Soroptimist International of Grass Valley
Soroptimist International of Grass Valley

Meeting Summaries



 Carly Pacheco, Deputy Director of FREED, spoke to our Club on behalf of the Community Service Committee. FREED is a Disability Resource Center serving people of all ages including youth and older adults in Nevada, Yuba, Sutter, and Colusa Counties. 

FREED’s Vision

People with disabilities enjoy a fully accessible community strengthened by diversity and unified by a culture of limitless possibility.

 FREED’s Mission

To promote independence and self-determination for people with disabilities through person-driven services, collaborative community partnerships and education, and leadership that advocates for fully inclusive communities. 

Disability is not discriminatory. It can affect people of all ages, genders, financial status, races, and religious beliefs. FREED seeks to come alongside people to help them achieve what they want to achieve. FREED will provide assistance but not fix the problem for them. 



You can volunteer!

Friendly Visitor Volunteer

As a volunteer with the Friendly Visitor program you can make a profound and personal difference in the life of a senior or person with a disability.  Our own Club member Shanti Emerson has been a friendly visitor to four different people over the years!

Fix It Program Volunteer

As a Fix It volunteer, you will be performing minor home repairs and modifications such as installing grab bars or threshold ramps , or repairing steps, faucets or light switches, in order to assist seniors and people with disabilities to continue to live safely in their homes. 

Volunteer Community Advocate

At FREED we think that civically active consumers are important for our goal of breaking down barriers for people with disabilities, which is why we are organizing volunteer community advocates around our locations in Marysville and Grass Valley to campaign for systems change. Our volunteer community advocates decide the issues that we work on, and, with the support of our full-time Disability Community Advocate, take the lead in activities promoting the rights of people with disabilities



Alzheimer's Disease


Zella Smoak, author of “Losing Johanna” spoke to us about Alzheimer’s Disease.  A former attorney and Nurse Practitioner familiar with the disease, Zella gave us tips to recognize and deal with the disease.  She urged early diagnosis, as some medications can slow the process.



Early symptoms of Alzheimer’s:

1.  Memory life that “disrupts” your daily life, newly acquired information.  Person asks for dates, events and for same information over & over.

2.  Difficulty planning and problem solving.  Inability to balance a checkbook, do spread sheets & math (if they could do them before).  Difficulty following a recipe.

3.  Can’t complete daily tasks.  Driving very difficult.  Not able to remember rules of a favorite game.

4.  Confusion of time & place.  Forgetting where they are and how they got there.  Not knowing when a holiday was or will be.

5.  Trouble with visual images.  Can’t see contrast, trouble with distinguishing colors, and judging distances.

6.  Trouble following or joining in conversation.  Struggle with words.

7.  Misplacing things & not being able to retrace your steps.  Accuse others of stealing.  Frustration can occur.

8.  Decreased or poor judgement.  With money(telemarketers), grooming (may become frightened of water.

9.  Begin to withdraw - from sports & hobbies that they loved.  Depression can occur.

10.  Changes in mood & personality.  Anxious out of comfort zone, such as at doctor’s office and hospitals.






Joann Tremelling, Sierra Nevada Region Stop Trafficking Coordinator  

Joanne shared the scary statistics of child trafficking in the Sacramento area, including our region.  Most girls are 12-14 years old and boys, although not as many, are 14-17 years old.  These children are wooed by young people away from their home situations with promises of all kinds, only to be sold for the sex trade.  There are over 100 kids in custody in juvenile court in Sacramento who have been involved.  These children are no longer considered prostitutes, but victims and there are all kinds of services offered to them because of new legislation and awareness of this problem.  Most of these are runaways from the foster care system; they are nameless and faceless, most of whom are never reported as missing by their foster parents, who continue to cash their checks.  The perpetrators are men,  50 % of them are married and 40% college educated.


Fortunately, more legislation is coming to help with these children.  Joanne asked us all to be vigilant by looking for the following possibilities that a child is a victim:

  • a child with a man or woman or couple of a different ethnic group; and
  • Looks forlorn; and
  • does not have eye contact; and
  • is dressed in inappropriate clothing.

If you see this, contact law enforcement immediately and ask for a welfare check for the child.


The way Soroptimist International is helping is by

  • connecting with law enforcement to explain our help;
  • securing clothing that might be needed;
  • providing blankets and backpacks;
  • mentoring;
  • securing help with a program at UCD Medical Center.



Thursday, April 9  Good Women International  Mary Wollesen



Good Women International     Mary Wollesen, speaker

Joanna Britt along with Mary Wollesen, owner of Rhythms Studio, home of Zumba, and several of the women at the studio, have banded together to form an organization called Good Women International to prevent Human Trafficking.

Mary informed us of some frightening statistics:

  • $32 billion is made on human trafficking, which can be for sex and/or labor.  It is estimated 50% for labor, 50% for sex;
  • 27 million people are slaves, not counting pimp pushed prostitutes;
  • Existing everywhere, 25% for domestic use; 50% for sex; 25% for agriculture and other business;
  • 65% of those picked up are women, 15% pre-pubescent girls, 10% boys, 10% men;
  • 1% get out of slavery; 2% are prosecuted;
  • If a girl is missing for more than 3 days, she will likely not be seen again.

Those typically taken are victims of substance abuse, poverty, abuse, and those in foster care, runaways or truant.  These individuals often view violence as love because of their experiences.  The I-80 corridor is one of the main lines of trafficking with proximity to Bay Area ports and Nevada.

