By Nancy Oliver Hayden |

By Nancy Oliver Hayden

Tribune Community Editor

It took 11 months of planning and work to raise $47,001 and only 52 minutes for Soroptimist I

nternational of South Lake Tahoe to give it all away.

The service club presented the monetary awards to 25 organizations on Jan. 31 during its fourth Community Service Grants luncheon at Harrah’s Lake Tahoe Special Events Center.

President Ann Swallow opened the event by welcoming the more than 300 Soroptimist members, city and county officials, grant recipients and supportive community members. She introduced the Honorable Angela Peterson, South Lake Tahoe City Clerk, who presented a proclamation from Douglas County and the city of South Lake Tahoe recognizing the contributions to the community by Soroptimist International of South Lake Tahoe.

Mistress of ceremonies was the Honorable Brooke Olivares-Laine, city of South Lake Tahoe Mayor Pro-tem and a past president of Soroptimist International of South Lake Tahoe.

“In addition to the 25 organizations we are recognizing today, I would guess that this audience collectively represents at least twice that many different nonprofit organizations. We are all alike in that we choose to give of our time, resources, and/or money in order to leave this community better than we found it. We differ only in that we may choose to focus on different areas of need,” Olivares-Laine said.

“Soroptimist International of South Lake Tahoe is no different. We have been contributing to the betterment of this community since 1958. Currently, our club has 150 members whose focus continues to be to improve the quality of life in our community and throughout the world by providing service.”

Soroptimist is an international service organization that is involved in global as well as local activities. While the South Lake Tahoe club has an international umbrella, it is their work locally that gives them great pride.

In the 43 years of the club’s existence, members have raised and contributed more than $11/2 million. The funds have gone to such projects as the Clean Tahoe Program, Tahoe Rim Trail, building a bus shelter and establishing “A Fighting Chance,” a program that empowers children with techniques to bring about their escape or rescue from would-be

Staff and volunteers of the Family Resource Center supporting the allocation luncheon are, from left, standing, Teresa Ramirez, Mercedes Ruiz, and Manuel Jiminez. Seated: Gabriella Inigo, Monica Silva, Delicia Spees, De-Anne Hooper, and Marta Cid.


“Much of this would not be possible without the significant and generous support from the community of the club’s annual fund-raising event, ‘The Best of Tahoe: Food and Winetasting.’ Thanks to the support of the community and to the many wineries, restaurants and businesses, we grossed a record $93,000 for this year,” Olivares-Laine said.

The current funding allocation process was instituted during the 1996-97 fiscal year to ensure the club’s limited funds would be channeled to areas of most need, while conforming to the mission statement.

Susan Smith-Capps, chair of the allocations committee, along with other committee members, Peg Kortes, Earlene Miller, Ginger Mitchell and Candi Rohr, introduced the recipients and presented the grants to representatives from each of the 25 groups.

Applications for 2001-2002 funding will be available in July.

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