Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Early Childhood Education

Co-Presidents Marge Thomas and Diane Goetz were happy to present Mark Wenzel, Anacortes School District Superintendent,  with a check for $8850 this month courtesy of our Hallowine fundraiser. Guests at the event  were asked to  Raise the Paddle  to provide scholarships for needy families to enroll children in preschool programs.

Saturday, November 1, 2014

Our most exciting Hallowine yet!

Our 10th Annual Hallowine was an unprecedented success and we're all still a little giddy!  On October 18th we were proud to host 250 guests from our community at the Swinomish Lodge Ballroom for a little wine, food and merriment and a super exciting auction.

We're delighted to say that our guests were generous to a fault and were happy to "raise the paddle" to the tune of $8800 for the Early Childhood Education program in Anacortes. This money will fund scholarships to allow families in need to send their kids to preschool. All other money raised will contribute to club operation and fund our other scholarships and projects, including the Live Your Dream Award and anti-trafficking education in cooperation with the Skagit County Coalition Against Trafficking.

We wish to offer our heartfelt thanks for the generosity of all our guests and sponsors. Thanks to all of you for helping to make this community and event AMAZING!

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Live Your Dream Awards

The Soroptimist Live Your Dream Awards (formerly the Women’s Opportunity Awards) assists women who provide the primary source of financial support for their families by giving them the resources they need to improve their education, skills and employment prospects.

Each year, more than $1.6 million in education grants are awarded to more than 1,200 women, many of whom have overcome enormous obstacles including poverty, domestic violence and/or drug and alcohol abuse. Live Your Dream Awards recipients may use the cash award to offset any costs associated with their efforts to attain higher education, such as books, childcare, tuition and transportation.

In addition to providing the primary financial support for their families, eligible applicants must be enrolled in, or have been accepted to, a vocational/skills training program or an undergraduate degree program and must demonstrate financial need. Also, please note only residents of Soroptimist International of the Americas’ member countries and territories are eligible to apply for the educational grants.

The Live Your Dream Awards involves three levels of cash awards. The program begins at the local Soroptimist club-level, where award amounts vary. Local-level award recipients become eligible for region-level awards of either $3,000 or $5,000. Region-level award recipients then become eligible to receive one of three international-level awards of $10,000.

Since the Live Your Dream Awards program began in 1972, about $30 million in education grants have been disbursed to assist tens of thousands of women achieve their dreams of a better life for themselves and their families. In 2007, the program received the Associations Advance America Summit Award—ASAE & The Center for Association Leadership's highest level of recognition.

Interested in applying for the Live Your Dream Awards?  Click here for the application and here for the reference forms.  All applications are due no later than November 15th.

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

The 10th Annual Hallowine Auction and Wine Tasting

It's that time again! Soroptimist International of Fidalgo Island is proud to present our 10th annual Hallowine Auction and Wine Tasting - October 18th, 6 PM, at the Swinomish Lodge Ballroom. Every year it just gets bigger and better - with a fun ongoing silent auction, delicious hors d'oeuvres, fabulous wines courtesy of The Store Grocery and a spirited live auction hosted by the delightful Mr. Patrick Grant!

This is our one and only fundraiser and all proceeds fund scholarships and community projects. Tickets are $35 presale and you may reserve a table for eight for $280. Click here to send us an email and order your tickets today!

Sunday, August 3, 2014

New Member

Soroptimist International of Fidalgo Island is proud to welcome Kathy Caldwell to our club (pictured with Co-President Marge Thomas.)

Monday, July 7, 2014

Things That We Do... cont.

 Finishing up with our Spring Community Baby Shower by using the monetary contributions for books for the Prenatal Care Center.  Yay!

AND presenting $1262 to the Skagit County Coalition Against Trafficking. The funds will be used to defray start-up costs and to produce a future seminar that will be tentatively scheduled for February. Double Yay!!

Sunday, May 25, 2014

The Women of SI Fidalgo Island - We Have Families

I am honored to be a member of SIFI.  It is important to me that all children are provided a healthy foundation with support from the communities that they call home.  I work at City Hall and every afternoon look forward to the bus dropping off kids.  The basement quickly fills with the sounds of rambunctious kids.  I appreciate that we have the Boys and Girls Club in our communities to provide a safe, supportive environment.  I am proud that SIFI is a partner in ensuring the success and financial stability of the Boys and Girls Club."
Emily Schuh - member

Thursday, April 10, 2014

The Women of SI Fidalgo Island - We Give Blood

"During the last 28 years of living in Anacortes with my husband and raising our two daughters I have been involved in many kinds of non-profit and volunteer work; some state but mostly local, and mostly related to arts education.  I also play in a recorder quartet, am in a book group, enjoy sewing, gardening & cooking.  Prompted by one of my daughters' battle with and survival of leukemia which entailed the use of countless blood products and a stem cell transplant, I am a regular blood donor and am in the national bone marrow donor bank.

I was raised in a family that valued community service, with my mom a very special and dedicated role model. When our girls got older and moved on to lives on their own, Soroptimist seemed a natural fit for me.  The women of our club are the best - talented, smart, compassionate and energetic.  I have found use for both the business  and non-profit skills gained through my lifetime, especially in helping with the clerical organization of one of our main fundraising events - HalloWine.  It's a joy to work with a bunch of gals who easily choose causes to support, mostly local, but also national and international,  figure out the best ways to raise funds for them,  roll up their sleeves and pitch in until each job is beautifully done.  All to improve the lives of women and girls."
Annette B. Woolsey - member

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Newest Women of SI Fidalgo Island

 At our regular meeting on March 18th, we were happy to induct our newest members into SI Fidalgo Island.  Meet Alex Gallardo, mom of our illustrious Violet Richardson Award winner, Karen. (Pictured here with Co-Presidents Marge Thomas and Diane Goetz.)