Good Women International supported A-21 (Abolition of Slavery in the 21st Century) in their creation of an anti-human trafficking curriculum for high schools.  This multi-week program works to inform students of the dangers of trafficking.  Currently there are no programs at Placer or Nevada County high schools, but GWI will work for inclusion in the schools.

Good Women International is a program of Village Care International, a non-profit focusing on empowering people in African villages. 

Thursday November 20 Danielle Yantis, Registered Dietician and Weight Loss Specialist 


Danielle Yantis, representing Western Sierra Medical Center spoke to us about the center and the problem of obesity.


Western Sierra's new facility will be opening on Old Tunnel Road December 15 with the approach allowing the patient to decide treatment when given all options by a comprehensive team.  All resources will be located in one facility:  medical, dental, mental health, nutrition, and pediatrics.  With this holistic, interdisciplinary approach, "How can I help you help you", patients will be part of the solution.  Western Sierra takes private pay, medi-cal, county and sliding scale payments.


Obesity in our country is of epidemic proportions with 1/3 of the population in this category.  The AMA has decided that it is a disease and, therefore, can get medical attention.  There is a genetic component. Thirty genes are related to obesity with 9% of people expressing those genes.  It starts with white fat cells, which are a direct result of maternal health.  White cells are found throughout the body and can expand massively. Brown fat cells are metabolically active and burn energy.  This peaks at birth and starts declining as we age.  Beige or brown cells in the white fat cells counteract against the harmful white cells and improve metabolic health.  Exercise turns white cells into brown ones. 


Theories of the cause of obesity include environmental toxins, the pleasure center of the brian overriding fullness signals, food addiction where food triggers dopamine, poor quality diet, dieting, decrease of physical activity and disease and medications.  The treatment solutions are as follows:

1.  Get adequate sleep

2.  Stay hydrated

3.  Manage Stress

4.  Practice mindful eating

5.  Reduce calories by 500 per day (eliminate 250 and exercise 250) with whole food

6.  Increase activity

7.  Identify eating habits and pick one thing to change


Dieting is also a major cause of obesity.  Fad diets do not work when stopped and not eating slows metabolism.  The Mediterranean diet with vegetables and fruit, lean meat, good oils, and whole grains seems to work best for weight loss and heart health.



 Women of a Certain Age




Camille McSeveney, MSW, spoke to us about her groups, "Women of a Certain Age". which she conducts for women about conscious aging.  Camille has had great response after a November 4 article in The Union  and currently leads two groups of 9 women and is considering more.

The groups help women deal with their negative conceptions about aging, where they might feel invisible, excluded or discriminated against.  Condescension about age is another factor some women deal with.  Camille believes that youth is looking backward and that this age is a time for look at "your stuff" and become a better person.  Many women live for their offspring, rather than themselves, or spend so much time trying to be younger with creams, etc, that they forget that there is much of life to live right now.

Providing a safe place to discuss these fears and feelings, Camille helps women prepare for the next phase of their lives.

For more information:

Camille McSeveney, MSW

(530) 263-5361



Black "Forbidden" Rice Salad

1 1/2 c. forbidden black rice

3 1/4 c. water/ broth

2T soy sauce

3T sesame oil

1/2T ground coriander

1 lb. sweet potato or butternut squash, diced

1-2 large beats, diced

2-3 large carrots, diced

2 stalks celery, sliced

bunch of scallions, sliced

lemon juice to taste (1-2T)


*Bring rice, water, pinch of salt to a quick boil, cover and lower heat to a simmer for 30 minutes.


*Let rice sit while you whisk together soy sauce, sesame oil, & coriander. 


*Roast vegetables to taste. 350 for 15 minutes or until fork comes out easily. Or Steam 10-15minutes.


*Let rice cool, then add vegetables. Top with scallions. Season with lemon juice to taste.



Cauliflower Pizza Crust  (low carbs)



1 head or pkg riced cauliflower

2 eggs

1 t basil

½ t oregano

2 cloves minced ( I use more) garlic

¼ C parmesan

¼ C Mozzarella  (I just use ½ C grated parmesan)


Rice cauliflower or put pkg in covered bowl in microwave for 3 minutes, take out excess water with paper towel.

Stir in ingredients, transfer to parchment covered baking sheet

Bake for 15 or more minutes at 425

Top with whatever you like and bake an additional 10-15 minutes.





Butternut Squash Chili
This can be vegetarian or you can add whatever protein you want. It is excellent.
Butternut Squash Chili.pdf
Adobe Acrobat document [40.1 KB]

Perfect Prime Rib recipe


Prime Rib recipe

5 minutes per pound at 500 degrees, turn off oven, do not open for 2 hours


The Soroptimist Pledge Cheat Sheet as taught by Jessie Hughs


Jessie was a former president of a San Jose Soroptimist Club and a home economist for PG&E. She was an active Life Member in our club until her death at 90+ years old. She would delight in providing us with slogans if we did not have one when we had to introduce ourselves.  She also taught us about the Soroptimist pin and the pledge.  The following is the way Jessie instructed us on how to remember the pledge, through mnemonic devices and other means.


I pledge allegiance to Soroptimism and to the ideals for which it stands:

San Jose Dill (Pickle)

Sincerity of Friendship

Joy of Achievement

Dignity of Service

Integrity of Profession

Love of Country

I promise to PUD (Public Utility District-she worked for PG&E)



Defend these ideals

For a larger fellowship in HARRY S. TRUMAN BUT WITH A B (DON’T REMEMBER WHY  YOU CAN THINK Home Savings Bank)

In Home

In Society

In Business

For Country and For God.

Remember, that even those of us repeating it for 20+ years mess it up sometime.





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