Soroptomist International of The Sierras celebrates 50 years with luncheon, awards

Soroptimist International of The Sierras Club Members attending the May 20 50-year anniversary celebration.
Soroptimist International of The Sierras Club Members attending the May 20 50-year anniversary celebration. Courtesy Joelle Leder

Soroptimist International of The Sierras celebrated 50 years of service in the Mountain Area on May 20 with a Sunday luncheon and awards ceremony in Bass Lake at The Pines Resort’s Lakeview Room.

Soroptimist International of The Sierras honored seven members for longstanding service to the community, including charter member Ann Topham. Others: 40 years – Dannie Forbes; 31 years – Dianne Abney; 30 years – Cass Adelsbach; 28 years – Sandy Brinley; 28 years – Tara Ryan; and 25 years – Peggy Davis.

In addition to celebrating the 50th anniversary, the club also honored the 2018 Live Your Dream College Scholarships for Women recipients, Michele Ciccozzi and Brittany Caldwell. The awards are given to women who are striving to obtain skills and education to improve her employment status and standard of living for herself and her family. Each award is $1,000 cash plus a $100 fuel card. The awards come from Soroptimist fundraiser programs that are held throughout the year.

The 2018 Women of Distinction Award was awarded to Gina Clugston with Sierra News Online and the 2018 Women Helping Women Award went to Kristen Fiester with Mountain Crisis Services.

Keynote speakers were Soroptimist Sierra Pacific Region governor for 2016-2018 Tana Elizondo with Soroptimist International of Hanford and incoming governor for 2018-2020 Gail Dekreon with Soroptimist International of San Francisco. Also, in attendance: past governor and region fundraising pillar Barbara Giambastini, region membership chair Amory Marple, region public awareness committee members Joelle Leder-Rule and Leanne Davis, other local club members as well as The Sierras club past and current members with family and friends.

Event sponsors: Gold – Designs by Christine Smith; Silver –, Mark Wallo Pump Service and Tom Wheeler; Bronze – Miller & White CPAs.

Soroptimist is an international volunteer organization working to improve the lives of women and girls through programs leading to social and economic empowerment. Founded in 1921, Soroptimist has approximately 95,000 members in 120 countries and territories. Soroptimist members belong to local clubs which determine community focus projects and programs in addition to supporting organization-wide programs, all of which benefit women and girls.

Local meetings are held the first and third Thursdays each month at Oakhurst Grill Restaurant.

Details: contact club president Joelle Leder-Rule at