Saturday, October 6, 2007

2006- 2007 Scholarships

Soroptimist International of Fidalgo Island is pleased to present Sandra Marin with the Women’s Opportunity Award for 2007.

Ms.Marin is a single mother of two children who has faced many personal and economic challenges. She is currently attending Skagit Valley College in their nursing program and working as a Certified Nursing Assistant in a local hospital... After receiving her two year degree, she plans to pursue her BA in Nursing and Business Administration. Her career goal is to become a hospital administrator.

Her references describe her as competent, organized and exceptional at multi-tasking. She is an outstanding, motivated student and exemplifies the old adage, “An honest day’s work for an honest day’s pay,” and is passionate about nursing and helping people.

Soroptimist International of Fidalgo Island is also happy to present Misty Garcia with the Soroptimist Professional and Technical Award.

Ms.Garcia is another single mother of two children who has overcome many challenges. She is currently working for the Workfirst Program and attending SVC in their Early Child Education program. After receiving her degree she would like to become a lead teacher in an Early Childhood Program.

Her references describe her as motivated, dedicated, focused, persistent and driven to help the children she teaches. She is skilled and gifted in her work with children and determined to succeed.

We are pleased to support these amazing women as they pursue their goals and “Live the Dream!”

For Your Heart's Sake

On February 10th, 2007, Soroptimist International of Fidalgo Island was proud to partner once again with Island Hospital to present our 4th annual women’s heart health forum, For Your Heart’s Sake. Susan Dana ARNP of Pacific Northwest Cadiology gave a power point presentation with current information on cardiovascular disease, familial connections and prevention techniques and then answered the questions of attendees for nearly an hour. Over fifty attended the event which included information booths, blood pressure checks and snacks provided by Island Hospital. Many left with raffle gifts donated by local merchants and all received an information bag of heart healthy recipes, information on Island Hospital programs for the prevention and treatment of heart disease and a red dress pin. For more information see

2nd Annual Wine Tasting

After the success of our Wine Tasting last October, it was decided to go to it again with gusto! Last year we raised money to fund automatic external defibrillators for the Anacortes School District. This year it was decided to split the proceeds between the programs and projects of SIFI and the Borgen Project. This national organization, working to make poverty at home and abroad the number one priority of U.S. political leaders, was founded by Clint Borgen, a native son of Anacortes. Shortly after graduating from Anacortes High School, Borgen developed the organization’s concept while volunteering in refugee camps amid war and ethnic cleansing in Kosovo. Borgen went on to intern in Europe with the United Nations High Commission for Refugees.

Immediately upon graduation from college, Borgen set out to ignite political pressure for global poverty-reduction. He spent a year living on a fishing vessel in Dutch Harbor, Alaska, to earn the necessary capital to get the organization off the ground. Today, just three years after its humble beginnings, The Borgen Project is now a leading organization in the global anti-poverty campaign and Borgen regularly meets with the top congressional offices in Washington D.C. to lobby for increased U.S. involvement in global poverty-reduction. Since the vast majority of those living in poverty are women and children, this fit our goals perfectly.

On October 21st, some eighty people attended our 2nd Annual Wine Tasting at the Depot Arts Center. Carpenter Creek Winery provided the wine, Skagit River Brewery provided microbrews and Clint Borgen gave a short talk on poverty, the Millenium Goals and his work with the Borgen Project. Guests enjoyed ample food and libations and bid generously on silent auction items that included Mariners tickets and a luncheon cruise on a 36 foot steel trawler. After expenses, our receipts from ticket and wine sales, the silent auction and direct donations amounted to $3900. Half of this, we have sent to the Borgen Project.

Consider that in 2000, the largest gathering of world leaders ever assembled met in New York City and agreed to cut hunger in half by 2015 and end it by 2025. The plan to end world hunger is underway but receiving very little support from U.S. political leaders. Without the world’s agenda-setter making the Millennium Goals a global priority, 600 million people will remain in poverty who otherwise could live healthy, productive lives. Every 3.6 seconds another person dies of starvation and the large majority are children under the age of 5. The Borgen Project is putting pressure on U.S. leaders to achieve the plan they already agreed to - the plan to end world hunger. Soroptimist International of Fidalgo Island sees ending world hunger as a fundamental way to improve the lives of women and girls.

2005/2006 Installation of Officers

And the winners are (left to right)

Ronda Dupea - Treasurer

Rae Kozloff - Director

Penny Barnard - Director

Marge Thomas - President

Cynthia Hill - Vice President

Lynnette Setmire - Secretary

Thanks for all that you do!

2005/2006 Scholarship and Award Winners

Violet Richardson Award - Ashley Gullicksen

The Violet Richardson Award honors young women between the ages of 14-17 who make the world a better place through volunteer efforts, especially those that benefit women and girls.

Ashley is a volunteer at the Boys & Girls Club of Anacortes, as well as a participant in Youth Dynamics and Young Life. She has been a part of the Swim Team and a cheerleader and sets a wonderful example of leadership and service.

Professional / Technical Scholarship - Sarah McDugle

The Professional / Technical Scholarship can be awarded to anyone currently enrolled in a non-degree program leading to a certificate or license.

Sarah is a single mother, currently enrolled in a cosmetology program who wants to be an instructor after she graduates. She is grateful to be back in school after having her son and understands the value of furthering her education.

Making a Difference for Women Award - Eileen Ray

The Soroptimist Making a Difference for Women Award honors women who, through their professional or personal efforts, are making extraordinary differences in the lives of women and girls. Their work has had a significant impact within the community and inspires and encourages other women.

Eileen is a Career Center Specialist at Anacortes High School, who was nominated for her outstanding work with girls at AHS and women in the community.

