History of Soroptimist of Stuart International
By: Rosaleen Murray 1981
Carolyn Coy 2004
Jody Bond 2005-2020
Soroptimist International of Stuart was chartered in the fall of 1954. It is an association of executive business and professional women. Planning for the club began when Helen Noble Burgess and Jane Chaney, representing Soroptimist International of Ft Pierce, called on Rosaleen Murray, manager of Stuart Chamber of Commerce, asking for names of qualified business and professional women. From a list of thirty prospects, Beatrice Pittman and Anita Morrison took over leadership and gathered a group to meet at the Chamber of Commerce Building in September, 1954.
In November 1954, the club with 20 members, was chartered at a dinner at the Stuart Hotel on US 1 just south of the Roosevelt Bridge, site of Mullet Square. (Mullet Square is no longer in existence due to construction of the new Roosevelt Bridge-11/1/1997). Buena Meade and Margery Silvers of the sponsoring Ft Pierce club officiated. Lillian Armstrong Dassori, who was then County Supervisor of Schools, was the charter president and Anita Morrison, vice president. Luncheon meetings were held twice monthly in the Stuart Hotel dining room where the cost of a complete meal was $1.00.
Charter members were Lillian Armstrong Dassori, Ellen M Nelson, Zola Swarthout, Frances R Keith, Lula Boyle, Sally Schwarz, Anita Parks Morrison, Rosemary Hinkle, Garland Kreider, Dorothy Pierce, Charlene Berry, Ruth Hall, Lillian Hansen, Beatrice Pittman, Mary W Roxby, Lettie C Dugan, Helen Matousel, Edna Coutant, Dorothy Routa, and Florence Voss.
The first project was saving the Gilbert’s Bar House of Refuge on Hutchinson Island and its establishment as a museum. This was the last remaining of 10 Florida shelters for shipwrecked sailors. A Martin County Historical Society was formed in 1955 through instigation of the Soroptimist Club; and Martin County assumed ownership of the museum. Val Clear, brother of Soroptimist Zola Swarthout, was the first museum director and literally “beat the bushes” to collect historical items to depict the past of this Indian River area so important to Florida history.
Filling a community recreation need was the next major project undertaken. In 1958, with cooperation from many other groups, a fund for a public swimming pool was established and the fund grew for several years. This became somewhat of a “bottomless pool” as it became evident that because of maintenance expense, no public body would assume ownership of the facility even when construction funds were sufficient.
In 1960, Harmon P Elliott, a winter resident of Stuart, decided to build a museum in memory of his father, the inventor Sterling Elliott. Depicting the development of automotive engineering, the building and its exhibits were given to Martin County. Soroptimists were proud their interest in culture and history had created the first museum and believed it must have played a part in Mr. Elliott’s decision to build the second one.
During the year 1960, Soroptimists joined with other civic groups to place their permanent insignia signs, with meeting information, on joint club signs at the north and south entrances to the city on US 1. Other cooperative projects have included work in clean-up campaigns, beautification councils, Sailfish Regatta, holiday and anniversary parades, blood banks, x-ray drives, and fair booths.
As the town of Stuart grew, its appearance became increasingly more important. A very talented man from Canada, Bill Ambler, became Stuart’s first director of parks. Funds were contributed for several years to assist with area beautification under Bill’s guidance.
In 1964, when the Pioneer Occupational Center wanted to purchase Coral Gardens Bowling Lanes for permanent quarters (to be remained Tri-County Rehabilitation and Technology School); the club contributed money and equipment. Members also saved newspapers upon request, and worked bingo and bake sales for the center. This center no longer exists. It was renamed and presently identified as HPS (Helping People Succeedl).
In 1964, Louise Miller served as president of Stuart Soroptimists.
In 1965, a living Christmas Tree was planted with appropriate seasonal ceremony at a major intersection. Another time, anchors from the USS Rankin, sunk offshore as a reef, were installed at the north and south entrances to Stuart. This was a reminder of Soroptimists’ connection with the historical House of Refuge.
In 1966, the old lifesaving station once again needed saving itself. The club learned of its desperate need for a new roof. The County Commission, to save costs, had voted to install a roof that did not conform to the House’s original appearance. Soroptimists dug deep into collective socks, solicited funds, and contributed $1500.00 toward the replacement of the wood shingle roof.
In 1968, nearly 10 years after its inception, the demand for swimming instruction from a growing population heightened, and funds were offered to the Martin County Board of Public Instruction. The Board had room on land adjacent to the new high school (Martin County High School). The Kiwanis Club accepted the project in 1972 and raised additional funds. Soroptimists assisted in this endeavor and raised more funds. Martin County Commissioners agreed to match the funds raised and the pool is now a reality with the school owning and operating the facility for the public.
Club members were at the first planning meeting for the Martin County Fair, and in 1968 were asked to sponsor the opening night program. This program selected the annual Fair Queen, known as the “Martin County Fair Lady.” This developed from a small ceremony outdoors near the entrance garden to a beautiful pageant in the big tent.
When Martin Memorial Hospital was expanding for the 2nd time in 1969, a two year project by the club furnished a room at the hospital. Throughout the 26 years, many Soroptimist Club activities have been with children and youth.
In 1969, Soroptimist International of America sponsored an annual Youth Citizenship Award for each club to select a local high school senior to compete with other students. Young women were recognized for excellence in business training classes. Funds were given for various trips to Washington DC, 4-H, and other student seminars.
For 10 years, a girls’ service club (S Club) was sponsored at the Martin County High School and a similar group, Sigma Society, was sponsored at St Joseph College (no longer in existence) in Jensen Beach. Currently, IndianRiverside Park, a public park, is located at the river site and Emeritus Assisted Living is located on the west side of the property. A “brick” from St Joseph’s was given to the Stuart Youth Center for their expansion.
Projects for younger children have included layettes given through Red Cross, money for welfare agencies for dental care, tonsillectomies, foster homes, migrant schools, Sunland Training Center, child care centers, mentally disabled children, and toys and books for a children’s corner at the Indian River Mental Health Center Branch and Open Door (an early learning facility for disabled youngsters-presently the Challenger School).
Personal items were provided for women in jail and assistance was given to a young woman injured in a diving accident. Birthday parties have been given at nursing homes.
One of the new Federation projects was called “Training Awards Program,” (TAP is now called Women’s Opportunity Award) which retrains women for re-entry into the labor market.
Contributions have been given to Hospice, the Paradise Boys Ranch, and Martin County Public Library (now consisting of Blake/Main, with branches in Hoke/Jensen Beach, Timer Powers/Indiantown, Morgade/Port Salerno, Cummings/Palm City, and Hobe Sound).
In 1972, Martha Norton served as president for a two year term. Contributions to our local projects continued with even more enthusiasm and greater amounts of money collected. The Martin County Fair Lady pageant continued as our project.
Wanting to identify with one continuing charity in 1975, Soroptimists began contributing annually to “Meals on Wheels.” This involved delivery of meals to the homebound and is a project independent of government funds. Martha Norton was selected as 1975 Woman of the Year for her contributions.
Nancy Tucker became president in 1976. The club continued to contribute to the Meals on Wheels program. They also decided to continue the Martin County Fair Lady pageant at the Martin County Fair.
The Southern Region Conference was held in West Palm Beach and one of the main events was a fashion show by club members modeling the clothes they made with McCalls’ patterns.
In 1977, Louise Miller was named Woman of the Year.
In 1978, Carolyn Coy served as president. Because of her experience chairing fashion shows in the Junior Woman’s Club, she proposed doing fashion shows to bring in funds.
The first show was held at the Woman’s Club building on East Ocean Blvd. Clothes were modeled from various shops. The next year, the club held the show at Monarch Country Club, and later at Ocean Village on Hutchinson Island with clothes provided by the exclusive Harold Grant for Women shop in Harbour Bay Plaza.
By 1994, the show was staged at Indian River Plantation (now Marriott Resort) with the first show given by the Gardens Mall, followed by Jacobson’s Department Store (no longer in existence) from North Palm Beach.
Parties were the “in” thing for raising money for club expenses. Christmas parties were held at Louise Miller’s home many times and later, combined Christmas cocktail parties at Joan Till’s home followed by dinner at Carolyn Coy’s home were a success as well.
The club also had a Gilligan’s Island party at Joy Funston’s home and “Bunko” parties at Joan Smith’s clubhouse. Everyone brought a covered dish and cash donation per person.
Evelyn Deggeller followed her sister, Carolyn, with her presidency in 1980-1982. After her installation, Evelyn represented the club at the SIA convention in Los Angeles, California. Her two “roomies” were Marion Bigger and Vinese Gardner. The featured
speaker at the convention was Maureen Reagan (President Ronald Reagan’s daughter).
The club held its first carnival at the fairgrounds and used one of the buildings for an art contest with school students drawing pictures in assigned categories. The winners received plaques and cash in each category. Raffles were held to win golf clubs and bag the first year, and a Honda motorcycle the second year.
Evelyn started the 50/50 game which is still played today for extra monies for the club;
and served on the Southern Region Finance Committee with Vinese Gardner.
The club’s largest contribution was in 1980 when $6,000.00 was raised for the new YMCA complex on Monterey Road (airport bypass road). A memorial tree was given to Stuart and planted in 1980.
Soroptimists held Casino nights to raise funds for a new Barn Theatre building. The club worked with the Barn Theatre people as well as the Optimist Club. One of the largest Casino fund raisers was held at Zarrella Farms’ warehouse in Palm City (Alt #76 west of turnpike).
Evelyn was selected Woman of the Year for 1982.
Our Martin County Fair Lady pageant gave way to a request from the Junior Women’s Club to take over the Christmas Parade as their club was closing and would no longer be able to sponsor it. The first co-chairs were Barbara Navitsky and Carolyn Coy. Parades were held on Saturday morning in Stuart on East Ocean Blvd encircling Confusion Corner. Participation included schools and local organizations and livestock.
In 1984, the Stuart Soroptimists found new member – Mary-Jo Horton, a past governor of Southern region and former president of a Miami club.
In 1990, Donna Naglreiter served as president for a two year term. With lobbying from Carolyn Coy and permission from the Stuart City Commission, the parades were moved to the first Friday evening (night) in the month of December.
Following Donna’s term as president, she embarked on chartering a new club in the Ft Pierce area (our club was originally chartered by a Ft Pierce club in 1954). Donna was successful and the St Lucie Club was chartered, with Donna joining their club for a number of years. Donna was selected Woman of the Year for 1991.
In 1992, Joy Funston was named Woman of Distinction at the first WOD awards ceremony sponsored by the Palm Glades Girl Scouts.
In 1993, past governor Mary-Jo Horton was selected as Woman of the Year.
In 1994, Joy Funston served as president for a one year term. Under Joy’s presidency terms were reduced to one year as membership increased. In 1994, Lynne Spraker was honored with the SIS Woman of the Year award.
The club held its first annual Women’s Golf Tournament in 1994. It was held at Indian River Plantation (now Marriott) followed by the next year’s tournament at Martin Downs Country Club. Funds were distributed to the club’s two major charities, SafeSpace and the Boys and Girls Club of Martin County. The club also donated time to the annual Council on Aging Air Show, and the United Way Day of Caring.
The club adopted a family from United Way and distributed toys and food for Christmas. Tee shirts were given to the Hope Rural School in Indiantown. Mary-Jo Horton was named Woman of Distinction in 1994.
Dinner parties became cocktail parties. Cocktail parties became wine and cheese parties. Joy Funston was named Woman of the Year for 1995.
Carolyn Miller served as president in 1995. During her presidency, we donated funds to SafeSpace, Boys and Girls Club, Big Brothers/Big Sisters, Martin County Fire Fighters (for a new flag), House of Refuge, City of Stuart’s Youth Intervention Program, and the first two year donation to Molly’s House, a temporary residence for parents of hospitalized children. Club member Joyce Holmes was Woman of Distinction 1995.
Carol Hodnett served as president in 1996. Again, we held our golf tournament, the air show, Christmas Parade and Fashion Show. Funds went to Molly’s House for the second year donation and funds were set aside for two new projects: STEPS-Soroptimist Training & Education Programs for Scholarships (program to assist students applying for scholarships), and SOS-Save Ourselves, a breast cancer awareness activity program initiated by past president Joy. SOS/SOS was renamed Save Ourselves/Save our Sisters.
Our TAP (now WOA) winner won at the Region conference in Boca Raton.
Carol Hodnett was selected as Woman of the Year for 1996.
Betty Kroesen-Miner served as president in 1997. Our sponsoring club helped Soroptimist International of St Lucie County celebrate its second year birthday. Donna’s membership in that club provided their needed leadership.
