February 2017
Issue: 41
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Dr. Tracy Long from the Ventura Botanical Gardens to Speak at
Feb. 22
Meetin g
 
Dr. Tracy Long, a Ventura Botanical Gardens board member since 2011, will share the progress and future plans for the gardens during her February presentation. The Ventura Botanical Gardens is a non-profit/public partnership dedicated to the installation and maintenance of a world-class botanical garden located on 107 acres in Grant Park above downtown Ventura. When complete, the gardens will showcase plants and environments from the five Mediterranean climate zones of the world. Visitors to the gardens will enjoy outstanding views of the city, ocean, mountains, and islands as they hike through the natural terrain and experience educational installations and interesting plant communities. Dr. Long will describe the rapid progress that has occurred since finalizing the 40 year master plan and signing a lease with the City of Ventura in May 2015. She will also share the plans for phase 1 development and discuss the many ways that our community has come together to make this transformative project a reality.
Past VBG Presidents (l to r):  Doug Halter, Tracy Long, Midge Stork, Joe Cahill and Barbara Brown 
 
Dr. Long is the immediate past president of the gardens and the Chief Organizational Officer for operations. She is deeply interested in the cultural heritage of Ventura County and has been actively involved in our community since moving here 39 years ago. Among her contributions, she served for 11 years on the City of Ventura Historic Preservation Committee, and she is a supporter of local arts organizations in Ventura, including the Ventura Music Festival, Buenaventura Art Association, Focus on the Masters, and New West Symphony. She currently serves on the Advisory Board for the Rubicon Theatre Company
 
An applied anthropologist with a degree in human and organizational systems, Dr. Long is currently a research fellow with the Institute for Social Innovation in Santa Barbara studying social activism and alternative economics. A certified project management professional, she regularly consults with non-profits and small businesses in organizational design, visioning, and strategic planning. She has enjoyed the opportunity to apply her passion and skills to development of a botanical garden in Ventura.

If you are interested in attending this meeting please call Sandy Masiel at 805-278-3607 to RSVP by Monday, Feb. 20. The cost is $15.      
Stop Human Trafficking & Sexual Slavery - A Soroptimist Event

Please join Soroptimist International of Oxnard, Ventura, Fillmore, Camarillo, The Conejo, Santa Barbara and Simi Valley on Wednesday, March 8, 2017 at St Paul's Episcopal Church, 3290 Loma Vista Road, in Ventura for the annual  Stop Human Trafficking and Sexual Slavery Event. Bring a friend or come with a group and be surprised at what you will learn!  An awareness walk through the neighborhood begins at 5:30 and the program will begin at 6:30.  Speakers for the program include:
 
Detective Judy Porter has been a member of the Ventura County Sheriff's Office for 10 years. Detective Porter is currently assigned to the Ventura County Sheriff's Special Crimes Unit as a Human Trafficking investigator. She has had many hours of formal and specialized training in Human Trafficking investigations and is actively working on several Human Trafficking cases in our county. Detective Porter is also the Ventura County Sheriff's Office representative for the Ventura County Coalition Against Human Trafficking.

Ms. Kristina Fitz, a survivor of the commercial sex industry, works closely with a variety of selected young ladies and adult women offering one-on-one mentorship to those currently in judicial system, etc.  In addition, Ms. Fitz participates in the education and training of local community partners with CSEC Information at various events within the Los Angeles area. Ms. Fitz currently works by facilitating "Word on the Street" prevention and "Ending the Game" intervention peer support groups for Journey Out at various locations within the community. Kristina has also been featured on NPR radio discussing  human trafficking issues in Los Angeles.

Mike Munn began his career in law enforcement in 1987 with the Buena Park Police Department. He was hired in November 2015 by the Ventura County District Attorney's Office Bureau of Investigation as a DA  Investigator II. He is currently assigned to Human Trafficking and was tasked to form the Ventura County Human Trafficking Enforcement Team, which includes members of local police agencies in Ventura County along with the FBI and Amtrak Police.
Nancy Newman Induction 1.17
Nancy Newman's induction was led by Sandy Masiel at the Jan. 11th business meeting.
Meet SI Ventura's Newest Member, Nancy Newman

We were happy to welcome Nancy Newman to our club on January 11 at an induction led by Sandy Masiel. We are excited to get to know Nancy and have invited her to share a little about herself, her interests and other involvements below.

