A blog by Dr. Nina Smart
“A 96th birthday celebration was held at Trail’s Cafe in Griffith Park, a famous Los Angeles landmark, where Soroptimist International of LA (SILA), dedicated a Soroptimist Grove first in 1947 and again in 1955. SILA’s President, Jessica Washington, together with members, the Camino Real Region Governor, Ana Maria LeNoue and Parliamentarian Shiela Tatum, spoke about SILA’s members’ enthusiasm to participate in the upcoming Biennial Convention in Yokohama, Japan.
We also talked about SILA’s long-term member, Barbara Jury and her 50 years of service, as well as the new members, who included Rena Shahandeh, joining in the celebration despite her busy schedule as the Deputy City Attorney for the anti-sex and labour Trafficking Program.
Parliamentarian Sheila, described the challenges of SILA member, Justice Mildred Lillie, a dedicated Soroptimist, who regularly attended meetings, and was nominated to the Supreme Court in 1971 by President Nixon. Sheila also had one of LA County’s libraries named after her.
President Jessica shared pictures of the friendship gift recently sent to their Sister Club, SI Nagoya, expressing how pleased they were with the Soroptimist Dreamer Doll created by fellow Soroptimist Nina Smart. SILA and SI Nagoya have been sister clubs for several years, collaborating on a few projects together to better serve women and girls through the Soroptimist mission. Amy Poulos, a dedicated SILA member, whose mother and grandmother were also SILA members, shared a picture of a 1985 roster when SILA’s meetings were held at Hilton Hotel, in downtown Los Angeles.
After cutting the cake generously baked by Past President, Joyce Jacob, we listened to Marian Dodge, President of the Friends of Griffith Park, give a short and informative presentation about upcoming events at Griffith Park. We then took a stroll to see the Soroptimist Grove and renew our enthusiasm for serving. As we walked on the trail to the Soroptimist Grove, Pam Smith shared details of her long journey with Soroptimist.
Current SILA projects include working with the Downtown Women’s Center, celebrating Christmas with the children of a local Women’s Shelter sponsored by SI Los Angeles, and working with single mothers going back to school, to gain a better education for their families”.