Soroptimist International of Grass Valley
Soroptimist International of Grass Valley



SIGV  is part of an international women's service organization dedicated to the improvement of the lives of women and children in our community.


As we enter into December- we thought it would be a good time to reflect back on our accomplishments and activities in the last few months. As with life- it's been filled with low's- the end of some projects and dreams and the loss of loved ones. But a great many high's to be thankful for as well.

So this will be a series of posts and pictures starting with the Districts 1 and 2 annual meeting in Winters that was well attended by SIGV. As you can see SIGV won several awards and recognitions. And a reminder that we will be hosting this event next October! Well done club!



Next up for our 30 days of reflecting and giving thanks- on November 7th we welcomed ANOTHER new member to our club, Sally Hale. Make sure you introduce yourself the next time you see her. And let's keep up the good work at getting our friends and neighbors to join this awesome club of women with HUGE hearts to serve our community!


November 15th was the deadline for the "Live Your Dream" grant applications to be in, but SI graciously extended that deadline to the 20th- and SIGV reaped the rewards. Seven applicants applied for the grants available! The grant committee met and two applicants stood out, representing exactly WHY we give out this grant. Winners to be announced at our next business meeting- Wednesday December 11th. Members note the day/date change. This was a VERY rewarding (and exciting) time for SIGV.


SIGV's annual Wine Tasting Fundraiser was held on November 13th. All who attended (which included friends and family) had a great time tasting and choosing their favorite wines from Dave's pre-selected specialties. He hand picked these just for us! The numbers aren't in yet- but rest assured this was one of the easiest ways that SIGV made money this year! This is now on my "Must attend" list for next year! I had NO idea it was this much fun! Put it in your November calendar for next year!


Our November program meeting was lightly attended but well worth being there. Fran Freedle presented a program recap of one of SIGV's "signature" projects- the KARE Crisis Nursery. What a LOT of planning, leg work and full on dedication went into this! And the current stats for those served thruout the years is phenomenal. Great work club! She also presented a graph of ALL monies donated thruout the years by SIGV and some exciting plans for the future. Tell your friends what a GREAT service club we are. If they want to make a difference in our community- this is the club to belong to!


Despite the weather- December is going to be a busy month for SIGV. We start off with our annual bell-ringing for the Salvation Army on the 13th and 14th, Bell Hill Boutique (giving back to local little ones) on the 16th,17th and 18th and Holiday meetings galore. And coming up quickly is one of our most significant fundraisers of the year- "Day For Women" , Saturday April 18th. we are heavily promoting this NOW- as sponsors who want to be in the program need to get their information in to Judy East, asap. More on that event coming soon. 


A few of us gathered at the west end of Ponderosa Hall today to dedicate our maple tree to Soroptimists.  It is planted just off the walkway and will be the first tree you see if you are entering from the Gate 3 Pedestrian Gate.
Several of us knew all of the Soroptimists honored, and had kind words to share about them.
The Fairgrounds was in lock-down due to the power outage, but they made special accommodations for us to be able to dedicate our tree today.
I am sending you the remarks about our 16 Soroptimists.  I have asked to have them included on our website.
A bronze plaque will be placed at the base of the tree.  It will be inscribed with "In memory of SIGV Soroptimsts Dedicated 2019"
We are limited to 3" x 8".
Due to the power outage we were not able to share lunch afterwards.

Dedication of Maple Tree

Planted in Memory of Soroptimists

Nevada County Fairgrounds near Ponderosa Hall

October 10, 2019

An activity of the Commemorative Trust Committee

Fran Freedle, Chairman


"We are here today to dedicate the maple tree that has been planted in memory of Soroptimists who have worked with us, shared our fun and activities, and shared our challenges.  Many of these remarks will apply to all of them in a general sense, but all have worked in their own personal way to fulfill our Soroptimist mission to empower and support women and children in our own community and the world.

We will name Soroptimists who have passed in the last few years but please know that we acknowledge and dedicate this tree to all Soroptmists. I will say a few words about them- I knew all of them personally.


Mary Bouma – She managed the office tasks of her husband’s chiropractic practice.   She was a dedicated woman who served with dignity and served a big challenge as a close friend of Marian Ghidotti who named her as a trustee of the Ghidotti Estate.