I am a native west county Venturian, born at the old St Johns hospital while my father worked at Camarillo State Hospital. When I was 6 months, we moved to an air force base outside of Anchorage, Alaska. We returned to California when I was 3 and lived in several places, including Iowa and Hawaii. I graduated from Palos Verdes High School and went on to UCLA where I met my long time friends, the McDaniels. About 12 years ago, they decided to start a Family Foundation and asked me to be one of the outside directors.

One of the nonprofits I supported personally was Heifer International -- a group that is working to end world hunger by giving villagers animals and teaching them to care for them as a way to feed themselves, their villages and provide incomes to family members. The Foundation became involved too and we were honored to be invited to view Heifer projects in Nepal. It was quite an experience to see how much could be accomplished with assets properly utilized.

We first went to a village that had been accepted by Heifer to work with, but nothing had yet been done. It was extremely primitive. There was only one water pump for the village; no inside plumbing; and the animals they had foraged in the forest for food.

The second village was one that Heifer International had worked with for one year. The villagers had water to each house. They had built covered pens for their livestock, primarily goats, and grew feed for them. These changes allowed the villagers to decrease the mortality of their animals by 60% and most ewes now had twins which doubled their income. A woman from the second year village we visited showed us written business plans!

Another requirement of Heifer is that as a village prospers, it has a gifting ceremony where it take goats to a nearby village to help them with what they had learned. Women, whose low status previously kept them isolated in their homes, were now entrepreneurial and some even employed their husbands to help with the animals. Villages that Heifer work with must also agree to send the girls as well as the boys to school. We also toured 2nd and 3rd year villages which were progressively more advanced and profitable. Heifer will only work with a village 3 years. After that, they have the responsibility to care for themselves. It is truly a "teach them to fish" philosophy, not ongoing handouts.  
 
Denise Wise of the Housing Authority of the City of San Buenaventura Spoke at the January 26 Meeting

Ms. Wise, Chief Executive Officer of the Housing Authority of the City of San Buenaventura spoke to the SI Ventura members of the very important work they do in our community to provide and develop quality, affordable housing for eligible low-income residents.

The Housing Authority also works to establish strong partnerships within the community necessary for their customers to achieve personal goals related to: literacy and education; health and wellness; and job training and employment leading to personal growth and economic self-sufficiency.
       
For more information on the Housing Authority of the City of San Buenaventura please visit:  http://www.hacityventura.org/ . You can also follow them on facebook.  
Deadline for Violet Richardson Scholarship Applications Extended  
to February 15

Soroptimist International of Ventura (SI Ventura) has extended the deadline for applications for the Violet Richardson Scholarship to February 15, 2017. This award is given to girls ages 14-17, who are active in volunteer community service and who reside in the city of Ventura. The minimum award from SI Ventura is $1,500. This award is shared between the recipient and her service activity.

Applications may be obtained at Buena High School, Foothill Technological High School, St. Bonaventure High School, El Camino High School, Ventura High School and at the SI Ventura website www.soroptimistventura.org. Click here for the application. You may also call Sherri Tarpchinoff Bennett at 805-910-9620.
 
Completed applications can be emailed to 
siventura@soroptimist.net or mailed to Sherri Tarpchinoff Bennett at P.O. Box 6133, Ventura, CA 93006.
Why Not Use Amazon Smile for your Shopping Needs?
   
What is AmazonSmile?
AmazonSmile is a simple and automatic way for you to support your favorite charitable organization every time you shop, at no cost to you. When you shop at smile.amazon.com, you'll find the exact same low prices, vast selection and convenient shopping experience as Amazon.com, with the added bonus that Amazon will donate a portion of the purchase price to our Soroptimist International of Ventura.

How do I select a charitable organization to support when shopping on AmazonSmile?
On your first visit to AmazonSmile ( smile.amazon.com ), you need to select Soroptimist International of Ventura to receive donations from eligible purchases before you begin shopping. Amazon will remember your selection, and then every eligible purchase you make at   smile.amazon.com will result in a donation.

How much of my purchase does Amazon donate?
The AmazonSmile Foundation will donate 0.5% of the purchase price from your eligible AmazonSmile purchases. The purchase price is the amount paid for the item minus any rebates and excluding shipping & handling, gift-wrapping fees, taxes, or service charges. From time to time, there may be special, limited time promotions that increase the donation amount on one or more products or services or provide for additional donations to charitable organizations.

AmazonSmile Donations to Charitable Organizations
100% of the donation amount generated from your eligible purchase on AmazonSmile will be donated. The donation amounts generated by your purchases are combined with the donation amounts from all other customers that selected the same organization, and each quarter the AmazonSmile Foundation makes donations to registered charitable organizations by electronic funds transfer. Donations are generally transferred approximately 45 days after the end of each calendar quarter.

