I’m a Soroptimist. What’s Soroptimist you ask?

Soroptimist is an international organization whose mission is to improve  the lives of women and girls through programs leading to social and economic empowerment. We have a formal club meeting monthly, but our real work happens behind the scenes building better lives for women and girls both locally, and in places like Haiti, Ecuador, and Africa.  Our meeting Wednesday night was my favorite meeting of the year. It’s the night we honor local women for their commitment to others and we announce the projects we’ll be supporting in the next year.

Interestingly, at that meeting no one is bragging  about our impact… in fact just the opposite. We’re honoring other women in the community who are also working to improve lives locally and abroad. As I  hear about the work and dedication

Beverly Lazar Davis was our Ruby Award winner. I’ve been honored to know Bev for about a decade and have always been impressed with her commitment and innovation in helping others. But as our awards chairwoman read Bev’s award nomination, I was dumbstruck with all the work she’s done that I didn’t know about. From helping displaced homemakers to co-founding the Task Force against Child Abuse (now the Saratoga Center for the Family) to assisting those  with mental illness,  to inspiring youth toward community serve… the recurring themes of her life have been helping, innovating and inspiring.

Haley Perrone, a Saratoga Springs High School student and our Violet Richardson Award winner, was just as  inspiring. She has traveled to Uganda twice with the AIDS Orphans Education trust, delivering supplies and providing medical outreach in remote areas  of this third world country. What was I doing in high school? Nothing that impressive!

And if that wasn’t enough, our club announced grants totaling $30,000 to 15 local organizations that help women and girls. I work with many of these agencies every day and can attest to the great work  they do: CAPTAIN, Rebuilding Together, Shelters of Saratoga, the Prevention Council, the Children’s  Museum and Franklin Community Center to name a few.

If you want to learn more about Soroptimist International of Saratoga County visit their website

If you’re not ready for that big a commitment, you can still help us raise funds for these needed programs and get some ideas to develop a green thumb. How? Come to our 20th annual Secret Garden Tour  on July 13th and be inspired by dozens of  breathtaking local gardens.

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