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Joint Soroptimist-Zonta meet

Annual event allows the two clubs to work together

Posted: February 21, 2013 2:00 a.m.
Updated: February 21, 2013 2:00 a.m.

Pamela Braly, right, discusses the meeting program with Barbara Sterns-Cochrane.

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Soroptimist International of Santa Clarita Valley and Soroptimist International of Greater Santa Clarita Valley recently hosted a Soroptimist International and Zonta Dinner. The event is an annual gathering that has been held every January for many years.  It allows the two clubs to socialize and work together on projects.

Soroptimist International and Zonta clubs have a similar mission in working to help women and girls locally and internationally.

Founded in 1921 in Oakland, Soroptimist is an international non-profit organization for business and professional women who provide volunteer service to their communities.

Almost 90,000 Soroptimists in about 125 countries and territories contribute time and financial support to community–based and international projects benefiting women and girls.

The name, Soroptimist, means “best for women,” and that is what the organization strives to achieve.

Soroptimists are women at their best working to help other women to be their best.

Founded in 1919, Zonta International is a global organization of executives and professionals working together to advance the status of women worldwide through service and advocacy.

With more than 30,000 members belonging to more than 1,200 Zonta Clubs in 64 countries and geographic areas, Zontians all over the world volunteer their time, talents and support to local and international service projects, as well as scholarship programs aimed at fulfilling Zonta’s mission and objectives.

This year’s presentation was delivered by Habitat for Heroes, which has a new project in the Santa Clarita Valley to build affordable homes for veterans.  

The program will help returning SCV veterans and their families to purchase a home.  

The veterans are required to put in “sweat equity” toward the home, either by helping with the construction or participating in CalVet educational and training programs intended to help them gain self-sufficiency.  

CalVet has set aside more than $21 million to help Habitat and its partners build 87 homes in the SCV.

The project’s “Enriched Neighborhood Model” will help to build large communities and provide enhanced services and educational opportunities.  

Educational opportunities include health information, dental hygiene, teen empowerment, and children’s programs such as tutoring.  

Other programs, such as home ownership and repair, and money management are also provided.

Lois Bauccio, president of the Child & Family Center Foundation also spoke about programs in support of this project to provide counseling to the veterans and their families as they return from war and begin new careers and family lives.  

“There is a need for support to these families in areas of grief from loss of a loved one, post-traumatic stress disorder), transitioning back into society, and veterans returning with disabilities,” she said.

For more information about Habitat for Heroes, visit www.habitatscv.org.

A future joint project for the Soroptimists and Zonta clubs may be in helping to build one of the homes for women veterans through the WE Build (Women Empowerment Build) program.  

The We Build program is held each May around the country as a one day event.  

This year’s event will focus on female veterans, widows of the fallen, and those who have persevered despite tragic losses incurred during wartime.

From a previous dinner three years ago the clubs collaborated on an on-going project for the Santa Clarita Valley Domestic Violence Court Advocacy Program.

Women from both clubs have been trained to help women of domestic violence.  

The members attend court appearances to give moral support as well as help the women to fill out the paperwork needed for restraining orders.  

For more information visit www.scv-DVCAP.org.

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