For almost 80 years, members of Richmond Soroptimist have worked to help women and girls in our community and beyond, while building lifelong friendships and having fun.
We invite you to give us a hand by joining us as an active member, a one-time volunteer, a guest at one of our events or as a donor.
Our group meets on Thursdays at the historic Rockefeller Lodge, 2640 Market Avenue, San Pablo, California. We meet the first four Thursdays each month at noon, from September through June. Lunch is served before the meeting commences. Each month, there is one business meeting. The other meetings include planning for events and enriching, educational programs.
Currently, we hold two fundraisers during the year; the Teddy Bear Tea in November and the Culinary Caper, Chef Show and Wine Tasting in April. The funds raised by these events are distributed to local community groups through a grant application process. In addition, three awards to individual women who are furthering their education are given annually.
The Teddy Bear Tea on November 4 was wonderul! Rain disappeared and the sun came out to brighten the day. Adults and children were dressed in their finest tea party attire and enjoyed all of the acitivities of the day. We want to thank our guests for their generous support. Proceeds of this fundraiser will support the projects of groups in our community who work hard to provide important services.
The 25th Annual Culinary Caper, Chef Show and Wine Tasting was a fantastic silver jubilee event. The sun did shine with not a drop of drizzle as was forecast. The food was delicious and abundant, the auctions were lively and the liquid refreshment, wine, craft beer and sparkling water, pleased all. Our guests seemed to enjoy themselves. We want to thank our terrific vendors for their generosity and our guests who were so generous as well. With the success of this fundraiser, we will be able to give back to our community.
Over the years our fundraising efforts have allowed us to give grants to local community organizations that help people in need. Some of the groups which have recently received grants from us are: Bay Area Rescue Mission, Community Alliance for Learning (Writer Coach Connection), Contra Costa Family Justice Alliance, Dirt World (Bay Area BMXers), Early Childhood Mental Health, Pinole Community Players, The Quinan Street Project, Read Aloud Program, Richmond Art Center, Rosie The Riveter Trust, San Pablo Committee on Aging, West Contra Costa Salesian Boys and Girls Club, West County Adult Day/Alzheimer Respite Care Center, West County Reads, West Contra Costa YMCA/YMCA of the East Bay.
In addition to the grants we give out to community groups, there are three individual awards.
VIOLET RICHARDSON AWARD: A teenager (14-18 ) is honored for community service. Both she and the organization with which she is involved are awarded $1,000 each.
LIVE YOUR DREAM: This $5,000 award given by the SI/Richmond club assists a woman, who has the primary financial responsibility for her family, to obtain the skills, training and education necessary to improve her employment status and standard of living.
HIGH SCHOOL SCHOLARSHIPS: In the spring, we will give four $5,000 scholarships to local high school graduating seniors who are heading to college.
At the Service Awards Luncheon, grant awards were given to local non-profits serving our community that were nominated and voted on by our members. After all of our fundraising hard work, it was very rewarding to hear the recipients share their plans for their grants. This year we awarded over $40,000 to 15 community organizations.
Soroptimist International of Richmond was founded in 1939, sponsored by Soroptimist of Berkeley, and led by Charter President Christina Cameron, who was the Assistant Superintendent of Schools. There were 18 charter members. Currently we have 28 members. Our club is part of Founder Region of Soroptimist International of the Americas.