President Betty presided over the Southern Region conference held at Indian River Plantation in the spring of 1998. Mary-Jo Horton and Joy Funston co-chaired this event. SR governor Ann Decatrel from The Palm Beaches club was present. The theme of the conference was “Discover our Treasures.”
Barbara Sorbello served as president in 1998. Stuart Soroptimist’s Board consisted of: president, president-elect, vice-president, recording secretary, corresponding secretary, treasurer, ass’t treasurer, and four Directors with two year staggered terms, a delegate, and the parliamentarian. Nidia Bernstiel and Betty Kroesen-Miner were selected Women of the Year for 1998.
Discussion was held regarding the Palm Glades Women of Distinction luncheon as they were no longer able to chair the event. We decided to sponsor WOD as a yearly event to highlight women with commendable service to the community. This event would also provide funds for the service projects. The first WOD was held at Martin Downs Country Club in April 1999 with co-chairs Rosalind Hall and Leslie Silver and committee members: Nidia Bernstiel, Betty Derington, Karen Dobbins, Ladonna Grinder, Gayle Harrell, Carol Hodnett, Mary-Jo Horton, Phyllis Sippell, Lynne Spraker, Kathy Stacey, Susan Klein and Karen Vaina.
In 1999, Susan Klein served as president and Diane Grassick was selected as Woman of the Year.
Susan attended the first Southern Region Leadership retreat held in Lake City, Florida with seven of our members. The Women of Distinction luncheon raised $18,000.00 …the most ever raised by any fund-raiser. The SOS/SOS project won the Service Award at Southern Region. The Press Book and Newsletter won 1st place awards. It was a good year.
Grace Haven was elected District I director (2 year term) and Lucy Lueg was appointed to the Southern Region finance committee.
Mary-Jo Horton became a member of the prestigious Laurel Society, the first member from the Stuart club. Mary-Jo was nominated and inducted by the Southern Region. Luncheon club meetings were held at Maneros Restaurant for $11.00 each member. Dues were $100.00 per year for regular members.
We donated two $1000 checks to YCA (Youth Citizenship Award) winners, and another $1000 to WOA. The WOA winner also won at Southern Region Conference, receiving $3000.00 from the region.
The club, after much debate, presented the Martin County Commission $20,000.00 to construct two pavilions at the new Mary J Brogan Park located near the Challenger School on Willoughby Blvd.
The Women of Distinction program was held April 2000 at Ballantrae with co-chairs Mary-Jo Horton and Rosalind Hall. President-elect Cathy Gaudet was named as this year’s recipient in the Civic/Professional category.
Cathy Gaudet served as president in 2000-2001. Nidia Bernstiel was president-elect, vice-president Joanne Zarro, Joan Staley as treasurer, Lucy Lueg as ass’t treasurer, recording secretary was Karen Vaina, corresponding secretary was Amy Chappel, Carolyn Coy and Karen Dobbins were 2nd year directors, and Rosalind Hall and Joanne Towner were 1st year directors. Mary-Jo Horton was parliamentarian and Susan Klein as past president. Barbara Sorbello was named Woman of the Year for 2000.
SIA initiated a new awards program called the Violet Richardson Award (VRA). The program recognizes young women, ages 14 – 17 for their volunteer work in the community. The club voted to award the winner $500.00 and $1000.00 to the charity of the winner’s choice, the organization to which the winner donated her time.
The Grand Opening of the Mary J Brogan Park was held on November 13, 2000. The STEPS program continued with 14 students attending the workshops.
Nidia Bernstiel created and announced the start-up of the first SIS website.
Grace Haven, District I director reported Stuart led the region in donating $1050.00 to the President’s Appeal for the “Trafficking of Women” and another $1055.00 to the “Legacy of Learning.”
The Woman of Distinction Awards was held in April 2001 at Ballantrae with co-chairs Susan Klein and Karen Vaina. Committee members were Nidia Bernstiel, Jo deLucia, Betty Derington, Edie Donahue, Samia Ferraro, Chickie Fogal, Joy Funston, Joyce Holmes, Mary-Jo Horton, Betty Kroesen-Miner, Pat Langhorne, Sharon Lippisch, Marilyn Monk, Roberta Onufrey, Karen Ripper, Priscilla Sawicki, Phyllis Sippell, Barbara Sorbello, Joanne Towner and Susan Wolfe-Swartz.
Susan Klein was chosen as Woman of the Year in 2001.
Nidia Bernstiel served as president 2001-2002 with elected officers Joanne Zarro as president-elect, Amy Chappel as vice-president, Jody Bond as treasurer, ass’t treasurer was Susan Wolf-Schwartz, recording secretary was Sharon Lippisch, corresponding secretary was Joan Staley, 2nd year directors were Rosalind Hall and Karen Vaina, and 1st year directors were Jane Cebelak and Marilyn Monk. Cathy Gaudet served as past president and Mary-Jo Horton as parliamentarian.
In 2001, Suzanne Bell again (fourth time) chaired the Christmas Parade. The parade name was changed to “Holiday Parade” to be “politically correct” per the changing times.
The club hired for the first time an “outside” bookkeeper to provide written monthly financial reports. Forms were created by treasurer Jody Bond for members to report funds to and from accounts. Membership costs increased to $125.00 per year with a $25.00 charge for 1st time induction. Luncheons were increased to $15.00 each member.
SOS/SOS reported 107 mammograms for the year, an increase over the previous years. New SIA projects included “Supporting Peace in Africa.” We matched member donations up to $250.00. We supported “Limbs for Life” which related to land mines from previous wars. The club, via chair Joyce Holmes, applied and won an SIA $8000 grant for SOS/SOS mammograms. We provided 167 mammograms for the next year.
The 2002 WOD Awards Program was co-chaired by Barbara Sorbello and Karen Vaina and again held at Ballantrae. Committee members were Nidia, Joy, Edie, Cathy, Joyce, Mary-Jo, Susan, Marilyn, Roberta, Phyllis, Priscilla, Jane Cebulak, Rosemary Phillips, Susan Skeoch, Bonnie Tadross, Nancy Teise and Susan Wolfe-Swartz.
Past president Cathy initiated the sale of “blue sashes” trimmed in yellow for club members to display the various pins collected from other clubs, conferences, and conventions. The sashes were sold to members and other clubs’ members as well. The SOS/SOS committee asked members to participate in “Making Strides for Cancer” Walk. $600.00 was raised for this event.
Southern Region Conference was held in West Palm Beach. Members were treated to a dinner cruise. Once again, our WOA winner won the region award and the $3000.00 award monies. Susan Klein was elected region secretary and Lucy Lueg was elected region treasurer.
Joy Funston, Carolyn Coy, and Donna Naglreiter were nominated to Laurel Society. The club would donate $1000.00 in the member(s) name.
Mary-Jo Horton led the “Take Stock in Children” program and provided $1000.00 scholarships to 3 high school students. Students were chosen from Pathfinder interviews.
Joanne Zarro was elected president 2002-2003. Karen Vaina served as president–elect, Sharon Lippisch vice-president, Jody Bond treasurer, Diane Dadko ass’t treasurer, Bonnie Tadross recording secretary, Pat Langhorne corresponding secretary, Jane Cebelak and Marilyn Monk 2nd year directors, and Jeanette Mueller and Donna Linton 1st year directors. Betty Kroesen-Miner served as parliamentarian and Nidia Bernstiel as past president.
During the summer of 2002, president Joanne, past presidents Joy, Susan, Cathy, Donna N, and Pat Langhorne and Jody Bond attended the SIA convention in San Diego, California. Former Southern Region governor Ann Decatrel from The Palm Beaches club served as SIA secretary during the convention.
Our club was recognized in several different seminars for activities that were successful for our club…such as SOS/SOS, our Holiday Parade, and our Woman of Distinction ceremony and a membership increase of 31% (18 new members).
At convention, we decided to involve our club and its members in a more “international” approach to help women and children in countries other than our own. Fay Anderson, a Soroptimist from a Nevada SI club was invited by president Joanne to be a guest speaker at our 48th birthday party. Fay provided the information needed to assist us as we looked to organize an International Relations committee. Mary-Jo Horton and Jan Lemasters co-chaired this new committee.
Luncheon meetings moved to Chantals restaurant and later Twisted Grille to allow for a more centrally located site, improving our attendance at meetings. The District 1 meeting was held in Ft Lauderdale sponsored by the Pompano Beach club. Cathy Gaudet was selected SIS Woman of the Year in 2002.
Our club decided to provide a telephone line (220-0115) for prospective members, SOS/SOS clients, and others attempting to contact our club. The SOS/SOS committee was very active by participating in the “Tell A Friend” phone calls.
Carolyn Coy was elected in 2003 to Laurel Society for her long term service to the club.
She was president for two years and Soroptimist Woman of the Year in 1980. Carolyn had been troubled by recurring cancer and a serious accident kept her from attending meetings for about 6 months after years of perfect attendance awards.
Southern Region Conference was held in Columbus Georgia and attended by president Joanne, past presidents Cathy, Nidia and Susan and Karen Vaina .
The 2003 WOD award ceremony was held at IRP and co-chaired by Marilyn Monk and Barbara Sorbello. Women of Distinction Awards initiated a new category for our younger women – Rising Professional/Volunteer (renamed Rising Star) to recognize younger women demonstrating traits found in our Women of Distinction winners. Co-chairs Marilyn Monk and Jeanette Mueller realized a net of $35,000.00. Committee members were Rosemary, Jody, Jan, Joanne, Roberta, Mary-Jo, Sheila, Cathy, Pat, Diane P, Diane G, Joy and Priscilla.
President for 2003-2004 was Karen Vaina and Woman of the Year for 2003 was Jeanette Mueller. Other officers were President-elect Sharon Lippisch, vice-president Jody Bond, treasurer-Diane Dadko, ass’t treasurer-Pat Langhorne, recording secretary-Marilyn Monk, corresponding secretary-Jane Cebelak, 2nd year directors-Donna Linton and Jeanette Mueller, and 1st Year directors were Phyllis Heisler and Maria Pearson. Mary- Jo Horton was parliamentarian and Joanne Zarro served as past president.
President Karen, past president Nidia, Jody Bond, Donna Linton, Mary-Jo Horton, Pat Langhorne and others attended the September 12-13, 2003 District I meeting in Davie, Florida. Connie Desko was elected new Director.
Beverly Bevis and Lucy Lueg co-chaired the Holiday Parade on December 5, 2003 with a theme of “Winter Wonderland.” It was an appropriate title as it poured down rain for the first time in many years but thankfully the rain held off near the end of the parade.
2003-2004 was the year SIS was able to function for the first time as a 501(c) 3 non-profit under the auspices of SIA.
SOS/SOS and STEPS were active all year with an increase in mammograms and student assistance and scholarships. SOS/SOS provided a mobile unit for mammography in areas of the county not easily accessible.
International Relations Committee (IRC) developed a program for assistance to a medical clinic for the poor in Honduras. Blue sashes were made this year and sold to members for $20.00 each with proceeds going to the IRC fund. It was decided to sell sashes at the southern region conference in Tampa, Florida. Jane Cebelak located a seamstress for the sash project. Again all proceeds go to IRC.
The 78th Southern Region Conference in Tampa was held April 22-25, 2004. Those attending were president Karen, past president Nidia, Susan, Cathy, past governor Mary- Jo, Jody, Donna, Jan, Jeanine, Diane, and Marilyn. Governor Voncile Rayner from the Atlanta club presided at the conference.
Ways & Means Committee chaired by Susan Klein gave each member a white piggy bank for depositing all loose change at the end of each day. The story of the pig’s most recent whereabouts was told at each meeting. A party at Jeanette Mueller’s home culminated in emptying the piggy banks (a piggy roast) and the funds were given to the club for operating expenses.
Priscilla Sawicki visited Japan to visit our Friendship Link and took sashes with pins for SIA members in their club.
Women of Distinction Awards Luncheon, chaired by Jeanette Mueller and Marilyn Monk, was held again at Indian River Plantation (Marriott) in April 2004. One of our members, Bonnie Tadross, was selected winner in the Volunteer category.
In 2004, Donna Naglreiter and Joy Funston were nominated and inducted into the Laurel Society for long and outstanding service to our club.