Women's Opportunity Award - Stephanie Canapo

The Women's Opportunity Award, the signature service program of Soroptimist International of the Americas, awards cash grants to women who are the primary source of financial support for their families and who are seeking to improve their employment status through education.

Stephanie is a hard-working, single mother of two boys currently enrolled in the Skagit Valley College Nursing Program. She has been working steadily at positions in the medical field as she pursued her nursing degree and is currently employed by Island Hospital.

Congratulations to all our award winners!

Soroptimist Italian Charms

We have Soroptimist Logo Charms for Italian charm bracelets! Large Soroptimist logo, small Soroptimist logo, and I (heart) SI are available for just $10 each, and if you purchase three charms you get the starter bracelet free! Contact us at for more information or to place an order.

Community Baby Shower

Too often the joy that should accompany the birth of a new baby is marred by poverty, violence, or abuse. Sometimes a woman has fled domestic violence, which usually accelerates during pregnancy or after the birth of a newborn. Parents serving in the armed forces or dealing with unemployment often find it impossible to prepare for a baby. For these little ones, there will be no baby shower, no welcoming gifts, and no celebration.

In the spirit of the first annual Soroptimist International of the Americas Day of Service, March 4, 2006, Soroptimist International of Fidalgo Island hosted a Community Baby Shower to ease the burden on new mothers and provide basic items that could give babies a great start. Items collected at the Anacortes Food Pavilion included 46 packages of diapers, 53 cans of formula, 170 baby food items such as cereal, applesauce and juice, and 80 packs of baby wipes and toiletry items. Over $350 in cash contributions allowed us to buy even more formula and food that was distributed to our local food banks and prenatal care clinic. A donated rocking chair and table went to the Island Hospital Birthing Center. And finally, over 900 articles of clothing, blankets and layette items were collected and distributed to the Samish tribe and “Tubs for Kids” which provides clothing to displaced foster children.

Our thanks to the wonderful staff of Food Pavilion, the Anacortes American for their fabulous coverage of the event, and of course, to the generous people of Anacortes who give so much.

Heart of the Family

Cardiovascular disease claims more women's lives than the next five causes of death combined — about 500,000 women's lives a year. Cardiovascular disease is mostly preventable, so understanding these serious health threats can make a lifesaving difference. We're doing something about it!

Soroptimist International of Fidalgo Island and Island Hospital proudly sponsored the 2nd Annual Heart Health Forum in Anacortes on February 11th, 2006. The forum featured an impressive number of cardiac specialists and physicians speaking on healthy eating, family exercise, stress reduction and heart disease prevention. About 50 members of the community attended, taking home a wealth of resources prepared by the Island Hospital Resource Center - recipes, exercise tips and a red dress pin from the American Heart Association's Go Red For Women campaign to raise awareness that heart disease is women's No. 1 killer.

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

Yes, Virginia, there is a Santa Claus

SIFI concluded our annual Christmas Cash 50/50 raffle with a stupendous bang on December 6th. Our members raised $673 to further our projects through the year by selling raffle tickets to friends and family. But even better, the winner of the $673 prize was Samantha Simmons of Gulfport, Mississippi. Ms. Simmons is a single mom who up until the arrival of Hurricane Katrina was undergoing weekly chemo for uterine cancer. She and her three children, Ashley (14) Megan (10) and Jake (2) lost most of their home to the hurricane. The Simmons family has moved to a less damaged home farther from the water, and she has resumed her cancer treatment. There wasn't a dry eye in the house when the ticket bearing only the name "Sam" was drawn from the basket. Ms. Simmons mother, our own Cynthia Hill, will forward her Christmas check to the family.

AED Project

In the time it takes you to read this page, sudden cardiac arrest will have claimed another victim. In the past year, 250,000 Americans died of sudden cardiac arrest: nearly one death every two minutes. Up to 50,000 of these deaths could have been prevented if an automated external defibrillator (AED) had been available for immediate use at the time of the emergency. Heart attacks, accidents and other conditions can cause ventricular fibrillation. In ventricular fibrillation, the electrical signals in the lower part of the heart are uncoordinated and ineffective. Very little blood is pumped from the heart to the body or the lungs. If ventricular fibrillation is not treated, it will result in brain damage and death in just a few minutes.

An AED consists of a small computer (microprocessor), electrodes, and electrical circuitry. The electrodes collect information about the heart's rhythm. The microprocessor interprets the rhythm. If the heart is in ventricular fibrillation, the microprocessor recommends a defibrillating shock. The shock is delivered by adhesive electrode pads, through the victim's chest wall, and into the heart, stunning the heart momentarily; stopping all activity. This gives the heart a chance to restart normal electrical activity and resume beating effectively.

AEDs are very accurate and easy to use and anyone can learn to operate an AED safely. The American Heart Association strongly advocates that all EMS first-response vehicles and ambulances be equipped with an AED or another defibrillation device (semiautomatic or manual defibrillator). The AHA also supports placing AEDs in targeted public areas such as sports arenas, gated communities, office complexes, doctor's offices, shopping malls, etc.

Soroptimist International of Fidalgo Island has been a primary advocate for the placement of AEDs in Anacortes since 2001. With help from our generous sponsors including Anacortes Family Medical Group, John L Scott Realty, Scott Richards Insurance, the local Shell Refinery, Island Hospital, Soroptimist International of Anacortes and other area service clubs, SIFI placed two AEDs in first-response vehicles and is committed to a third within the Anacortes School District. Advocacy and education has led to the formation of a community group solely dedicated to continued AED placement in Anacortes - a legacy to the Soroptimist ideals of awareness, advocacy and action.