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Soroptimist El Centro Marks 85 Years with Havana Nights-Themed Gala


Soroptimist International (SI) of El Centro celebrated its 85th annual board installation on Thursday, June 28, at The Loft in El Centro. The event commemorated the remarkable achievements and contributions of its members and sponsors. This year, the event also marked the club’s 85th anniversary and welcomed new members into its ranks with a vibrant Havana Nights-themed celebration.

Soroptimist El Centro transported guests to the enchanting streets of Havana with a spectacular Havana Nights-themed celebration at their annual event. The venue was transformed into a tropical paradise, adorned with vibrant colors, palm leaves, and twinkling lights that evoked the lively spirit of Cuba.

“We have been doing our mission of supporting women and girls achieve economic empowerment through educational awards, programs, workshops, so they can make the healthy decisions for their personal lives, their families, and ultimately their country, said Ivonne Sotomayor-Santos, President of Soroptimist El Centro.

Sotomayor stated that this year has been exceptionally successful, with numerous activities for children, including movie outings, mixers, and fundraisers. Most notably, the club saw substantial membership growth, increasing from 17 members to 57 by the end of the fiscal year.

New members welcomed at the event were Amy Volmer, Katherine Espinoza, Ashley Codding, Brenda Hernandez, Caroline Treadway, Elizabeth Espinoza, Esmeralda Chacon, Esmeralda Diaz, Griselda Partida, Liz Estrada, Maria Carrillo Martinez, Margery Stephens, Melanie Lira, Melissa Curiel, Nancy Salcedo, Paloma Beltran, Paulina Bazan, Ramona Ramirez, Tara Malcomb, Trish Petree, Veronica Urbina, and Virginia Ball. These accomplished women bring a wealth of experience, passion, and dedication to the club’s mission of empowering women and girls. Their diverse backgrounds and skills are sure to enhance the club’s efforts to make a positive impact in the community.

The 2024-2025 Board of Directors for Soroptimist International of El Centro includes President and Co-President Ivonne Sotomayor Santos and Jessie Villanueva, respectively. Valentina Estes serves as the 1st Vice-President and Fundraising Chair, while Martha Cardenas-Singh is the 2nd Vice-President and Programs Chair. The financial responsibilities are managed by Treasurer Elvira Teran Gonzalez. Marlena Renteria holds the position of 1st Secretary and PR & Membership Chair, with Vanessa Landeros as the Recording Chair and Lydia Robles as the Correspondence Chair in their roles as 2nd Secretaries. The board also features AJ Gaddis as the Two-Year Director and Mia Hernandez as the One-Year Director.

Soroptimist International of El Centro, chartered on February 17, 1940, is part of a global volunteer organization that provides women and girls with access to the education and training they need to achieve economic empowerment. Local members join some 75,000 Soroptimists in 122 countries and territories, contributing time and financial support to community-based projects benefiting women and girls.

The evening was a testament to the enduring legacy and ongoing impact of Soroptimist International of El Centro, celebrating 85 years of empowering women and girls and setting a hopeful tone for future endeavors.

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