Shirley’s Bio

Name: Shirley McCoy

City: Ancaster, Ontario

Joined Soroptimist: July 1989

Reason For Joining: I  joined our local Soroptimist club to give back to our community and to make  a difference for women and girls in our local community and throughout the world.  I appreciate being with like-minded women who assist other women with access to the education and training they need to achieve economic empowerment. I am proud to be a part of a global voice for women. There are many opportunities  for leadership development and professional growth.   I have been an active member of Soroptimist for 33 years, and have served as club president, Governor of Eastern Canada region and the SIA board of directors. 

Fun Fact: I love to travel, and as a Soroptimist member and SIA board member  there were many opportunities to attend conferences and international  conventions all around the world. I have been fortunate to meet many of our leaders and members  in  other countries. I enjoy meeting of with members and learning about their club activities and fundraising ideas. I have been so excited to  have traveled to Tiawan, Scotland, Honolulu, Vancouver, New York, San Diego, San Francisco, Philadelphia, Calgary, Montreal, Orlando, and Anaheim.

Allison’s Bio

Name: Allison Vardy

City: Hamilton, Ontario

Joined Soroptimist: June 2020

Reason for joining:  I was invited to join by Brooke, who has been my best friend of 30 years. I was looking for a way to have a positive impact and contribution to my community. I feel it is very important to support women and girls further their education so that they feel empowered to go after the things they want in their lives.

Fun Fact: I lived in Nunavut for 2 years in a remote Inuit community where I volunteered at the school serving breakfast and sitting in the grade 4 class helping kids with their reading. I’m a proud dog-mom whose dog Neko attends every Soroptimist meeting with me via Zoom.

Janet’s Bio

Name: Janet Barnard

City: Mount Pleasant, Brant, Ontario

Joined Soroptimist: Feb 2009

Reason for joining:  I was invited to a meeting by a colleague, and was drawn into a group of welcoming women helping other women and girls.  Enjoyed new friendships and liked the fact that we were all working towards making a difference in other women’s lives, most particularly in our community. 

Fun Fact: I enjoy cooking, sewing, gardening, reading, traveling with our 5th wheel trailer.  Semi retired as a bookkeeper and often when we are traveling can continue from wherever we are. I can remember camping in Desert Hot Springs California, while working away I could look out one window to see palm trees and other window mountains, great memories.

Samantha’s Bio

Name: Samantha McGregor

City: Waterdown, Ontario

Joined Soroptimist: December 2020

Reason for joining:  I joined Soroptimist because I was looking for a group where I could not only make friends and connections, but also make a change. I learned about Soroptomist while I was in high school and had been in love with their mission and vision, and became a member in my last year of university. My passion has always been about supporting women and girls, and even more so supporting their education. 

Fun Fact: I ride horses, specifically the hunter/jumpers.


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Brooke’s Bio

Name: Brooke Gordon 

City: Waterdown, Ontario and Montreal, Quebec

Joined Soroptimist: January 2007

Reason for joining: One of my friends invited me to a meeting and I really enjoyed getting to know other women who were passionate about gender equality and making a change. I was honoured to attend the UN NY Commission on the Status of Women (CSW) with a Soroptimist delegation on Violence Against Women and Girls. I am glad to have a local venue to continue that advocacy work by raising awareness of violence and trafficking here in Hamilton. I also have a tremendous amount of fun and laughter at our conferences and conventions, and I receive so much joy from the opportunities to provide mentorship to young women in high school through our Dream It Be It program. 

Fun Fact: I host MoreThan Good Food, the podcast.

Barb’s Bio

Name: Barbara Mccoy

City: Hamilton Ontario

Joined Soroptimist: September 1991

Reason for joining:  I was looking for a volunteer service club, who supported women & girls in the community. What I found was a club comprised of  dynamic and caring women, who are passionate about helping women in girls, locally, nationally & globally.

Fun Fact: I survived a fall in a hot air balloon in the Swiss alps in the winter.

Theresa’s Bio

Name: Theresa Allen-Young

City: Dundas, Ontario

Joined Soroptimist: September 2020

Reason for joining:  I joined Soroptimist to give back to my community and support women and girls through education.  I have stayed with Soroptimist because of the friendships I have gained and the support they have provided me.

Fun Fact: I am an amateur birder.

Sandy’s Hot Air Balloon Adventure

Wow!  What a day!  Steve & I were sleeping in a bit, we are still on holidays.  It was after 8 am we were still in bed; but awake & the driveway dinger went off, shortly followed by the door bell.  As Steve got up to answer the door the phone rang too which I answered.  (it was Frank, PS: Liz, the following is why I didnt’t stop by to see you in the morning as I had suggested to Frank that I would). 
 
Steve came back to the room to say that the REMAX hot air ballon team wanted to launch their balloon off of our front lawn; of course he said ‘sure, go ahead’.  I grabbed my camera and went outside to take some up close pictures of the set-up procedure.  I started chatting with the guys & told them they could use our lawn anytime they wanted & if they ever needed some ‘ballast’ I would be happy to go along too someday.  After a bit more chatting, the pilot Hal asked me if I could be ready in 15 minutes or so…..can you say ‘fastest shower ever’!  They were only planning on a short flight, about 1/2 hr or so.
 
So the rest is history,  I took a ton of pictures, Hal took the one of me with our home below, Steve took the ones from the ground perspective.  Stop by sometime & I will bore you with my pictures!  (we flew over towards south Cambridge, south of the 401 before touching down in a farmers field off of Gore Rd, nearly 1 hour later)
 
HOW COOL IS THAT! (& how lucky am I, a hot air balloon flight courtsey of the REMAX crew!  I have always dreamed of doing this but never acted upon it)

The touch down was interesting, on ‘paid for tourist’ flights there is always a ground crew there to make sure all goes smoothly. This was just the two of us with no crew to help control us; Hal know what he is doing but we are still somewhat at the mercy of the wind gusts. The basket had set down on its bottom but wanted to either tip or skip along as the winds had gotten gusty. It kept trying to pushing us over so Hal dumped the air out of the balloon rather quickly & the envelope laid down real nice. The basket was now on its side I was hanging on to two of the struts on the high side with my foot pressed into the opposite side of the basket between Hal’s legs otherwise I would have been on top of him. Just like Hal’s said ‘no elegant way to get in and no elegant way to get out!’

Suffice to say, I am ready for my next flight! Who else is game? Liz was looking into this recently, looks like it is about $500.00 each in a larger rig that takes up to 6! (I got my flight courtesy of Hal but trust me, it is worth it!) Can you say “ooohhh, look at those fall colours!”

Did you also know that I am now officially an aeronaut? Look it up in the dictionary; it is good to learn something new every day! 
Sandy  ~:)
 
PS: Turns out Hal has been chosen to represent Canada in next years ‘World’s Hot Air Balloon Competition” in Austria!  Appears I was in good hands!

Congratulations to our blushing brides

Congratulations to our two newly weds this year: Brooke and Nancy.

Welcome to our New Members

Nancy hosted a wonderful potluck dinner in her backyard for our end of year party. President Kerry welcomed our two new members!