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New club welcomes new members in Folsom, El Dorado Hills area

By: Laura Newell, Features Editor
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Soroptimist International is chartering a new club in the Folsom El Dorado Hills area and is actively seeking new members.

“Soroptimist International is an international volunteer organization working to improve the lives of women and girls in our communities and throughout the world,” said President Muriel Brounstein. “Soroptimist has about 3,100 clubs and 80,000 members in about 120 countries so we support some projects in other countries, like buying solar cookers for women in refugee camps in Africa. But, the majority of our projects will benefit women and girls in Folsom and El Dorado Hills.”

Soroptimist International has been in existence since 1921. Soroptimist International of Folsom El Dorado Hills is not officially a club yet, but will get their charter around April 1, according to Broustein. The group will have their Charter Night party on Wednesday, April 10. Any woman who joins before April 10 will be a charter member.

To serve the community, the group holds service projects, holds fundraisers and offers scholarships.

“Our signature Soroptimist project is Women’s Opportunity Awards, which provides scholarships for re-entry women so that they may further their education and support their children,” Brounstein said. “One hundred percent of the money raised in our fundraisers in the community goes directly back into the community. Our club is just chartering and hasn’t decided on its projects yet, but two projects supported by many Soroptimist Clubs have to do with stopping human trafficking and stopping bullying.”

So what does it mean to be a Soroptimist?

“Soroptimist means different things to different women,” she said. “That is one of the best aspects of Soroptimist. For some women it gives them the opportunity to help women and girls in their communities. For others it is most gratifying to be a member of a world-wide organization and get to meet like-minded women from other countries. I believe that I get more from Soroptimist than I give. I have gone to the Fiji Islands to stay with a Soroptimist there. I have hosted Soroptimists from Sweden, Denmark and France. I have been to Soroptimist Conferences in Canada and Australia. I have had the pleasure of seeing the faces of women whose lives we have changed by awarding them scholarships that will change their lives. To me Soroptimist isn’t just a club that I belong to. Some of my best friends are Soroptimists. We have been in each other’s homes and have gone on vacation together. Soroptimist can be what you want it to be. My life would be very different if I weren’t a Soroptimist.”

Brounstein said her first Soroptimist Club was a Folsom club that met at night, but is no longer in existence.

“I have always wanted a daytime club here,” she said. “The visionary for this daytime club and the person who started building it is Tammy Garrett, who is the vice-president. We both knew that there were many women in the Folsom El Dorado Hills area who want to give back to their communities. I helped Tammy get this club going and am the Charter President.”

Brounstein said there is a need for this kind of club in the region, and wants to welcome women to come to a meeting and learn more about what a Soroptimist is.

“This group of women is so dynamic and so capable,” said Brounstein. “It is such a pleasure to get to know them better and work with them. The strength of this club is due to each woman sharing her abilities and wanting to better our communities.”

The next group meeting is at 11:45 a.m. on Thursday, March 21, at Mountain Mike’s Pizza, 717 E. Bidwell St., Suite 4, Folsom.

For more information, contact Brounstein at (916) 351-1736 or mbrounstein@att.net.