Sharon Lippisch was installed as president in 2004-2005 at Stuart Yacht & Country Club with Karen Vaina winning Woman of the Year for 2004 and Tanya Shipman named Outstanding New Member 2004. Other officers were Jody Bond-president-elect, Jane Cebelak-vice-president, treasurer-Pat Langhorne, ass’t treasurer-Jeanine Webster, Donna Linton-recording secretary, Barbara Sorbello-corresponding secretary, 2nd year directors-Diane Dadko and Jan Lemasters, and 1st year directors were Tanya Shipman and Bonnie Tadross. Mary-Jo Horton was parliamentarian and Karen Vaina served as past president.
Martha Norton was nominated for Laurel Society membership in the coming year.
Little did President Sharon know what she had in store for her presidency…visits from
hurricanes Frances, Jeanne, and Ivan!
President Sharon, president-elect Jody, past governor Mary-Jo, past president Nidia, past
president Joanne (slightly pregnant), Jan, Donna, Priscilla Sawicki, and Tanya Shipman all traveled to Calgary, Canada for the SIA convention held August 4-8, 2004. The convention presented for the first time the new “S” logo for SIA…modern and streamlined.
Our club received recognition for its contributions to SIA and our members handed out literally hundreds of our club pin, and sold out of the sashes “quietly” carried with them. Donna became the head seller and you could see her beautiful blonde hair heads above the members from Taiwan, Japan, Korea, etc.
The IRC had created a large SASH of a size to hold pins from all over the world with the names of various regions of the Americas printed on the sash. The sash was a tremendous hit at the convention and our members came home with many new friends and many more pins to recognize our worldwide friendships.
Hurricanes of late 2004 pounded our town, our county, and the two counties north of us. Many members experienced damage and/or destruction to their homes and businesses. Sharon canceled only two meetings – one each in September and October. Our effort to provide a District I meeting place was put on hold for a year. Holiday Inn on Hutchinson Island was almost destroyed.
On another sad note, past president Carolyn Coy died November 3, 2004. Her presence will long be felt in our club. Upon Carolyn’s death, her sisters, Evelyn Deggeller and Barbara Bullis, initiated our club’s Carolyn Coy Cancer Fund.
Somehow with help from above, co-chairs Melissa Barnes and Terri Tudico gave us a Holiday parade to be proud of…even with all the hurricane damage. The parade was planned, organized, and delivered with such aplomb you would not have believed hurricane devastation had taken place only 6 weeks earlier.
Committees worked overtime. The Davie club was generous enough to serve as host club for the District I meeting (our meeting!) in January, 2005. President Sharon, president-elect Jody, past governor Mary-Jo, past presidents Karen and Nidia, and Pat Langhorne attended. Our club received the Governor’s Award for our IRC’s Light of the World Charities (LOWC) project.
Community Service chairs Karen Vaina and Marilyn Monk were able to provide funds to individuals in need because of the hurricane’s wrath.
Lucy Lueg had been reelected for a second 2 year term as Region treasurer but due to severe damage to her home, she reluctantly resigned her position. Past president Nidia was asked & served as region secretary for the remainder of term 2004-2006.
Our Friendship Link club in Kiryu, Japan provided funds in 2005 to assist a homeowner in Indiantown and also to plant two trees at the Stuart Cultural Center (gazebo)…to formally recognize our friendship. Coverage in the media was extensive and appreciated.
SOS/SOS and STEPS continued to be strong committees. SOS as of this year has provided dollars for more than 1000 mammograms in Martin and St Lucie County. STEPS has produced winners at Pathfinders and student numbers increase every year.
Nashville, Tennessee was home for the Southern Region conference held in April 2005. Past president Barbara provided medical “scrubs” for our contingency to wear during our Governor’s Award LOWC presentation. The scrubs were flowered tops with rose colored baggy pants. President Sharon, president-elect Jody, past governor Mary-Jo, region secretary Nidia, and Tanya Shipman attended and brought home a 2nd place win for the LOWC in the southern region.
Our newsletter First Edition, editor Bonnie Tadross, won first place and our pressbook won second place. We recognized Carolyn Coy’s death with a beautiful ceremony Sunday of the conference.
Ways & Means held a “White Elephant” sale/dinner/party at Donna Linton’s home and netted more than $2000.00 for operating expenses. We “lost” a wonderful past president-Cathy Gaudet, as she moved north to be closer to family.
WOD was again held at the Marriott in April 29, 2005 and received coverage far beyond the norm because of a small fire erupting during the ceremonies. The program was moved outdoors and with the able assistance of co-chair Jeanette Mueller’s personal “bullhorn,” the winners were announced and the capacity group was entertained. President-elect Jody was named WOD in the Business/Professional category. Unable to attend, Jody’s daughter Kelly Pelletier accepted for her. Co-chair Donna Linton reported net profit for the event was approximately $30,000.00. The WOD committee members were Jody, Pat Cucchiara, Glenna, Cathy, Leigh, Diane, Debbie, Mary-Jo, Marilyn, Martha, Margaret, Tanya, Noel, Terri, Karen and Jan.
In May 2005, past governor Mary-Jo, in-coming president-elect Terri Tudico and past SIA secretary Ann Decatrel attended the chartering of club Largo/Mid-Pinellas. Our club presented a monetary gift and Mary-Jo presented an engraved gavel to president Mary Fisher of Largo. Marilyn Monk prepared 2004-2005 project reports for SIA and SI.
An “Invitation to Join” reception was held in early June at Chantals restaurant with 26 invitees attending. More than 25 SIS members were there to welcome the invitees. President Sharon made a short presentation to the invitees.
2005-2006 installation was held at Monarch Country Club June 17, 2005 with governor Voncile presiding. Terri Tudico, incoming president-elect chaired the installation and chose “Gemstones” as the theme.
Jody Potts Bond was installed as president. Other officers were Terri Tudico-president-elect, Jane Cebelak-vice-president, Jan Lemasters-recording secretary, Melissa Barnes-communications secretary, Pat Langhorne-treasurer, Glenna DeMichael-ass’t treasurer, Bonnie Tadross and Tanya Shipman-2nd Year directors, Leigh Giunta and Margaret Richebourg-1st year directors, and Betty Kroesen-Miner as parliamentarian. Sharon Lippisch served as past president. Corresponding secretary was changed to communications secretary with responsibilities of: email, website, newsletter, directory, and public relations. The “Passing of the Gavel” was instituted for the first time-president to president.
Martha Norton and Roberta Onufrey were recognized as Life members (an honor no longer available through SIA). Evelyn Deggeller was selected for the Laurel Society 2005-2006. Donna Linton was honored as Woman of the Year for 2005.
The President’s Retreat (SOLT) was held at Monarch the following day. Governor Voncile and past SIA secretary Ann Decatrel attended. 2005-2006 membership lists 2 life members and a total of 60 members.
During the summer months president Jody was notified by governor Voncile that our club had received the highest recognition possible…from Soroptimist International. We won 1st place in the Health category for our project LOWC and the 2 birthing units we had constructed at St Benedict Joseph Medical Center in Honduras. We were the only club in SIA to be recognized for this honor.
Additionally, we were runner-up in the same category for a $5000.00 donation to the Addis Abba Ethiopia Fistular Hospital, which was also recognized by SIA in an issue of Best For Women.
Past president Joan Till passed away during the summer months.
Luncheon meetings were moved to Bonefish Grille but in March returned to Twisted Grille, and in April to Chantals. Luncheon costs are $15 to the member. 50/50 raffle continues at lunch. Announcements (other than club news) cost $1.00 to the announcer. If your cell phone was left on, the cost to the offender is $5.00. Budget for the fiscal year is approximately $56,000.00 with funds in excess of $42,000 provided to service projects.
Board dinner meetings are held Tuesday evenings at Chantals before the monthly Thursday business meetings. President Jody initiated agendas and all board/committee reports via email for the board and past presidents. Agendas for business and program meetings were also emailed to the general membership.
At the September meeting, with the recommendation of president Jody and the board, Joanne Zarro’s name was selected as the second member for this year to be inducted into Laurel Society for 2005-2006.
A new segment added to the 2005-2006 meetings was the “5 Minute Member Cameo.” This allowed members to learn about each other, our backgrounds, our interests, but was not used as an advertisement for our businesses for services.
Our club hosted the District I meeting in October, 2005 at the Holiday Inn on USI. Holiday Inn/Hutchinson Island was destroyed. Co-chairs Sharon Lippisch and Pamela Hough had meeting attendance at an all-time high of 80 with all clubs represented except San Juan Puerto Rio. Margaret May Damen, local author and financial advisor was the featured speaker.
In November 2005, hurricane Wilma came across Florida via the west coast and again Stuart was hit hard. We were saved from Katrina and 26 other hurricanes that came to in 2005.
Tanya Shipman, a former resident of Louisiana led a “one woman” movement to provide funds, clothing, good, and furniture items to a small town in Baker, Louisiana. Our club under her leadership (with assistance of Ann Shafer from the Power Lunch Bunch) raised in excess of $15,000.00 for the victims of Katrina.
President-elect Terri and Melissa Barnes again co-chaired the Christmas parade (returned to original name) with attendance the largest ever seen. The parade route proceeds on East Ocean Blvd from Stuart Middle School to Monterey Road. The floats from various schools featured volcanoes, waterfalls, light shows, and theatrics not seen in our parade.
We accepted sponsors for the first time in 2005 for the parade other than the newspaper. The Stuart News was primary sponsor with Renar Homes, Just Gold Jewelers, and Atlantic Bank. The parade netted funds in excess of $5000.00. Barry Grant from the radio station WSTU again emceed for us. This year we prejudged the floats prior to parade so winning floats could be honored during the parade. Floats, bands, and marches exceeded 65 entries. President Jody and president-elect Terri headed the parade with their grandchildren….riding in a boat!
Membership continued to grow to 70 with new members coming in monthly. SOLT, under the leadership of chair Mary-Jo provided an extraordinary meeting at our December program meeting. It was called a SOLT Fair and required all members to “visit” each booth (program) and learn something about the program. It was the most successful SOLT meeting ever.
During December 2005, an anonymous donor contacted Jeanette Mueller, chair of Ways/Means with a $10,000.00 gift to insure happy Christmas holidays for several families in Martin County. Marilyn Monk & Janice Norman, Community Service co-chairs worked with Jeanette and provided gifts to families in Martin County.
Laws and resolutions committee, Donna Naglreiter-chair, amended the bylaws to allow the office of president to serve an additional term if requested by the nomination committee. It also allowed the office of treasurer to serve a 2nd and a 3rd year term if requested by the committee.
President Jody submitted Club Reports for 2005-2006 and FOCUS reports for “Santa Claus $10,000” and “NOLA” (hurricane Katrina).
In February 2006, our club won the “Making a Difference for Women” Award for Southern Region. This is a new SIA award of $500.00 and our entry was Schonna Green, executive director of M.I.S.S.. housing and assistance for women and their children. Her entry was submitted by past president Nidia. Ms Green traveled with us to southern region conference for recognition by the clubs in our region.
In March 2006, Elizabeth Divine-Clark won the distinction of WOA winner for our club and received a check for $1500. She also won the $5000.00 southern region award and received her check at the conference in San Juan, Puerto Rico May, 2006. Noel Trachtenberg, WOA chair, who prepared the report for this award, had encouraged Ms Elizabeth Divine-Clark and her daughter, Heather to attend and be recognized at the conference.
The finance committee, chaired by Donna Linton, prepared the budget for 2006-2007 with a new line item in the Service Project Revenue/Expense area. Our club set aside specific funds in a new savings account titled “Long Term Investment.” These funds will be used for long term commitment projects approved by the membership.
The WOD Awards Ceremony was a success with the marketing talent of chairs Margaret Richebourg and Glenna DeMichael and a committee of 40 members. The event was held April 4th at Sailfish Point. Luncheon was $75.00 per person and attendance reached an all time high of 492. Fifty SIS members attended; the highest number since the earliest WOD. There were 78 nominees in the four categories. Laurel Sauer, a local TV news personality, emceed the event. Karlin Daniel, a nationally recognized auctioneer, presided over 7 live auction items for a total of $38,000.00 in funds. A raffle, 80 silent auction baskets and Signature project and category sponsors provided $25,000.00 funding to create videos presentations of three signature programs.
Videos of projects and the winning nominees were presented on large plasma televisions. Gross income was $135,000.00 with expenses of $71,000.00 and net income of approximately $64,000.00 for next year’s service projects. SIS member Debbie Hollister was named 2006 WOD in the Volunteer Category.
Southern Region Conference was held in San Juan, Puerto Rico May 5-7, 2006 at Condado Plaza with governor Voncile presiding. President Jody, president-elect Terri, incoming president-elect Donna, southern region secretary Nidia, past governor Mary-Jo, past presidents Susan Klein and Donna Naglreiter attended the conference. Nidia was elected governor-elect for 2006-2008 serving with incoming governor Connie Desko.
