The Altadena-Pasadena branch of Soroptimist International recently held its third annual Making A Difference benefit luncheon at Brookside Country Club—a sold-out event with over 300 attendees. The passionate speakers who made presentations that day exemplified the event theme, “For the Love of Women.”
The program began with an introduction to Dr. Phlunte’ Riddle, a community leader who served as Mistress of Ceremonies at the event. Congresswoman Judy Chu delivered an opening address, in which she spoke about women’s rights and her legislation to create a National Recreation Area to preserve a portion of the San Gabriel Mountains, resulting in America’s most recent national monument. Soroptimist Co-Presidents Margaret Mason and Teresa Baxter presented monetary awards to the Door of Hope and The Women’s Room at Friends In Deed, two deserving non-profit agencies in the San Gabriel Valley. Debra Williams, Director of Volunteer Services, accepted the award for The Door of Hope, which provides transitional housing for homeless families and helps them to rebuild their lives. Rabbi Joshua Levine Grater, Executive Director, accepted the award for The Women’s Room, a daytime refuge for homeless women that aids in helping them build a sense of purpose and community.
Teresa Baxter stated, “This was a remarkable event where we, as a community, stood shoulder to shoulder in our proclamation of the love of women and humanity. I was truly honored to present to the Door of Hope for their mission of lifting families out of homelessness.”
“It was truly an honor to see all the goodwill in our community that was evident in the great turnout to our event,” Margaret Mason remarked. “I was especially pleased to present a check to Rabbi Grater of Friends In Deed, as I am personally involved in feeding the women at the Women’s Room and contributing to the Food Pantry. How proud I am to be associated with the Soroptimist organization.”
Legacy Awards were presented to former California State Senator Carol Liu, who said that she’s finally learning to relax in her retirement, and to retired Director of the Pasadena Library, Jan Sanders, who is also the organizer of the recent Women’s Rally at the Pasadena City Hall Rotunda. Finally, the Best for Women Award was given to Lena Kennedy, founder of the Southern California Women’s Health Conference, as well as Community Women, Vital Voices. Kathryn Barger, the newly elected Los Angeles County Supervisor, also took to the stage to congratulate the honorees and the Soroptimist organization for hosting the event.
The event concluded with an “Easter Parade” of spring hats and handbags provided by Hazelsbagz, which were modeled by former Business Life magazine’s Women Achiever honorees.
Brenda Sharp, Event Chair, had this to say: “The Benefit Luncheon, ‘For the Love of Women’ not only celebrated the work of Door of Hope, Friends In Deed and our three amazing women honorees. It served to showcase Soroptimist International of Altadena-Pasadena—who we are and what we do in the community. I’m so proud to be a Soroptimist.”
The mission of Soroptimist International is to help women and girls in the local community and around the world.