Whittier Rocks!!!

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Soroptimist International of Whittier (SIW)

In the Spotlight this week: Soroptimist International of Whittier
Mission: “To improve the lives of women and girls, in local communities and throughout the world.”
- Non-profit, 501(C)(3) tax exempt; Volunteer Service Organization -

Yesterday, I sat down with Cynthia Nickell (Director of Public Awareness and a Soroptimist since 2007) and Carolyn Theisen (Director of Fundraising who has been with SIW since 1985) to find out more about this organization with the curious name (Soroptimist loosely translates to “Best for Women”). Not many people seem to know about Soroptimist International, despite its major achievements, locally as well as world-wide.

Soroptimist International was founded in 1921, and as the name already indicates, is an international organization with representation in 120 countries around the world and approximately 95,000 members.

The Whittier Club (SI Whittier) was founded in 1947 and has grown steadily since, now being 56-members strong and one of the most active groups within the organization.

In order to support and improve the lives of women and girls, Soroptimist International of Whittier is offering a wide range of Service Programs, such as

- Women's Opportunity Award
- Ruby Award for Women helping Women
- Violet Richardson Award
- Soroptimist STOP Trafficking
- Soroptimist Village (provides housing for low income seniors)
- Lois Neece Award
- Ruth White Scholarship
- Sexual Assault Response Team (SART)
- Soroptimist Tean Outreach Program (STOP)
- Teen Girl's Success Conference
- S-Club
- Support of local community based organizations.

A brand new project that SIW is planning for this year in cooperation with Whittier Presbyterian Intercommunity Hospital. The event will provide free mammograms to local low/no-income women who do not have health insurance and/or do not have the means to pay for a mammogram. For more information on all SIW programs, please visit their award-winning website.

In order to fund and staff all these exceptional programs, SIW relies on its members and year-round donations as well as their main, annual fundraiser, which is coming up on January 26, 2011, at the Ruth B. Shannon Center for the Performing Arts.

With last year’s event, titled “Laugh Out Loud”, the Soroptimists were able to raise $33,000 and they are hoping to reach this goal again this year.

This year’s comedy fundraiser is titled “Wednesday Night Live!” and will feature local celebrities such as Mayor Pro Tem Cathy Warner, Mac McFarland, Joe Vinatieri, Officer Mike Dekowski, Maggie Bernal, Jeannie Williamson, Tom Baccaro, Stephen Henry and Soroptimists’ own Dancing Golddiggers.

Besides the live entertainment, there will be a live auction, a silent auction, and refreshments from “Bon Appetit” available for purchase at the Center. Complimentary desserts will be served during intermission. Reserved tickets are $45 and many sponsorship packages are available.

If you are interested in sponsoring or attending the fundraiser to show your support for your community, SIW would love to hear from you!

Soroptimist International of Whittier would also like to thank the generous contributors who are supporting this year's event.


•Presbyterian Intercommunity Hospital
•Don Knabe, Los Angeles County Supervisor
•Betsy Angevine, Miller & Angevine
•Melanie Bickley, Whittier Brokers
•Bonnie Watje, Acro Printing
•Irma Rodriguez Moisa, Atkinson, Andelson, Loya, Ruud & Romo
•Jane Dicus, Morgan Stanley Smith Barney
•Cheryl Estep, State Farm Insurance
•Linda Terrazas, Pacific Scientific HTL
•Mary Ann Gilbert, Whittier Hearing
•Ruth Shannon
•Belsito Childhood Disease Research Foundation
•Jeanette Fasone, Fasone Construction
•Jeff Ball, Friendly Hills Bank
•Mike and Maudi Greene
•Joe Mericle, CPA
•Christ Hardeman, Dial Med
•Yani Feliciano, Chiropractor
•Diane Liberti, Future Tech 1

Businesses that donated goods/services for the auctions:

•Fenix 5-4
•Harrod Chiropractic
•La Mirada Theatre
•Let's Face It!
•Renew Day Spa
•PDQ Rentals
•Radisson of Whittier
•Whittier Hearing Center
•Whittier Police Department
•Whittier Village Cinemas
•YMCA of Greater Whittier
•Vera Cruz Family Restaurant

If Soroptimist International of Whittier sounds like something you would like to be a part of, SIW is accepting memberships for all women who would like to contribute to the well-being of other women (contact Teresa Molina, 562-233-5786, terrymolina@earthlink.net).

See you around town!

Stephanie Frymyer