Our newsletter won 2nd place, the pressbook won 1st place, and incoming president Terri was selected as southern region recipient of the Emerging Leaders Seminar held at the Philadelphia convention in July 2006. President Jody was asked to speak for the “Response to the Welcome” at conference, and presented a blue crystal memento with the Stuart insignia ”the sailfish” to the San Juan club as remembrance of the conference.
Awards program meeting in May, 2006 provided 5 scholarships to students amounting to $4000.00. Violet Richardson Award winner, Jessica Baral, was awarded a $500.00 scholarship and a $1000.00 award to the charity of her choice, Martin County Red Cross.
Past president (Life member) Louise Miller passed away May 12, 2006. She was 93 years, 4 months old. Her humor and dedication to our club will be long remembered.
SI requested president Jody submit a 500 word document with photos for the SI winning Health project for IRC—Light of the World Charities-St Joseph Benedict Medical Clinic in Honduras. SI will spotlight us in the September 2006 SI magazine.
SIS vice-president Donna was elected Chair of the Stuart/Martin County Chamber of Commerce for 2006.
June 2, 2006 at Monarch Country Club was the 2006-2007 installation date with attendance at 71 and incoming governor Connie Desko presiding over events. Past president Cathy Gaudet “surprised” incoming president Terri and co-installed Terri.
Evelyn Deggeller and Joanne Zarro Jones were formally inducted into the Laurel Society for 2005-2006, and Betty Kroesen-Miner and Mary-Jo Horton were nominated for induction in 2006-2007. Mary-Jo, already a Laurel Society member, was recognized and her status will be elevated to the Diplomat level.
President Jody honored Karen Vaina, Terri Tudico, and Patricia Langhorne with the President’s Award. Terri Tudico was named Woman of the Year for 2006.
Officers installed were Donna Linton-president-elect, Pam Hough-vice-president, recording secretary-Sandy Kesslering, communications officer- Janice Norman, treasurer-Marge Isadore, ass’t treasurer-Cathy Sherry, 2nd year directors-Glenna DeMichael and Leigh Giunta, and Jeanine Webster and Jeanne’ Hudock as 1st year directors. Mary-Jo will serve as parliamentarian and Jody as past president.
The 39th Biennial SIA Convention “Free to Dream” was held in Philadelphia, July 19-22, 2006. The SIA headquarters on 1709 Spruce St was open to membership. President Terri, president-elect Donna, governor-elect Nidia, past governor Mary-Jo, and past presidents Joanne and Jody attended.
President Terri attended the “Emerging Leaders” forum with 19 SIA members from other countries. Nidia served as volunteer registrant, Donna as timekeeper, and Jody as microphone monitor. Mary-Jo and Joanne represented us at the Laurel Society reception. Nidia, Mary-Jo and SIA president Tess provided on-stage entertainment.
SIA contacted Jody to present the Light of the World Charities project in the Renaissance Lounge with 6 other SIA clubs. Jody accepted, Nidia transported the materials and Mary-Jo, Donna, Joanne and Jody assembled the display. Joanne presided at our scheduled time of 3:30 on Friday and fielded questions from SIA convention members (approximately 1500).
The display was a huge success and materials were handed out to interested SIA members. The WOD video was viewed on Friday as well. Additional region and club pins were added to the Large Sash. (The SIA convention chair reminded all members to attach their pins as it was possible our sash would one day be on display at the SIA headquarters.)
President Terri held her retreat in August with good attendance. She brought information from the SIA convention to include “healthy heart” in our SOS-SOS project this year.
Meetings were held at Renato’s in Harbour Bay Plaza at $20.00. The Five Minute Cameos would continue during the year. SOLT was held in October with a Halloween theme, chaired by Jeanine and Sherry.
Cathy Sherry resigned from the board as ass’t treasurer. Jeanine took the position, and Pamela Hoke joined the board as a director. Later, Marge Isadore resigned as treasurer; Jeanine stepped in as treasurer and Marilyn became ass’t treasurer for the remainder of the fiscal year.
Christmas Parade December 1st, 2006 was chaired by Joanne, Sharon, and Sherry, and titled Fairyland. The parade had increased sponsorships and funding; with attendance at an all time high. Attendance has continued to increase with floats and with the viewing public. Barry Grant again emceed from the grand stands. Mary Christine, Richard Kjellstrom, Jeanine Webster and Mel Noble hosted the sponsors and dignitaries.
The Woman of Distinction Awards officially became the “WOD Evening Awards Celebration” as it became an evening event for the first time and received wide acceptance by the club and the attending public. The WOD was co-chaired by Leigh Giunta and Maggie Overdorf, with committee members Kelly, Mary-Jo, Jeanne’, Pamela Hoke, Debbie, Donna, Jeanette, Janice Norman, Rosemary, Margaret, Tanya and Noel. They successfully reworked several aspects of the event to produce its highest profit ever-over $61,000. The “Celebration” was held Thursday, March 22, 2007 at Martin Downs Country Club in the main clubhouse and in a large tent. Margaret Richebourg was named Woman of Distinction in the Volunteer Category. A nominee and sponsor cocktail party was held several weeks earlier at Tesoro Country Club to recognize all nominees and the major sponsors.
Southern Region Conference was held in Key Largo, hosted by the Homestead Club on May 3-6, 2007. President Terri, past presidents Susan, Jody, governor-elect Nidia, past governor Mary-Jo, incoming president Donna, Pamela Hough, Pamela Hoke, and Barbara Bullis attended. Our club chaired “1st Timers” reception with 35 new members.
Our newsletter won 1st place; the SOLT program was recognized for “Celebrating Success;” and president Terri was elected to a 2 year term as District 1 representative to Ruby Lee Minor. Additionally, past presidents Susan Klein and Nidia Bernstiel were inducted into the Laurel Society for 2007.
Laws and resolution committee, chair Jody, undertook a total revision of policy codes and bylaws to address 501(c) 3 issues. All was adopted by the membership. SOS-SOS provided record mammograms this year under the leadership of chair Jeanne’.
The mobile mammogram unit provided service to 15 women in one day.
The “Making a Difference for Women” award was presented to Bertha McManus at our May program meeting. STEP Scholarship winners were also awarded at this meeting. One of the students who received a STEP scholarship was mentored by president Terri.
Incoming president Donna chaired a membership reception during the fall at Renato’s restaurant with approximately 60 women in attendance. Membership continues to thrive with a total of 61 members. New members are Janice Meadows, Abbey Morrison, Pat Williams, Valerie Graham, and Jo Ellen Dyer.
Incoming president Donna’s SOLT retreat was held at Manero’s on May 24 with 15 members attending. Donna’s theme was Respect, Responsibility, and Recommit.
Past president Jody was awarded the Outstanding Soroptimist Award (formerly named Woman of the Year) for 2006-2007 at the last business meeting on June 7th. Martha Norton, president Terri, Mary-Jo Horton, and Janice Norman received awards for “Perfect Attendance.”
Installation was held for the 3rd time at Monarch Country Club on Friday, June 8, 2007 with governor-elect Nidia presiding. The theme was “A New Year” complete with champagne and bells! Susan Klein and Jeanne’ Hudock received the President’s award from out-going president Terri.
Officers installed 2007-2008 were: Donna Linton-president, Pamela Hough-president-elect, Glenna DeMichael Parris-vice-president, Jeanine Webster-treasurer, Sherry Guffin-ass’t treasurer, Kelly DeGregorio-secretary, Rosemary Phillips-communications officer, Pamela Hoke and Jeanne’Hudock-2nd year directors, and Gigi Suntum and Jackie Jackson-1st year directors. Mary-Jo Horton will serve as parliamentarian and Terri Tudico Pettengill as past-president. The “Passing of the Gavel” was presented again this year with those former presidents in attendance taking part.
During the summer, Vee Chambers, a member of our club since 1962, passed away. “Aunt”Vee, who was in her 90’s, was a colorful and well-respected member of our community.
The Soroptimist International Convention XVIII in Glasgow, Scotland was attended by governor-elect Nidia July 29 – Aug 3, 2007. The convention theme was “Working for Peace.”
Noon luncheon meetings were held at Iannelli’s and later moved to Chantal’s at the airport in Stuart. Member Cameos and introductions continued at the program meetings.
The finance committee, chaired by Leigh Giunta, reworked the budget in a more simplified format, hired a new book-keeper, and started the year with $10,000.00 CD deposits and generous funding for all service projects.
We provided $5000 in funds for new signage at the House of Refuge. The sign refers to our club’s project in 1955 to save the House as it was in ruins. A ceremony was held at the House dedicating the sign with Commissioner Doug Smith presiding. The SOLT committee invited prospective members and gave an overview of SIS and its projects. President Donna, past president Terri, Noel Trachtenberg and Martha Norton represented us at the unveiling.
The international relations committee initiated a new project with former Congresswoman Linda Smith. The program, Shared Hope (a safe haven in Jamaica for young girls victims of sexual trafficking), was a SIA suggested theme and endorsed by president Donna. A reception of about 100 people was held at a private home in October, and raised more than $40,000.00 during the reception. Margaret Richebourg and Pat Williams chaired the committee for this fundraising event with Donna, Amy, Mary-Jo, Rosemary, Joanne and Jody.
SOS-SOS has removed the minimum age requirement for free mammograms and has included obesity and heart concerns within the program.
The district meeting, hosted by the St Lucie club, was held October 12-13, 2007 at the Saints Country Club. President Donna, governor-elect Nidia, past governor Mary-Jo, past presidents Terri, Jody, Donna L, president-elect Pam, Jeanine Webster, Rosemary Phillips, Barbara Bullis, and Jeanne Hudock attended.
Mary-Jo, Jody and Barbara presented the “Shared Hope” project and received district 1st place for the Governor’s Service Award. President Donna accepted recognition for our club’s participation in WOA, VRA, Founding Pennies, and increased membership for year 2006-2007.
The Christmas Parade was held Friday, December 7, 2007 with attendance increasing from year to year.
Sherry Guffin and Janice Norman chaired the club’s yearly public service project to Martin County. Barry Grant again emceed the event with floats that boggled the imagination. Sponsors continued to provide funds thereby making the parade a “small” fundraiser. The theme was Caribbean Carnival.
Woman of Distinction was chaired by Tanya Shipman Spain and Kelly DeGregorio. Committee members were Jody, Barbara, Leigh, Mary-Jo, Pamela Hough, Jeanne’, Donna, Abbey, Jeanette, Janice, Terri, Margaret, Noel and Karen. The Evening of Honors was held March 18, 2008 at Monarch Country Club with 13 nominees in Business/Professional, 13 nominees in Volunteer, 15 nominees in Civic/Professional, and 16 nominees in Rising Star. All nominees were recognized with awards and photos.
The Evening Awards was held at Harbour Ridge Country Club April 8 at 6:30 pm with Ms Ann Young as our emcee. About 250 people were in attendance. New member Tara Biek won recognition in the Business/Professional category. Cocktail time was followed with dinner and a wonderful evening of recognition. One main sponsor, Toyota of Stuart, provided $20,000.00 for this event.
In addition to a limited live auction, bidding was used to provide funds for SOS/SOS.
Former member Rosalind Hall enthused the audience and the bidding progressed. Net proceeds from the event were approximately $50,000.00.
The 82nd Southern Region Conference was held in Clearwater with a theme of “Plunder the Possibilities.” President-elect Pam, past governor Mary-Jo, governor-elect Nidia, past president Terri, and Barbara Bullis, Janice Norman, Glenna Parris, Sherry Guffin, Margaret Richebourg and Pat Williams attended. Governor-elect Nidia became our Stuart club’s first governor of Southern Region!
New members for 2007-2008 are Tara Biek, Gretchen Frazier, Samantha Kayser, Terri Zainc, Susan Perez, and Lisa Fricke. We continue to maintain a very strong roster of active past presidents, a welcome energy boost to the club.
Laws and resolution committee chair Joanne Zarro brought minor changes for approval to the membership. One noteworthy item was the elimination of requiring attendance for general members at meetings. Attendance is encouraged but no longer required by SIA. Board members are required to attend meetings as previously cited.
LaVaughn Tilton received our club’s “Making a Difference Award” for 2007-2008. Ms Tilton is a long time philanthropist and the founder of Martin County’s Hibiscus Children’s Center.
