Soroptimist International of Napa Making a Difference for Women and Girls

Pres. Elect Tamie Frasier, VP Teresa Zimny, 2nd place Live Your Dream winner Marlies Swanson, 1st place Live Your Dream winner Crizelle Edora, Violet Richardson winner Kharma Fisher and Pres. Cheryl Payan

Soroptimist International of Napa’s Women’s Award banquet and Life Member luncheon was a beautiful event led by President Cheryl Payan, April 25, 2017, at the Elks Lodge in Napa and was attended by  Soroptimist Founder Region Governor Pam Parker, District III Director Joy Swank, District III Fellowship Director Fawn Williams and District III Live Your Dream Director Brenda Crandall.  (The Napa club is in District III of the Founding Region of Soroptimist International of the Americas.)

The Live Your Dream Award, given to a woman who is Head -of-household, has financial need and is enrolled in a college or a trade school was presented by Vice President and Live Your Dream Award Chair Teresa Zimny to Crizelle Edora a student at Napa Valley College.  Ms. Edora received a $2500 award to be used in any way she needs to aid her in achieving her goals to make a better life for her and her family.  2nd place in the Live Your Dream award went to Marlies Swanson who received $1300 to help her achieve her dreams for a better future.  Judges for the award are selected outside the club membership.  This year the judges were: Dr. Karen Relucio, Chief Public Health Officer, Napa County, Elba Gonzales-Mares, Executive Director, Community Health Initiative and Becky Peterson, Member and Community Relations Director, Napa Valley Vintners.

Meanwhile, a teenage girl between the ages of 14 and 18 was selected for her outstanding volunteer work.  Kharma Fisher was chosen as the Violet Richarson awardee.  Kharma received $500 and $500 was donated to the charity of her choice; The Boys and Girls club of Napa Valley.  Judges for the Violet Richardson Award were Cynthia Kasten, Owner Kasten Family Wines, Kathy Metro, Chief Credit Officer, Bank of Napa and Anita Poolos, Administrative Assistant of York and York Law Firm.

Life Members that were in attendance included Pearl Porter, member since 1970, Edith Burch member since 1975, Eileen Bodnar, member since 1978 and Wanda Lamb, member since 1970, who all shared  a few memories and how active they still are in the community and in daily life.

A honor of a “Fellow”, which is $1000 donated to the Founder Region Fellowship program of Soroptimist in the name of a member, was announced for member Roxy Phillips who unfortunately was out sick, yet still showed up ahead of time to decorate the room for the banquet!  The Founder Region Fellowship program gives cash awards to brilliant women who are in their final year of their Doctorate.  The average scholarship is $10,000 and ten awards will be given out at the annual Region Conference the first weekend of May for a total of $100,000.00

Finally, President Cheryl Payan choked back tears as she announced the recipient of the Jane Martin Inspiration Award, also another surprise award, which went to Past President Debbie Goodman.

Soroptimist is a women’s service organization made up of business, professional and retired women committed to improving the lives of women and girls through programs of social and economic development.  Soroptimist means best for women.  For membership information, contact Debbie Goodman at 707-478-7630.