Please tell all your family and friends to choose Soroptimist International of Ventura to support in their Amazon online purchases through the AmazonSmile program.
Advertise in Our E-Newsletter and Help Support Our Community Service Fund
 
For a donation of $100 to our community service fund, we will advertise your business in our e-newsletter every month for a year. That is a $20 dollar  savings  over the  monthly  rate of of $10 per month. 
 
Or, donate $50 to our community service fund and we will advertise your business in our e-newsletter every month for six months. 
 
Mail your donation check to:  Soroptimist, P.O.Box 6133, Ventura, CA 93066 -- Include your ad information and email contact -- or contact us at  siventura@soroptimist.net We will contact you to finalize the ad copy.
2017 Pledge & Inspiration Schedule 
  
 
     
February 8 Meeting: 
Pledge - SherriBennett       
Inspiration - Vega Sankur   
 
February 22 Mee ting :
Pledge - Shirley Lorraine   
Inspiration - Pam Pecarich
  
Please email Cyndi Damron at damroncyndi@gmail.com  if you would like to lead the pledge or inspire us at a meeting. 

Soroptimist logo

Upcoming 
Events

February 8 - 
Business Meeting

February 15 -
Violet Richardson Applications due

February 22 - 
Program Meeting

March 1 - 
Board Meeting

March 8 - 
Business Meeting

March 8 - 
Stop Human
Trafficking Event
4:30 pm

March 22 - 
Program Meeting

April 21-23 - 
Spring Conference
 





 
Hearts for Heroes

A fundraiser for Veteran Farmers of America

 February 10th 2017
 
5pm to 8pm 
Topa Mountain Winery

Local Wines and
Tasty Appetizers

Visit vetfarm.org for RSVP and more information. 


Presidents 
Message

On March 8, 2017 Soroptimist Clubs in our Region will join together to raise awareness of human trafficking in our County. For ten years, we have been working with elected officials, law enforcement and the media to bring this important issue into focus. It may be easy to think of this as something that happens in developing countries or very large urban areas, but it happens right here, in our hotels and neighborhoods. 

In April 2016, with the cooperation of hotels (some of them upscale), the Ventura County Sheriff's Department, in cooperation with State and Federal officials, uncovered a widespread sex trafficking ring in our community. In November 2016, a couple from Thousand Oaks and Simi Valley was arrested for prostituting (human trafficking) a 15 year old girl. And the list goes on.
 
This is an important issue. Any human trafficking is abhorrent; preventing and someday abolishing the trafficking of underage girls and vulnerable women is on point with the Soroptimist mission of empowering women and girls. 

PLEASE join us for the March 8 event - we need our local politicians and decision makers to hear our voices. We will meet at St. Paul's Episcopal Church, 3290 Loma Vista Road, Ventura (across from the Ventura County Medical Center) at 5:30 p.m. There will be a community walk followed by speakers and discussion at 6:30. 

The speakers include a Human Trafficking Survivor/Mentor/Advocate, an Investigator from the Ventura County District Attorney's Office (to provide local statistics) and a representative from Ventura County Sheriff's Department (to discuss a local Chinese sex ring).

A website for the event has been set up. Click here for more information. 

I'll end with an excerpt from a poem I found on Poetry Hunter by Glorious Enigma:
 
Trafficked people are tricked,
by false promises they are attracted

There is no mercy!
When the way is to delinquency
There is no pity
When the way is to cruelty
There is no humanity
When the way is to atrocity
There is no love
When the way is to hate
There is no forgiveness
When the way is to intolerance
 
It doesn't have to be this way. We can make a difference!!!!
 
 
 
 
 
Ann Hewitt 
President
SI Ventura 2016-2017    
 
2017 Axxess Books Now Available   

The 2017 Axxess Books are now available for $30.

If you are interested in either selling the books or buying a book for yourself, please contact Kellye Patterson for details and more information at 805-477-4244 or email her at  kellye_patterson
@yahoo.com
 
Book Sale and Auction Will be Held Quarterly

Book sales and auctions will be held at the business meeting during the months of February, May, August and October.

Don't miss out!!!
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For Information call
Cindy Daly at 
805-647-1554 or
email her at
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Club Meetings
  • 2nd & 4th Wednesday of each month
  • Luncheon Meeting at 12 noon
  • Ventura Beach Marriott Hotel, 2055 Harbor Blvd., Ventura