Memorial Day 2008 brought sadness to our club with the accidental death of Susan Klein’s husband Bobby. Swimming out to assist his sons in ocean waters, Bobby drowned trying to save his two sons. Susan was quoted at Bobby’s memorial service saying, “Thank you for not taking my three boys.” The club came to Susan’s assist and provided materials, food, drinks, etc for more than 700 people who attended the service. Past president Karen and Jeanette Mueller “chaired” the massive drive to pull this feat together…all in the space of two days! As past president Karen said, “Never have I been more proud of our club members and what they can do when asked.” President Donna, past presidents Jody and Terri were in the Baltic Sea on vacation and had to send their love and condolences via Blackberry and iPhone to Susan.
Installation was held at Willoughby Country Club on Friday, June 20, 2008 with cocktails and dinner for approximately 80 people. President Donna presented her President’s Award to Mary-Jo Horton and Jeanine Webster for their assistance to her presidency. Karen Vaina and Margaret Richebourg were honored with membership in the Laurel Society of SIA. The Outstanding Soroptimist Award for 2008 was presented by last year’s honoree Jody Potts Bond to past president Joanne Zarro for years of exceptional service to the club, women and girls.
The 82nd Southern Region Conference was at the Clearwater Beach Hilton April 17-20th. Governor-elect Nidia’s installation by Past Governors Mary-Jo and Alicia Zachman was a candlelight ceremony. Jeanine, Evelyn, Barbara Bullis, Donna Naglreiter, Terri Tuduco, Mary-Jo w ere in attendance. Stuart received a Celebrating Success Award for a our project for Shared Hope International. They also received 1st place for their Press Book. Linda Smith, sponsored by Stuart, received the Making a Difference for Women Award.
She is the founder of Shared Hope International.
Officers installed 2008-2009 were: president Pam Hough, president-elect Glenna Parris, vice-president Janice Norman, treasurer Sherry Guffin, ass’t treasurer Kelly DeGregorio, recording secretary Gretchen Frazier, communications officer Rosemary Phillips, 2nd year directors Jeanine Webster and Jackie Jackson, 1st year directors Liz Bonan and Debbie Hollister. Donna Linton serves as immediate past president, and Mary-Jo Horton as parliamentarian.
The highlight of the installation was an “off-broadway” production by Jeanette Mueller of “Menopause.” The talented thespians in the production were Mary-Jo Horton, Terri Pettengill, Sherry Guffin, and Janice Meadows. (Rumor has it, telephone calls from NY agents are asking for a limited return engagement. No response as of now from Producer Jeanette.)
Governor Nidia and past governor Mary-Jo attended the biennual SIA Convention “Sharing Good Fortune” in Taipei, Taiwan China July 16-19, 2008.
During the summer, The Soroptimist International Best Practices Award 2007-2008 was given to our club in the category “Soroptimists will ensure that women and girls live in safe and healthy environments.” Project “An Evening of Shared Hope” also won 3rd place finalist at the SIA Convention for “Celebrating Success Award” in the area of human rights and status of women.
Additionally, the club received the Soroptimist Club Award for participation in all areas of the Renaissance Programs-fundraising/membership/program/public awareness. Our club was the ONLY club in the southern region to receive this honor. Congratulations past president Donna Linton on the club’s accomplishments during your term.
President Pam held her 2008-2009 retreat “Stay Connected-Get Involved” on Saturday, Aug 2nd at ArcAngels from 9:30 – 2:00. Chairs introduced their committees and speakers were utilized both morning and early afternoon. SIS business and program meetings will continue to be held on 1st and 3rd Thursdays, September through May.
Jeanine Webster was asked to serve as Southern Region treasurer and resigned her 2nd year director position on our 2008-2009 board. Jackie Jackson resigned her position as did Gretchen Frazier. Janice Meadows volunteered to serve as recording secretary. Past presidents Karen and Sharon volunteered to serve as 2nd year directors for the remainder of 2008-2009. Tara Biek resigned her membership in the club.
Christmas Parade was held Friday, December 4, 2008 with a “Storybook” theme. Terri Zainc, Sherry Guffin and Janice Norman co-chaired the event which proved to once again be the best public service event for Martin County.
SIS held a Human Trafficking Summit on January 22, 2009 to educate the Treasure Coast community about “Human and Sexual Trafficking of Women.” The result of the summit provided a far-reaching effect: a coalition headed by our Martin County Sheriff Department was formed to eliminate trafficking on the Treasure Coast. Past president Terri Pettengill serves as our representative with the coalition.
The Woman of Distinction committee was chaired by Gigi Suntum and Lisa Marshall. The committee members were Jody, Barbara, Kelly, Mary-Jo, Pamela Hough, Jeanne’, Donna, Janice Norman, Glenna, Tanya, Karen and Penelope Whichello. The 41 nominees were recognized at Giuseppe’s Restaurant on March 3, 2009 and the Award ceremony was held at Marriott on April 7th with approximately 185 in attendance. Former SIS member Gayle Harrell emceed the event. A 10 item silent auction and signature “cause” cards provided additional revenue to the club. Net funds for the WOD event were approximately $14,000.00. The overall economy of the world was in a major economic freefall and donations for 501c 3’s were minimal.
The Southern Region Conference was held April 23-26, 2009 in Huntsville Alabama with Governor Nidia presiding. Gov Nidia, past governor Mary-Jo, president-elect Glenna, southern region treasurer Jeanine, and past president Terri attended. Jeanine was lucky winning the “Quilt” award membership in Laurel Society.
Past Governor Mary-Jo did the honors June 26, 2009 at Monarch Country Club with 40 in attendance where president-elect Glenna’s theme was “Jewels of the Sea. The slate of officers 2009-2010 installed: Glenna Parris-president, Kelly DeGregorio-president-elect, Liz Bonan-vice-president, Sherry Guffin-treasurer, Gigi Suntum-asst treasurer, Janice Meadows-recording secretary, Rosemary Phillips-communications director, 2nd year directors Janice Norman and Debbie Hollister, and 1st year directors Lisa Fricke and Terri Zainc.
President Pam honored Janice Norman and Sherry Guffin with the President’s Award. Sharon Kinane was honored with Laurel Society for 2009 and Amy Duffet Chappel was honored as Outstanding Soroptimist for 2009. The “Passing of the Gavel” was presented with all past presidents in attendance.
President Glenna held her 2009-2010 evening retreat on August 25th at past president Sharon’s home. Attendance and enthusiasm were present and ideas were raised to infuse new life into the club. Membership totals 47 for 2009-2010 with new members Lisa Grassam and Sarah Symons and our two life time members. Luncheon meetings were moved to the Harborage Restaurant on the St Lucie River, with the cost at $20.00.
Past president Jody Bond was elected Chair of the Stuart/Martin County Chamber of Commerce 2009-2010.
Southern Region District 1 meeting was held October 23/24, 2009, hosted by SI/Coral Gables at Courtyard Marriott. Governor Nidia, past governor Mary-Jo, past presidents Pam Hough, Donna and Terri P, and Terri Zainc attended. Think Globally, Act Locally was the theme with a presentation by Sharon D’Eusanio (Dade County Victim Services) on Human Trafficking. Shared Hope International Inc (SIS) also provided a presentation. SIS won the District 1 Governor’s Service Award for its annual Christmas parade.
Christmas Parade, Friday, December 4, 2009 was held in downtown Stuart with repeating chairs Janice Norman, Sherry Guffin and Terri Zainic. The theme was “Christmas under the Sea.” It “rained on our parade” for much of the parade, but the enthusiasm and smiles on the faces of all those who watched the parade was as large as ever. The overall responsibility of producing and managing the parade continues to be a concern for our club. Martin County’s population is nearing 150,000 citizens; and control for the safety of all those at the parade is becoming an issue. We maintained our sponsors of Jeanine Webster, Just Gold Jewelers, and the Scripps newspaper.
Luncheon meetings held at the Harborage proved a major success with meeting attendance on the rise. President Glenna proved a light-hearted leader with a fearless approach and great sense of humor. The SIS directory was late getting published. Past president Terri took on the project and distributed by December meeting. Kudos to Terri!
Past president Karen provided a never-ending stream of communication for our members…creating and issuing humorous and novel ways to reach everyone. She also continued to provide written brochures, notes, programs, etc when needed for the club.
The program committee, headed by vice-president Liz Bonan, held a “Vegas” card party at Evelyn’s home in lieu of a program meeting on Thursday, March 18, 2010 at 6:30 pm. Evelyn, Barbara, Janice, Jody, Karen, Donna, Tanya, Mary-Jo, Liz, Diane attended and all proclaimed to have kept all their “winnings.” Several times this year the club also held a “Soropty” hour…a social at one of the local restaurants. This proved successful as a “non-work meeting” for our members.
The WOD breakfast was held at Harborage Marina March 16, 2010 for all nominees. President Glenna related our club history and chairs Tanya Spain and Gigi Suntum provided information to the nominees. Past president Donna and president-elect Kelly DeGregorio served as co-chairs. The committee consists of Barbara, Diane, Jeanne’, Karen, Jody, Mary-Jo, Janice, Pam and Lisa Grassam. There are 38 nominees with 11-Business; 7-Civic; 8-Volunteer; and 12- Rising Star.
Monday, 11:30 am April 26, 2010, the Women of Distinction Awards Luncheon co-chaired by Tanya Spain and Gigi Suntum was held at Marriott Hutchinson Island Resort (IRP) at a cost of $75.00 per luncheon. President Glenna welcomed all and member Lisa Grassam was keynote speaker addressing women’s mental/physical health. Attendance was a successful 246. Kelly Bond Pelletier (Jody’s daughter) was recognized in the Business/Professional Category, first mother/daughter team to achieve this honor.
Past president Terri presented signature program sponsor cards; and auctioneer Drew Pittman brought in funds from 2 major donations-a Vegas travel/trip donated by Jeanine; and a Tennessee cabin retreat donated by past president Susan. Gross proceeds are approximately $45,000.00 with net proceeds of approximately $35,000.00, an excellent ratio of cost/ net. The committee consisted of Kelly, Donna, Jody, Barbara, Lisa, Diane, Mary-Jo, Pamela H, Jeanne’, Janice N and Karen. Tanya Spain (WOD co-chair) provided all graphic & layout materials (pro bono) for WOD! Kudos to Tanya!
Southern Region Conference was held April 30-May 2, 2010 at Embassy Suites in Deerfield Beach/Boca Raton. The theme was Leg-A-Sea with Governor Nidia presiding. Members attending were: Governor Nidia, past gov Mary-Jo, So Region treasurer Jeanine, past presidents Evelyn, Karen, Jody, Terri, Donna and Pam Hough. Barbara Bullis and president-elect Kelly DeGregorio also attended. A presentation by the “Battleaxe” proved to be an inspiration to the officers there. Suggestion was made to SIA that they consider “corporate” memberships for clubs. First time ever…we went home with no recognitions from the region.
Priscilla Tatarsky from Nashville, Tennessee was elected governor, Pat McCay from Huntsville, Alabama governor-elect, Jeanine Webster was reelected treasurer and Pam Hough was elected as secretary. Terri Pettengill will serve as parliamentarian.
The Finance committee, chaired by Amy Chappel, presented a 2010-2011 budget of $62,700.00. The committee decided to “bank” all service dollars into one category named “project expenses.” This allowed the president and general membership to determine at retreat what programs should/could remain in the new year; and provide opportunity for new programs to be developed or old programs to be channeled to other entities or dissolved. SIA and SI “named” programs remain in the 2010-2011 budget. This concept was approved by membership at May 6, 2010 business meeting. Existing dollars remain in CD deposits, the Coy Fund, and the Frances Langford Grant.
President-elect Kelly conducted her retreat at Martin Memorial offices May 22nd with 25 members attending. Pat Austin served as moderator and Mary-Jo provided a “historical” club profile of its 58 year history. The members determined the new year a transitional year with focus on fewer major/minor projects/programs overall.
The 2010-2011 approved budget cited no club specific funded projects, so members and the incoming president
Handing over responsibility for the annual Christmas Parade in the 2010-2011 year to the City of Stuart and Stuart Main Street was a difficult and emotional decision. Women of Distinction Awards and all SIA programs will continue.
SOS/SOS, STEPS, Community Service and International Relations are eliminated for 2010-2011 but their concerns may be introduced in a “whole” concept for one project to be determined by president Kelly’s transitions team.
A “Shoes” Installation was held at FINS restaurant Thursday, June 17, 2010 from 5:30 to 7:30 pm. Kelly DeGregorio was installed as president for 2010-2011 with past president Jody Bond doing the honors with assistance from past presidents Karen and Donna. Exotic and beautiful “spiked” shoes were aplenty with a pair or wooly boots and running shoes thrown in for good measure. Karen put her hand to Jody’s installation script and created a memorable installation unseen before.