Carol Olsen also joined our little club, after winning our Ruby Award for outstanding community service with Days for Girls.  Welcome ladies!  We're proud to have you with us!

Sunday, March 9, 2014

Off to the Area Meeting!

On March 8, International Womens Day, about 140 members of the Island/Skagit area met in beautiful Friday Harbor.  Well, beautiful if damp, Friday Harbor. Clubs represented were from Anacortes, Burlington, Coupeville, Everett, Fidalgo Island, Friday Harbor, LaConner, Marysville, Mt. Vernon, Oak Harbor and Sedro Woolley.  These women didn't let a little rain slow them down as they hopped on an early ferry for San Juan Island.

With the theme "Inspiring Change," the tone was set for a good day reporting successes and brainstorming ways to improve our communication and move forward with the Soroptimist Mission to improve the lives of women and girls through programs fostering social and economic empowerment.  The SI Fidalgo Island delegates were Michelle Hawkins, Mary Kiel, Trish Rodriguez and Lynette Setmire. Michelle won a beautiful basket of wine and chocolate in a raffle that raised more than $1500; $1000 of which will go to the Laurel Society with the remainder going to the Island County Sexual Assault Services safe house program.

Saturday, February 15, 2014

2014 Award Winners!

SI Fidalgo Island is proud to announce our Award Winners for 2014.

Meet Carol Olsen, Karen Gallardo and Ashley Wade - three amazing women who make our club and community proud!

Ashley Wade (being hugged by member Trish Rodriguez) is the recipient of the Womens Opportunity Award - an award designed to give heads of households the resources they need to improved their education, skills, and employment prospects.  Ashley manages a Cruizin Coffee, as well as attending Skagit Valley College and aiding her disabled mother and hopes to move into a career in health care.

Karen Gallardo received the Violet Richardson Award; named after the president of the first Soroptimist Club, this award honors girls for volunteer service in their community. Karen is a sophomore at Anacortes High School and hopes to be a teacher.  Among her many community services, she is a dedicated volunteer with the Boys and Girls Club who share her award.  (Pictured here with mom Alex and SIFI President, Diane Goetz.)

The Soroptimist Ruby Award honors women who improve and lives of women and girls through their professional and volunteer work.  We are proud to honor Carol Olsen, the Anacortes Chapter Director of Days for Girls International.  This grassroots organization has the ambitious goal of providing sustainable sanitary products; their tagline - Every Girl. Everywhere. Period. Her chapter is responsible for 110,000 hygiene kits that have been sent to 69 countries!

Our hearty congratulations, Ladies!  You ROCK!

Saturday, February 8, 2014

The Women of SI Fidalgo Island - We Cook

"What would I do when I retired?  That was the question I mulled over a few years before actually retiring from the Anacortes School District.  After 40 years as an educator, I knew that I wanted to be able to utilize my leadership skills and help both youth and adults in our community and globally.  I've also travelled extensively as a teacher and later with friends and family. These experiences were invaluable and broadened both my knowledge and understanding of different cultures.

Living in Anacortes and enjoying my home, husband, children and grandchildren fills a major portion of my life.  I am involved in a genealogy society and am working on my family tree.  Finding treasures in antique shops and garage sales is always exciting.  I have season tickets to several theaters and am always amazed at our local talent.  Cooking is another one of my passions; something I enjoy especially now that I have more time to prepare and try interesting recipes.  I don't know how to cook for two, so I often have guests at my dinner table.  I need an environment that fills my many interests.

Joining SI Fidalgo Island has given me the opportunity to explore all my many interests and passions.  I have held leadership roles and get to work with women who are committed to meaningful goals in our community and world.  The variety of projects and events that we have chosen gives me the chance to work with young people as well as seniors.  There is nothing more rewarding than making a difference by helping others.  And last but not least, I get to use my cooking skills all the time.  What else could one ask for?"

Marge Thomas

Sunday, January 26, 2014

The Women of SI Fidalgo Island - We're Crafty

"After spending forty years in Alaska experiencing it's beauty and challenges, I retired from being an elementary school librarian and moved to the lower 48.  During my years in Alaska I had many opportunities - built a home on a handshake, visited remote villages, fished and hiked the lakes, rivers and coastline and enjoyed meeting some very independent people - but Old Mother Nature finally got the best of me.  Go South!  I must say that I have a little laugh when a local says this area is cold; try twenty below for four months out of the year!

I love Anacortes.  As a newcomer to the area I chose to join organizations that called to my creative side as well as a love of community.  I enjoy making connections with SI Fidalgo Island projects and the needs of other Anacortes groups.  The Cultured Purls, my knittting guild, contribute to our annual Community Baby Shower with handmade blankets, sweaters and hats and the Fidalgo Island Quilters make quilts for the Books and Blankets project.  Our own talented members knit and crochet warm hats for people undergoing chemotherapy at the Island Hospital Cancer Center.  SI Fidalgo Island has a project to fit everyone - from scholarships, to crafting, to just plain fun."

Michelle Hawkins

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

National Stop Human Trafficking Day - January 11, 2014

In the wake of last month's sting operation that resulted in two arrests of men soliciting underage girls online and at the request of the Skagit County Coalition Against Trafficking, Mayor Gere signed a proclamation declaring January 11, 2014, National Stop Human Trafficking Day. View the entire proclamation here and join Washington Engage, SKCaT and SI Fidalgo Island at the corner of 12th and Commercial at noon on January 11th to show your support.