[KHTS] – Soroptimist International of Greater SCV presented more than $32,000 to 15 nonprofit organizations during a special awards luncheon held on May 12 at the Tournament Players Club in Valencia.
Organizations honored by Soroptimist International of Greater Santa Clarita Valley at the luncheon included: Carousel Ranch, Santa Clarita Child & Family Center, Circle of Hope, Inc., College of the Canyons Foundation, Habitat for Humanity, LARC Ranch, Los Angeles Orphanage Guild Juniors, Mary Magdalene Project, Inc., Henry Mayo Newhall Memorial Health Foundation (patient tower, Women’s Unit), Domestic Violence Center of Santa Clarita Valley, Santa Clarita Valley Youth Project, Sheila R. Veloz Breast Imaging Venter, Single Mothers Outreach, Alzheimer’s Foundation and Soroptimist International of the Americas.
Pam Ingram, president of Soroptimist International of Greater SCV, said the event was held to gather all the beneficiaries together at one time, instead of distributing the funds individually.
Ingram said each of the organizations honored helps Soroptimist International in some way with its mission to help women and girls.
“We wanted to invite all of the nonprofits that share in our mission of helping women and girls and present the awards to a representative of each organization,” Ingram said. “We wanted to have one big party.”
The funds were raised by the club at fundraisers held during the past year.
Kathleen Sturkey, executive director of the Los Angeles Retarded Citizens Foundation (LARC Ranch) thanks members of Soroptimist International of Greater SCV for a cash grant at the recent awards luncheon as the club president, Pam Ingram, looks on. Photo by Michele E. Buttelman.
“We want people to realize why we hold our annual fashion show, why we hold our annual Wine Affair,” said Ingram. “As much as we want you to come and enjoy the festivities, this is why we do what we do, so we will have the money to help women and girls.”
Ingram said the money is used to help women and girls in a variety of ways including health, education and crisis situations.
“We do a lot and we work very hard,” Ingram said. “We’re very happy to support all of you, and the work you do.”
Each organization was called forward and allowed a few minutes to speak about how the grants will be used and to thank the members of Soroptimist International of Greater SCV for the gifts.
Denise Tomey-Redmond, executive director of Carousel Ranch, said the grant will allow Carousel Ranch serve more children with its therapeutic riding program.
“We want to grow and serve more kids, that’s what it is all about,” she said.
Ray Tippet, executive director of Circle of Hope, Inc., thanked the service club for the grant.
“Thank you very much for your support,” he said. “Through the years you have been very generous to Circle of Hope. It means a lot to us.”
Tippet said the cancer support group assists individuals who live or work in the Santa Clarita Valley.
Michele Edmonson, director of development at College of the Canyons Foundation, also thanked Soroptimist International of Greater SCV for the group’s history of support to the community college.
“You have helped more than 200 women complete their education,” she said. “You have helped these women support their children, keep their homes and get off welfare. We do appreciate all the work you do. We know you give of your personal resources and of your time and all of these things change lives in positive ways.”
Kathleen Sturkey, executive director of the Los Angeles Retarded Citizens Foundation (LARC Ranch), explained the many programs available to the residents of LARC Ranch, including beauty services and a travel club, among many others.
DaAnne Smith, executive director of Single Mothers Outreach, thanks the club for a cash grant at a recent awards luncheon. Photo by Michele E. Buttelman.
“This money will help our residents to thrive, we are dedicated to helping our people thrive,” Sturkey said. “Thank you so much for your donation.”
Kim Goldman, executive director of the Santa Clarita Valley Youth Project, spoke emotionally about the help the SCV Youth Project provides to SCV teens.
“We provide free counseling, support groups, crisis intervention and outreach and education for our teenagers,” said Goldman. She outlined many of the difficulties facing teens, including depression, drug use, pregnancy and sexual abuse.
“We get to do amazing work and get to make an impact with these great kids,” she said. “Thank you for this money that will be used to help these young people empower themselves, to make good choices, to learn how to say ‘no’ and how to set boundaries.”
She thanked Soroptimist International of Greater SCV “for your amazing work.”
Terry Bucknall, director of the Sheila R. Veloz Breast Imaging Center, also became emotional as she thanked the women of Soroptimist International of Greater SCV.
“You’ve supported us for the 13 years I’ve been involved with the Breast Imaging Center,” she said. Bucknall then outlined the specific help received by women, including mammograms and ultrasounds, from money donated by the club.
“We’re in the business of saving lives and I hope you take advantage of what we have to offer,” she said.
DaAnne Smith, executive director of Single Mothers Outreach, said she also had to “choke back tears.”
“I am so honored to be in this company,” Smith said as she looked around at the other nonprofit representatives.
Smith said the money will be used to help women gain technical job skills to help themselves improve their employment situations.
“Thank you so much for our continued partnership,” she said.