involved in the Girl Guides of Canada.