LaNelle Lee – Our beautician, and savant who remembered every detail she ever experienced and expressed these details with great enthusiasm.  A woman who valued family and friendship above all else.


Eleanor Reed – She had a way of reaching our inner souls.  And she was our resident humorist who taught us to enjoy singing “You Are My Sunshine”.


Sibley Hansen – Her work days began before most of us were up – in the real early morning hours at Hansen Brothers.  She was a hard working woman who was the custodian of THE Pastie Recipe.   A woman always found in the kitchen, or on the business end of a broom.


Marie Johnson – always known as the flower lady delivering fresh flowers as long as she was able.


Eva Hutchison – a capable woman whose title company experience helped so many.


Connie McKee – she co-managed a clothing and shoe store on Mill Street with her husband, Mike.  She was always gentle and loving and a true friend to so many of us.


Pat Riley – the impetuous and very dedicated dental hygienist – one of the best – who also served on the Nevada County Fair Board for many years in support of children raising animals.


Norma Watchers – a true artist and interior designer with such beautiful and practical ideas that helped many of us improve our homes appearance.  She was loving and kind to the very end.


Audrey McBurney – the owner of a Christmas Tree Farm that was, early on, a place where we, as Soroptimists, could make some additional money.  As a newspaper journalist she was the logical person to be our historian which she was for many years.


Jessie Hughs – the penultimate Soroptimist who always welcomed new members, took them under her wing, and crafted creative ways to remember the Soroptimist Pledge. She was a nutritionist for PG&E.  We named an award after her.


Joan Lancaster – a real estate woman with an interest in the broader community.  She worked to assure that there was a proper balance in political discussions.


Alice Yun – our charter member of Chinese descent who had such conviction and dedication to work to accomplish something good.


Ruth Maurer – she was a feisty little woman with lots of energy.  When she committed to do a job, just consider it done.  She was a dedicated Soroptimist who was committed to our values and friendship.


Judy Barker – she was one of the most caring Soroptimists we knew.  She always had a kind word to share, and developed a personal bond with everyone making you feel important. Her unique talents as a hypno-therapist were appreciated by many."


Welcome to our newest members!  Ellen Keeshon and  Meleesa Manchester Pellerino of "Image by Design Hair Salon" and Executive Director of "Butterflies and Roses Cancer Support.So wonderful to be adding members to our great group of women. 



And WELCOME Back to Gale Corby Pylman! 

Installation of 2019-20 Officers

The new Board was installed on June 20 to serve the next club year.  Directors Lynn Costa and Judy East, Treasurer Joan Beard, Delegate Shanti Emerson, Co-Presidents Ruth Evans and Cindy Caruso with Jacque Brown, recipient of the coveted Jessie Hughs Award.




Soroptimist International of Grass Valley, an organization
endeavoring to support and empower women locally and
internationally, is teaming with Sierra Nevada Memorial Hospital
of Nevada County to provide comfort for victims of human
trafficking. Often the young ladies arrive at the hospital with only
the clothes on their back. Here, Soroptimists Cindy Caruso and
Mary Sivila, Community Outreach Committee CoChairs deliver 6
backpacks filled with basic necessities to Stephanie Kreiter
SNMH Community Health, Outreach & Benefit Specialist for




On January 17, 2019, we celebrated two women with the Live Your Dream Award, given to women of primary support who is furthering her education.  A monetary award was given and the recipient and her family were honored at our evening meeting.  Brittany Perez will pursue a career in human development and Early Childhood, while Brianna Coker will pursue a B.A. in Early Childhood Education.

Outstanding Effort Award 2019

The 34rd Annual Outstanding Effort Award was presented to 4 graduating 8th graders for overcoming obstacles.  Clay Renner from Magnolia, Chasity Greenlee from Union Hill, Chloe Nagle from Lyman Gilmore and Bodhi Haugen from Chicago Park were honored at a luncheon, received a certificate and gift.




A Day for Women 2019


Soroptimist International  of Grass Valley meets the first Thursday of the month at 12:30 and the third Thursday of the Month at 5:30 at the Nevada County Contractors Assn  149 Crown Point Ct. Please Contact Us for more information


Live Your Dream Application link