Prior to installation, Amy Chappel (2009)) presented the Outstanding Soroptimist Award to Janice Norman for 2010. Past president Donna presented the Laurel Society nomination for 2010 to past president Jody Bond. Outgoing president Glenna honored Karen and Sherry with her President’s Award.
Kelly’s executive board members consist of: Liz Bonan-president-elect; Janice Norman-vice-present; secretary-Janice Meadows; communications officer-Debbie Hollister; Sharon Kinane-treasurer; assistant treasurer-Rosemary Phillips; 2nd year directors Lisa Fricke and Sherry Douds; and 1st year directors Lisa Grassam and Cindy Pingolt. Past president Glenna and parliamentarian Mary-Jo complete the slate.
Perfect attendance awards were presented to Barbara Bullis, Martha Norton, Evelyn Deggeller, and Jody Bond. Mary-Jo received recognition for her 50 years as a Soroptimist and joins Martha Norton who received that honor several years ago.
President Kelly named past president Susan Klein chair of the SIS 2010-2011 transition committee. This committee would determine direction of SIS with final approval by the general membership. Committee (task force) members present at the 1st meeting July 29th were Mary-Jo, Sharon, Karen, Jody, Terri P, Donna, Gigi, Valerie, Jill and president Kelly. Mary-Jo served as secretary.
“Women in Crisis/Crises” would serve as the general direction with emphasis on health, economy and physical abuse issues. Suggestions for a major project in crisis/crises areas brought about agreement on a possible “transitional house” for women. Suggestions for minor (one day projects) were requested of committee and general membership.
The Transition Committee with membership approval decided to suspend/terminate programs such as SOS/SOS, STEPS, Community Service and International Relations as of this calendar year. Mammograms will be offered via the Carolyn Coy Fund.
At the September meeting, the membership approved a major project committee (evolved from the task force) chaired by Susan Klein and Rosemary Phillips. This committee (Susan, Rosemary, Karen, Sharon, Sherry, Mary-Jo, Joanne, Valerie, Jill, Margaret, Terri, Janice and Janice, and Karen Dobbins) met at the Safespace offices and developed a workable concept, its logo and name to be offered to our club and the community.
A public community presentation sponsored by our club was offered at the Woman’s Club, January 18th, 2011. Teen violence and its effects was addressed by Brandi Carlson, a recognized authority and speaker on this subject from Tallahassee. .
Community and agency members (Children’s Services Council, Children’s Home Society, Hibiscus Children’s Center, representatives from the Martin County School Board, Martin Memorial Health Systems, Big Brothers/Big Sisters, Boys & Girls Club, etc) attending provided strong input into the issues and the need for assistance. All agencies represented expressed a strong desire and support for our suggested program.
At the February 2011 SIS meeting, an initial plan for the major project was presented and approved by the membership. This SIS main project revolves around teen violence, its prevention and treatment, with a program called T.R.U.S.T. (Teen Relations Using Safe Tactics). This program has been instituted in various formats throughout the country (Safe School Ambassadors Program). We provided a presentation to the School Board with initial funding of $5000.00 to initiate the program at the David Anderson Middle School.
Services previously provided through SOS-SOS were available as needed in 2010-2011 through the Carolyn Coy Cancer Fund chaired by Evelyn Deggeller.
On March 10, 2011, SIS supported Safespace Inc (domestic abuse agency), exec director Jill Borowicz, a fellow Soroptimist by attending the annual Safespace luncheon benefit. President Kelly, Janice N, Donna, Debbie, Lisa, Mary-Jo, Pam Hough and Jody attended.
In March, the club made available $2000.00 to the former International Relations committee, chaired by Donna, for continued support of the 2009-2010 Shared Hope project. The committee (Donna, Mary-Jo, Amy, Terri, Jody, Rosemary and Joanne) held a yard sale at Evelyn’s home May 21 and 22, 2011 adding $939.00 additional funds to Shared Hope. President Kelly then personally “anteed up” with $61.00 to make it an even $1000.00 for a grand total of $3000.00. The yard sale proved a valuable tool in reaching and educating residents who weren’t aware of our projects or mission.
The 85th Southern Region SIA Conference held in Montgomery, Alabama April 7 -10, 2011 was attended by past presidents Terri and Evelyn, past governors Nidia and Mary-Jo, and Jeanine and Barbara. Mary-Jo, Barbara and Evelyn also served as our club’s delegates. Our Press Book, chaired again by Barbara, won 1st place. An SIS presentation, Teen Violence Prevention, was presented by our club at the conference.
The breakfast for our forty-four Woman of Distinction nominees was chaired by Lisa and held on Wednesday, March 23, 2011 at the Woman’s Club of Stuart from 8 am to 10 am. Tom Winter provided the nominee photos and chair Lisa’s Mom, Betty Bowen, provided the mini quiches, etc for all.
The Woman of Distinction Awards Luncheon was held on Thursday, May 5, 2011 at Marriott Hutchinson Island Resort. Dr Lisa Grassam served as the chair with committee members Karen, Donna, Joanne, Debbie, Terri, Valerie, Tanya, Gigi, Janice N, Mary-Jo, Diane, Rosemary, Jody and president Kelly. Pam Hough produced a beautiful video explaining SIS and its programs. Attendance was at a high of 272 guests, a number not seen in recent years.
Forty-four nominees were entered this year with one of our own—Jeanine Webster—honored as Woman of Distinction in the Volunteer category. A raffle and live and silent auction were held as was a “cause” presentation by president Kelly which resulted in additional funds. Overall, the net proceeds for WOD 2010-2011 are approximately $28,000.00.
Long time SIS member, Karen Ripper, a senior vice-president of Martin Memorial Health Systems retired this year after 35 years as a valuable part of the hospital and its’ programs. Karen, congratulations on a job well done. We’re all proud of you!
At the May 19, 2011 program meeting, our club honored Jeanne Emiddio as the Woman’s Opportunity Award recipient (Tanya Spain, chair). Mrs Emiddio is a single parent of four children including twin boys about 4 years old. She is working full-time and attending college to provide a better life for her family.
The Violet Richardson Award (Rosemary Phillips, chair) recipient for 2011 was Gabrielle Silvas (one of 23 applicants) for her work in the Treasure Coast Human Trafficking Coalition. Rosemary spoke of Gabrielle’s involvement at her high school and within the coalition producing a video and passing out flyers regarding the coalition’s work.
The SIS retreat “Relax with the Broads” for 2011-2012 was held 8:30 – 12:00, Saturday, June 11th, with Dr Pat Gage as moderator. President-elect Liz asked attending members to consider “what, who and how to” for the club’s new year. A presentation for TRUST (only named club project) was given. Additionally, short presentations were given by several members reviewing previous years’ club projects (SOS/SOS, STEPS, Pathfinders, International Relations, etc). All retreat suggestions would be given to the membership for possible approval and inclusion at the September meeting. Those in attendance were Donna, Tanya, Mary-Jo, Janice N, Janice M, Terri, Joanne, Karen, Sherry, Susan, Lynne and Pam Hough.
The SIS installation was held at Finz Restaurant on June 16, 2011 at 5:30 with a theme of “relax and enjoy” by our incoming president Elizabeth “Liz” Bonan. Mary-Jo Horton, member and past Southern Region Governor presided at the installation. Sunglasses and items needed for a vacation were used as “props” for the installation. President Kelly thanked her board and membership for their hard work in our transition year. President Kelly honored Lisa Grassam with the President’s Award for stepping up to the plate and chairing the Women of Distinction committee and awards ceremony.
Glenna Parris was honored as our Outstanding Soroptimist for 2010-2011. Janice Norman, last year’s honoree, presented a long history and biography on Glenna dating back more than twenty years…including a Southern Region Stuart Conference (1998) Glenna was involved with…while at the same time…almost delivering her baby!
Janice Norman and Jody Bond, received their Laurel Society membership pins from SIA for 2011 and 2010. This honor is submitted by the club to SIA for recognizing long and honorable service to the club and Soroptimist International.
Past Governor Mary-Jo installed President Liz’ board: Janice Norman, president-elect: Lisa Grassam, vice-president; Sharon Kinane, treasurer; Janice Meadows, assistant treasurer; Lucy Lueg, recording secretary; Debbie Hollister, communications officer; Amy Chappel and Tanya Spain, 2nd year directors; and Evelyn Deggeller and Lynne Spraker as 1st year directors. Kelly DeGregorio serves as immediate past president and Mary-Jo Horton as parliamentarian.
Laws & Resolutions Committee (chair Jody) had a rewrite/revision in 2011/2012 with committee president Liz, Janice, Donna, Susan, Mary-Jo, Glenna.
Barbara Bullis agreed to chair our Newsletter/Scrapbook again…what a dependable and creative member! Safespace Inc executive director, Jill Borowicz requested and received a one year SIS sabbatical and Gretchen Frazier and Suzy Hutcheson were reinstated as SIS members. SIS will be instituting evening meetings periodically during the year.
District 1 meeting “Growing our Legacy” was hosted by the Davie club Oct 21/22, 2011 at the Hyatt Regency in Weston. President Liz, Janice, past governors Nidia and Mary-Jo, and past presidents Donna, Terri and Jody were in attendance. Our club presented a short program on “What makes a Great Club.” President-elect Janice agreed to co-host the 2012 District 1 meeting with the St Lucie club.
TRUST project (chair Sharon) divided into 3 sub-committees…the Safe School
Ambassador Program (SSA) chair Terri, Teen Dating Violence Prevention (TDVP) chair Darcy, and Done in a Day Project (DID) chair Kelly D. Committee members are Karen D and Karen V, Valerie, Nidia, Martha, Debbie, Jean, Janice N, Jeanette, Lynne, Barbara, Glenna, Amy, Joanne and Lucy.
TRUST (chair Darcy) hosted a “Dinner with your Daughter” for February 14, 2012 with videos and speakers. Girls (ages 13-15) learned about healthy dating in order to reduce teen dating violence. This free event featured dinner & dessert with Dr Meredith Gould, an expert in field of adolescent girls, conflict resolution, bullying, dating abuse, health & wellness.
The Dinner was held at the Flagler Lyric Center with 35 teens and their parents…with a waiting list of more than 70 people! Each teen went home with reading materials and a bracelet promoting healthy teen dating.
TRUST also presented a proclamation to the MC Commission in February proclaiming it as Teen Domestic Violence Awareness & Prevention Month. The Martin County Library System purchased 4 videos on the Healthy Teen Dating.
President-elect Janice and past president Jody reviewed the possibility of creating a CEO program (Corporate Engagement Opportunity) for our club to allow for sponsorship and/or membership to corporate entities in the Martin county area. This would be a pilot program in the Southern Region.
International Relations (chair Donna) “adopted” 3 youngsters for a year period…Sudi Mayumi from Peru (dob 5/19/11), Meline from Armenia (dob 10/19/06) and Kuchie from Ghana (dob 5/9/03) at a cost of $35.00 per child per month. This project was recommended by past presidents/committee members Joanne and Jody after attending an international woman’s group in West Palm Beach. These funds provide shelter and living assistance for each child and her family. Additionally, the committee will be holding its 2nd annual yard sale at Evelyn’s home on Saturday, May 19th to provide funds for further international assistance as needed.
Tanya chaired the Awards Committee this year encompassing Violet Richardson, the Ruby Miner and the Woman’s Opportunity Awards. On May 17, at our program meeting, the honorees were presented. The WOA winner was Kim Monroe who received our award of $3000.00 The Ruby winner was Janet Lindsey who with her charity, Mary’s Shelter, received our donation of $1000.00. Violet Award winner was Danielle Steinberg who received $1000.00 with $1000.00 to her charity, the American Cancer Society.
President Liz chaired WOD 2012 with committee members Lisa ( nominee breakfast), Joanne, Sharon, Terri (silent auction), Karen (PR), Mary-Jo (judges/judging), Barbara, Evelyn, Janice N & Gigi (nominees), Tanya (program/invite), Debbie (sponsors), Pam (video), Janice M & Sherry D (reservations) and Donna & Jody (cause auction).
The Women of Distinction Awards Luncheon chaired by President Liz was held April 26, 2012, Thursday, 11:30 at Marriott Resort. Lisa G chaired the WOD nominee breakfast Thursday, March 22 at the Women’s Club. The WOD event of 225 attendees and 35 nominees also recognized our 1st honorary chair, Sandra Thurlow, a local historian and author. Jeanette Mueller won the 2012 Volunteer recognition. A silent auction and an iPad were again offered and netted almost $1500.00. Donna & Jody emceed the Cause Auction raising $5000.00 via generosity of the political candidates at the event.
