Evanston Soroptimists to celebrate 5th anniversary

EVANSTON — On July 12, the Evanston Soroptimist club will celebrate its fifth anniversary. Chartering members, newer members, and guests from the community will be joined by representatives from the Rocky Mountain Region board to enjoy a potluck and toast five years of hard work and shining accomplishments.

In its first five years, the Evanston Soroptimists have won awards and accolades from the Rocky Mountain Region and Soroptimist International of the Americas for its girls’ program, clothes closet, Friendship Soup program, and the annual YAHA/Live Your Dream Christmas program. Regionally and nationally the club has gained recognition as the “Little Club that Could.” 

Translated from Latin, Soroptimist means “Best for Women” and our signature programs are designed to promote social and economic empowerment for women and girls. In five years, the club has awarded $4,250 to 10 women who qualified for the Live Your Dream program.

This program was created to make a monetary grant to women who are the primary support of their family and are enrolled in an institution of higher education or a technical/trade school. The club has awarded $500 to the local effort to “Build African Schools,” knowing that girls educated in disadvantaged countries find empowerment and create a better world.

In 2013, a $200 scholarship, the Violet Richardson award, was granted to a local high school girl who showed extraordinary devotion to community volunteerism. Members also awarded $300 to Relay for Life and $100 to the Evanston High School National Honor Society in her honor. 

The girls’ program and the Dream It Be It program have impacted 100 local middle school and high school girls with sessions on personal growth and development and career advice and development.  The club’s tagline for girl programs, “Smart, Safe, and Strong,” addresses members’ sincere desires that the efforts put forth in the program will assist the young participants to make informed decisions that will keep them safe and build their self-esteem.

The club has noted the participants’ names on their school’s honor rolls year after year and received feedback as to the positive impact on their lives.

On March 4, members hosted their second annual One Billion Rising festival to commemorate International Women’s Day. Guests joined Soroptimists and SAFV representatives in a drum circle and NIA dancing to raise their voices against violence and exploitation of women.

At least one billion women worldwide raised their voices in unison. Members said they hope you will watch for and join them next year.

In May, 2017, the club held its second Lunafest fundraiser. Lunafest is a series of short films made by, for, and about women and issues they face. Watch for announcements of a planned 2018 Lunafest and join local Soroptimists for exceptional food and activities.  

Officials would like to thank everyone in the community who has attended their fundraisers and those who have donated money to the cause. Too numerous to list here, the club honors donors by displaying their names every time they set up a public-awareness booth. Generous hearts help the club make this happen. Officials said they are also very proud to have partnered with other local nonprofits and other entities in activities for the betterment of the community.

The 2017-18 fiscal year Evanston Soroptimist Board is: Wendy Schuler, president; Tammy Koncitik, president-elect; Bailey Snyder, secretary; Sang Harrison, treasurer; Helen Mertz, treasurer-elect; Harriet Beck and Mieke Madrid, directors-at-large; Katie Beppler, past president. If you would like more information about Evanston Soroptimist please contact Katie Beppler at  [email protected]