Past president Glenna chaired the Nominating committee recommending the slate for 2012-2013, unanimously approved by the membership.
The 86th Southern Region Conference was held in Savannah May 3-6, 2012. Past governors Mary-Jo and Nidia, past presidents Evelyn, Pam and Terri, president Liz, Lucy and Jeanine attended. Our Ruby Award winner, Janet Lindsay, attended the recognition lunch with her family and was awarded the Southern Region Ruby Award.
Our club was awarded 3rd place for our website and a “Celebrating Success” award for the Women of Distinction Awards and Luncheon. Pat McCay elected Governor 2012-2014 and Terri Pettengill elected Governor-Elect for 2012-2014. Outgoing Governor Priscilla announced SI Stuart and SI St. Lucie will move from District I to District II joining SI Holiday Isles, SI Tampa and SI Upper Pinellas. SIA President-Elect, Raquel Ruiz attended the Conference speaking on “Living Our Dream: Shaping Our Future.”
President-elect Janice N selected Sherry D to chair a transition committee to review all funding options available to SIS for 2012-2013. Past presidents Kelly D, Donna and Jody have agreed to serve as members.
President-elect Janice held her installation and retreat in conjunction with our monthly business meeting on June 7, 2012 at the Women’s Club. Her installation was chaired by SOLT committee’s Karen D. This year’s theme was “Dancing.” Past president Jody presided at the installation with assistance from past presidents Karen V and Donna. Outgoing president Liz honored Debbie Hollister and Karen Vaina with the President’s Award. Our 2011 Outstanding Soroptimst Glenna honored Sharon Kinane as Outstanding Soroptimist for 2012 and Donna Linton was honored as our Laurel Society nominee for 2012.
Incoming board members were installed via personalized music. President-elect Lisa Grassam, Vice-president Debbie Hollister, Treasurer Jean Law Scott, Asst treasurer Janice Meadows, Secretary Lucy Lueg, Communications Gigi Suntum, 2nd year Directors Evelyn Deggeller and Lynne Spraker and 1st year Directors Amy Chappel and Darcy Flierl. Liz Bonan serves as past president and Mary-Jo Horton serves as parliamentarian.
Each incoming board member was “danced” to their respective positions on the board. After installation, president Janice treated everyone to a dance presentation and lesson on the Salsa! Gretchen, Nidia, Sherry, Lisa, Donna, Janice M, Jean, Glenna, Pam, Gigi and President Janice learned quickly and presented quite a chorus line!
The retreat followed with general agreement from those attending that president Janice will report to the membership of specific suggestions for projects for 2012-2013 at the first business meeting.
Janice Meadows unfortunately resigned from our club and her position as asst treasurer. We will miss her involvement with our club. New member, Amy Pearlstine, willingly stepped in to fill the vacancy of asst treasurer.
Past president and Southern Region Governor-elect Terri became a member of the Laurel Society in 2012. Several of our Laurel Society members (Mary-Jo Horton, Martha Norton, Evelyn Deggeller, Susan Klein, Nidia Bernstiel and Terri have independently donated and continue to donate to the SIA Fund Foundation. Additionally, Evelyn has now been elevated to the Envoy level. Congratulations Ladies!
SIA held its 42nd Biennial Convention July 18-21, 2012 at the Hilton Hawaiian Village, Honolulu. Past Governor Nidia and Gov-Elect Terri attended the convention.
Catered Luncheon meetings were held Thursdays at the Lyric Flagler Center with a cost of $21.00 per member. Vice-president Debbie contacted and utilized several different caterers during the year. The location was excellent but finding a suitable caterer took time and Debbie’s patience. Membership for 2012-2013 is 46 regular members with one Life member.
An SIS Information billboard produced & created by Karen V was situated indoors at the Treasure Coast Mall in early October to provide publicity and awareness to the public of our club’s mission and accomplishments. Public and club response has been positive.
On Wednesday, January 9, 2013, Evelyn hosted Italian Night at her home. This event raised $995.00 with expenses of $375.00 for the Ways/Means committee. Serving on the committee were Barbara, Jeanette, Nidia and Anne Lord.
The International Relations Committee had its 2nd annual yard sale at Evelyn’s residence Saturday, 8 am – 4 pm on January 19, 2013. Approximately $3000.00 was collected in sales. Tremendous support with donations and furniture inventory donated by members was much appreciated by the committee. Rain on and off all day didn’t dampen the spirits of volunteers (photos available) Anne, Paula, Donna, Janice, Nidia, Jody, Liz, Evelyn, Barbara, Debbie, Lisa and co-chairs Ronna & Mary-Jo. The IRC continues to support World Vision.
Pam Hough, chair of the Awards committee announced that the WOA winners for 2012/2013 are Amanda T Cronin for $2000.00 and Christine Kuzevski for $1000.00. Jenna Gallas received the Violet Richardson Award $1000, and $1000 for her charity the American Red Cross.
Feb 3rd, Sunday at Starstruck Theatre…TRUST co- chairs Sharon Kinane and Darcy Flierl and their committee staged “Dating, Dodging and Ditching.”
There were 70 people in attendance with boys & girls equally. Maria Villar PhD from Florida International University spoke on domestic violence. A panel discussion was held and StarStuck students performed a skit highlighting the issue. Participation by SIS members was great and all agreed that this free event to the public provided another TRUST success.
Feb 5th…a SIS proclamation was read by TRUST committee member, Darcy Flierl, at the Martin County Board of County Commission recognizing February as the Teen Dating Awareness month.
At the March 7th SIS business meeting, membership approved a $5000.00 donation to the New Elliott Museum and its displays. Our SIS club in 1955 worked single-handedly on their club’s FIRST community project to save Gilbert’s House of Refuge. SIS was responsible for the formation of the Martin County Historical Society and for influencing Harman Elliott and the construction of the original Elliott Museum.
Committee chair Donna Linton, board representative Jean Law Scott and Karen Ripper, membership representative comprised the Nominating committee for 2013-2014.
At the April 4, 2013 business meeting, the Carolyn Coy Fund was changed to the Carolyn Coy Cancer Outreach Program. The new project will supply wellness baskets/totes to those in need of this at the Cancer Center. Approximately 25 new patients enter treatment each month. The cost for this project will be approximately $10,500.00 per year. Evelyn Deggeller and Sherry Douds co-chair this committee.
WOD committee Darcy Flierl & Lisa Grassam (co-chairs) and members Janice, Donna, Mary-Jo, Liz, Debbie, Karen V, Jody, Barbara, Sharon, Jill Keegan, Anne Williams Lord, Amy Pearlstine McNally and Karen Kerwin began their almost weekly Monday luncheon meetings in January 2013. The WOD breakfast was held for 56 nominees (16 Business, 15 Civic, 15 Volunteer and 10 Rising Star) on Friday, March 15, 8 am. President-elect Lisa chaired the breakfast for the 3rd year at the Woman’s Club on Friday, March 15th. The WOD Awards Ceremony was held Thursday, April 18, 6 pm at Marriott Hutchinson Resort with a sell-out crowd of 295. The Cause auction presented by Donna and Jody raised $5000.00, the baskets silent auction raised $2850.00 with total net proceeds for WOD approximately $20,000.00. his year’s honorees included our own Donna Linton in the Volunteer category. Congratulations, Donna! There was much appreciation for the evening function which also included a brief but outstanding vocal performance by a Martin County student.
Southern Region Conference was held April 25-28, 2013 in Orlando. Our club hosted the First Timer Reception. Those attending were Terri, Debbie, Evelyn, Nidia, Mary-Jo and President Janice. We were awarded 1st place for our website and 3rd place for our scrapbook and for our attendance. The SR board recommended increasing the club’s membership fee to $200.00 per club. Currently, there are 19 clubs represented in the Southern Region, with most located in South Florida. The club minimum membership requirement has been removed. The next SR Conference will be in Nashville, Tennessee when Governor-elect Terri will be installed.
As of the May 2013 business meeting, our club showed a financial balance of approximately $76,000.00 in our account, of which approximately $65,000.00 was being held in certificates of deposit.
The Nominating Committee presented the 2013-2014 slate of officers for consideration. Elected were: 1st year directors-Barbara Bullis and Paula Gossett, 2nd year directors-Amy Chappel and Karen Ripper, Communication Officer-Gretchen Frazier, Recording Secretary-Lucy Lueg, Assistant Treasurer-Amy Pearlstine McNally, Treasurer-Jean Laws Scott, Vice-President-Darcy Flierl, President-Elect-Jeanine Webster and In-coming President-Lisa Grassam.
At the May 2013 awards program meeting, recognitions for Violet Richardson and Woman’s Opportunity were presented with their monetary awards.
The Laws/Resolution Committee offered at the June 6 business meeting, an amended policy for SIS Laurel Society membership and the SIS Outstanding Soroptimist award which was approved. The Arts & Dance non-profit was awarded $2500.00 for summer scholarships for students not financially able to attend the programs.
Installation and Retreat for 2013-2014 was held Saturday, June 8, 8 am – 12 noon at the Marriott Courtyard on Hutchinson Island. President Janice honored Lisa Grassam with the President’s Award for 2013 and Debbie Hollister received the club’s Outstanding Soroptimist Award for 2013. Past president Evelyn was recognized for her 35 years membership of service. “Gifts from the Sea” was incoming president Lisa’s theme with Past Presidents Jody and Donna installing the new board. The weather was perfect, the installation featured shells from the sea appropriately suited for each of the new board members…and the Queen Conch for our new president, Lisa Grassam.
The 2013-2014 retreat followed installation and provided strong support for our women’s programs. Those present (Janice, Lisa, Evelyn, Barbara, Martha, Mary-Jo, Jeanine, Terri, Pam, Amy Chappel, Karen Dobbins, Donna, Gretchen, Ronna, Paula, Lucy, Debbie, Darcy, Pam, Jill, Gigi and Jody) urged the “re-creation” of our SOS-type program with Martin Health System through our Soroptimist Carolyn Coy Cancer Outreach Program. Our club would provide financial assistance for mammograms, wellness totes for new female cancer patients and other services needed. Debbie and Evelyn volunteered to chair the program.
Community Service program was suggested to provide financial scholarships or assistance to local nonprofits. Additionally, the TRUST program and the International Relations program were also recommended for continued service from those present. Past presidents Janice and Sharon volunteered to chair WOD for 2014.
After the retreat, President Lisa brought the members out to the beach for a “sand castle” building contest using items given to the five teams. The Evelyn, Terri, Paula, Jill, Karen & Jody team won for their rendition of a SIS castle which included the SIA pillars and each member’s willingness to “dig in and get the job done.” The entire event was concluded on time by twelve noon. Vice-president Darcy was unable to carry through her responsibilities so Karen Vaina handled lunches reservations for the 2013-2014 year.
Janice & Sharon co-chaired WOD April 24, 2014 at Hutchinson Island Marriott in the evening. WOD breakfast, again chaired by Lisa, was held March 7th at the Women’s Club. WOD Awards attendance was 275; Donna & Jody raised $4000.00 for the cause auction; Liz Bonan & Kat Tolman did an unbelievable job garnering gifts and creating magnificent baskets raising almost $5000.00.
Just Gold Jewelers donated pearl earrings for raffle and WOD netted $31,100.00. Committee consisted of Janice, Sharon, Lisa, Mary-Jo, Liz, Evelyn, Barbara, GiGi, Donna, Pam, Kat, Debbie and Jody.
May 1-4, 2014 SR conference was held in Nashville. Terri was installed as Southern Region Governor and Mary-Jo, Nidia, Lisa and Jeanine attended. Southern District has reduced to three districts. Our club won 1st place for both the website (Gretchen) and the scrapbook (Lucy). Woman’s Opportunity Award (Amy C) was renamed Live your Dream and Violet Richardson Awards (Nidia) will be reworked at SIA convention in July, 2014 in Vancouver, Canada. The 2015 conference will be held in the Tampa area possibly through a 5 day cruise to Mexico.
T.R.U.S.T. (Karen D chair) held a girls’ workshop May 17th for 12 teenage girls. Counseling sessions were part of the workshop.
President Lisa agreed to serve a 2nd term 2014-2015 and Jeanine again as president-elect based on the nomination (Liz, Glenna & Karen R) committee’s request.
The Awards Luncheon was held May 22. The Women’s Opportunity Award 1st place $2,000 went to Kristin Ryan, and $1,000 to Kristie Mathis. Lauren Gawel received the Violet Richardson Award for 2014. There were 5 applicants this year. As winner she and the Treasure Coast Wildlife Center were both awarded $1000 at the Luncheon.
President Lisa’s installation & retreat was held Saturday, May 31, 2014 at the Courtyard. Past presidents Jody & Donna installed with a theme “Follow the Dream, Dreams Come True.” Installed: Karen Ripper-vice-president, Jill Keegan-treasurer, LynneSpraker-ass’t treasurer, Lisa Satur-secretary, Gretchen Frasier-communications, Evelyn Deggeller/Barbara Bullis-2nd year directors and Sheila Kurtz/Roseann Ryba-1st year directors. Janice N is past president and Mary-Jo Horton as parliamentarian. President Lisa honored Karen Vaina and Mary-Jo Horton with the President’s Award for 2014. President Lisa was honored with the Outstanding Soroptimist Award for 2014 and Barbara Bullis and past president Liz Bonan were honored with 2014 Laurel Society membership.
Jean Laws Scott, Lisa Satur and Kristina Feil agreed to tri-chair an evening WOD on Thursday, April 23, 2015. Gigi is chairing Community Services, Jody – Laws & Resolutions, Jean – Public Relations, Donna – International Relations, Glenna and Lucy – TRUST, Evelyn and Barbara – co-chairs of Ways & Means and Amy is chair of Awards.
SIA Convention was held at the Vancouver Marriott Pinnacle Downtown, Nidia was Club Delegate, Governor Elect Terri was recognized as incoming Governor of Southern Region.
Meetings continued at the Stuart Woman’s Club building on 1st & 3rd Thursdays with yearly dues 150.00 for Regular members. Karen Vaina requested sabbatical for 2014-2015 and Joy Funston became an Honorary member.
Donna and committee hosted a reception October 30, 2014 for Shared Hope Restoration for Nepal’s children of sexual trafficking. Martin Downs Country Club was the evening venue. Rep Gayle Harrell and her family hosted the 4 youngsters, their chaperones and Linda Smith at the Harrell home. Martin County Sheriff Will Snyder & Gayle spoke at the reception for approximately 125 people raising about $5,000.00 for Shared Hope. Shared Hope youngsters provided a cultural folk dance and each presented their personal stories.
T.R.U.S.T., chaired by Karen Dobbins & Lucy, hosted the 2nd annual Dinner with your Daughter on February 4, 2015. Virginia Jones from Helping People Succeed will be a speaker along with Sue Dockerill.
WOD on Thursday, April 23, 2015 at Hutchinson Island Marriot is the Twenty Fifth Anniversary, “A Red Carpet Event”.
The Soroptimist Awards Dinner was held and the winners of our local awards were: The Live Your Dream Award Winners are Amber Payne ($1500), Mindy Isador ($1000) and Paige Perez ($500) and Lauren Maunus was the Violet Richardson Award winner.
The Installation & Retreat for incoming president Jeanine Webster was held in June at the Martin Health Cancer Center. President Lisa was honored by the club for her service and willingness to honorably serve for the 2nd year which had not occurred since 1994. Our Outstanding SIS in 2015 is Jeanine Webster and Laurel Society membership was presented to Lisa Grassam-Smith.
The 2015-2016 board is President Jeanine Webster, President-elect GiGi Suntum, 1st Vice-President Suzy Hutcheson, Treasurer Jill Keegan. Asst Treasurer Lynne Spraker, Recording Secretary Lisa Satur, Communication-Roseanne Ryba, Directors-Sheila Kurtz, Eula Clarke Glenna Parris, Donna Linton, Past President Lisa Grassam-Smith and parliamentarian Mary-Jo Horton . Jody Bond requested sabbatical for 2015-2016.
Chairs for 2015-2016 are are Awards-Amy Chappel & Sheila Kurtz, Laws & Resolution-Liz Bonan, Carolyn Coy Cancer Outreach-Debbie Hollister & Evelyn Deggeller, Community Service- Gigi Suntum, International-Jill Keegan & Mary-Jo Horton, Programs-Suzy Hutchinson, Public Awareness-Roseann Ryba, SOLT – Jean Laws Scott, Scrapbook- Lucy Lueg, TRUST-Glenna Parris & Lucy Lueg, Ways & Means -Evelyn Membership- Gigi Suntum, & Women of Distinction-Janice Norman, Lisa Grassam.
The Southern Region Conference was held on board the Brilliance of the Seas Cruise Ship April 30th – May 4, 2015. Past Governor Nidia was our delegate. It was Governor Terri first conference “Sail for Success”. There are now 3 Districts instead of 4 in Southern Region.
The Greater Daytona SI Club will be submitting Charter Application for 2015-2016 club year. They will have a July 1 Charter we are the chartering club. Southern Region clubs assisted in establishing their Charter and installation.
WOD 2015-2016 chairs past presidents Lisa Grassam & Janice Norman held the dinner reception at Mariner Sands, March 8th, 2016 at 6pm. Lisa again chaired the WOD Nominee breakfast in February. The new setting was welcome and overall appreciated by membership. Attendance was good & dinner was excellent.
We established 2 new awards this year. The Women in Transition Award and the Youth Service Award to replace the Violet Richardson Award (this one no longer supported by SIA). Age was the major exception in both awards. The Youth Service Award winner could be a sophomore – senior in High School and the Women in Transition for a woman over 40 returning to school to be able to support her family. April 19th, the awards dinner was held. The Live Your Dream Awards were given to 1st Rebecca Beckett $1,500, 2nd Dena Geddes $900, 3rd Shawn Brown $600. Debra Holmes received the Women in Transition ($1,000) award and the Soroptimist Youth Award was given to Shelby Pelkey $1,000.
Dinner With Your Daughter was held. They had 96 people at the event and the members received very positive feedback from all in attendance.
Laws & Resolution committee 2015-2016, chair Liz Bonan made major revisions to the club By-laws and reduced the size of our governing board. General membership approved these revisions and eliminated the offices of President-elect and two (2) of the four (4) Directors.
The Southern Region Conference was held in Charlotte, NC in June and attended by President Jeanine, Governor Terri, Mary-Jo and Lucy Lueg.
The 2016 SIA Convention was held in July in Orlando Fl and attended by Past President Jeanine, Past Governors Nidia, Terri & Mary-Jo.
The evening dinner Installation for GiGi Suntum was held at Manero’s Friday, June 16, 2016 with 24 members in attendance. Outgoing president Jeanine was recognized for her outstanding year of leadership and honored Lisa Grassam and Janice Norman with the President’s Award. Outstanding Soroptimist 2016 was given to Liz Bonan and membership in the Laurel Society was awarded to Amy Chappel.
The 2016-2017 SIS executive board is GiGi Suntum-president, Suzy Hutcheson-vice-president, Lucy Lueg-treasurer, Cheryl Hernandez-ass’t treasurer, Kat Rock-secretary, Roseann Ryba-communications, Eula Clarke & Jill Keegan-directors, Jeanine Webster-past president and Mary-Jo Horton-parliament. Parliamentarian.
Immediately following the installation and dinner, President GiGi held a short retreat opening with a great “meet n greet” question period that helped us to learn the personal side of our members. Conversation followed regarding our meetings…time & place and areas of interest for our mission and our members.
Lunch business meetings were scheduled at noon 1st Thursday each month per By-Laws revision at a local restaurant. Program meetings are generally scheduled at noon and always the 3rd Thursday of month. An occasional evening meeting was also scheduled. We had our first summer meeting in July. To avoid the rush at Berry Fresh restaurant the meeting were at 11:30.
Kat Rock and Cheryl Hernandez agreed to co-chair the Woman of Distinction Awards reception. Committee members are Janice, Sherry, Evelyn, Barbara, Mary-Jo, Donna, Jody, Lisa.
TRUST held its annual “Dinner with your Daughter,” with Committee chair Lucy Lueg. This program continues though attendance dropped this year.
Janice Norman was selected Volunteer Woman of Distinction at this year’s annual WOD reception at Mariner Sands on Tuesday, March 7 2017. The evening reception netted approximately $27,000.00 through sponsorships and live auction with about 225 people in attendance. Opportunity for a “Cause” donation was available at each table.
Lucy Lueg, Mary-Jo Horton & President GiGi, Nidia attended Southern Region Conference in Hollywood, Fl April 27-29.
Incoming President Suzy Hutcheson held her “Soroptimist Rocks” Installation & Retreat at the Helping People Succeed new offices in Jensen Beach on Saturday, June 24th, 2017 from 8:30-12:30, with past president Liz Bonan doing the honors. The SIS Executive Board consists of Suzy-President, Jill Keegan-Vice-President, Leah Cope-Recording Secretary, Gina Kenyon-Communications, Amy Chappel-Treasurer, Joanne Zarro Jones-Ass’t Treasurer, Lisa Grassam Smith & Kat Rock-Directors for 2017-2018 with GiGi as past president and Mary-Jo as parliamentarian.
A light breakfast & lunch was served at the HPS offices with SIS Honors for 2017 going to Lucy Lueg with Laurel Society membership and Sherry Guffin Douds as Outstanding Soroptimist. Outgoing President GiGi honored Lucy Lueg & Jeanine Webster with the President’s Award for 2017.
Those in attendance were: GiGi Suntum, Suzy Hutcheson, Amy Chappel, Lucy Lueg, Sherry Douds, Mary-Jo Horton, Janice Norman, Terri Pettengill, Liz Bonan, Joanne Zarro Jones, Cheryl Hernandez, Gina Kenyon & Lisa Grassam Smith.
President Suzy stated luncheon meetings for 2017/2018 will be held at noon on the 1st & 3rd Thursdays at Northern Trust offices. Lunch ($20.00) will be catered by Melissa Major. Dues for regular members are $170.00.
Janice Norman and Liz Bonan agreed to co-chair 2018 WOD with committee meetings starting in July 2017. Additional committee chairs are: Liz -Laws & Resolutions, Barbara -Ways & Means, Jeanine -Carolyn Coy Fund, Sherry & Lucy-TRUST, Amy & Glenna -Awards, Terri -Inter Relations, Lucy-Scrapbook & President Suzy-Membership/Programs/Budget.
President Suzy held a July 27th “reorganizational” meeting to obtain input & approval for a more realistic group of committees for the 2017-2018 year. Enthusiasm was evident and members in attendance signed up for the committees. Those in attendance: President Suzy, Jeanine, Liz, Mary-Jo, Janice, Donna, Lisa, Glenna, Amy, Eula, Sharon, Joanne, Lucy, Barbara, Leah Cope, Nidia, Jill Keegan, Gina Kenyon and Jody.
Our T.R.U.S.T. program sponsored Dinner With Your Daughter once again for the 5th year March 20th.
Dr Lisa Grassam Smith was selected Business Woman of Distinction at the annual awards ceremony held at Mariner Sands, Tuesday, April 10, 2018. Attendance was nearly 225 and an outstanding dinner was enjoyed by all.
Lucy Lueg chaired the Laurel Society committee in May to select this year’s honoree.
The SIS awards dinner was held at Manero’s, Wednesday, May 30th at 5:30pm. Awards were given for Live the Dream to Hannah Merilan for $1500.00. The Woman in Transition Award for $1500.00 went to Sarka Booton. Catch the Wave was awarded $40,000.00. Evie Flaugh was awarded Youth Service for River Kidz and will receive her honor at the Retreat on June 16th.
The slate of officers for 2018-2019 was presented at the June 16th meeting to those in attendance and voted unanimously. The officers are Jill Keegan-President, Kat Rock-vice President, Karen Ripper-Secretary, Amy Chappel-Treasurer, Joanne Zarro-Asst Treasurer, Lisa G Smith-2nd yr Director and Candace Lopes -1st yr Director.
The 2018-2019 Budget for $59,300.00 was presented passed unanimously.
Our annual meeting also was June 16th and Incoming President Jill Keegan held her 2018-2019 Retreat Jewels of the Treasure Coast at Stuart Yacht and Country Club, 8:30 am-noon with a buffet breakfast and a cost of $20 per.
President Suzy honored Sherry Douds with Laurel Society membership, honored Jill Keegan with the President’s award & the Outstanding award to GiGi Suntum. Additionally, President Suzy honored Evelyn Deggeller with her 40 yr pin and Past Governor Terri Pettengill with her 15 yr pin.
President Suzy then “honored” Jeanine Webster, Mary-Jo Horton and Glenna Parris with her “President’s Pets Award.” She also recognized and spoke of the fine work of all her 2017-2018 committee chairs.