cherryblossom-thumb1Soroptimists International of Big Bear Valley celebrated their 30th anniversary in May and, this week, the City Council of Big Bear Lake honored their accomplishments with a plaque presentation, which Soroptimist President Helen Walsh and charter member Paula Fashempour received on behalf of their service club. Since their formation in 1979, the Soroptimists have made an enormous impact on our community, with a focus on projects that benefit women and youth. Among their accomplishments, Soroptimists are responsible for the formation of DOVES, and the 24-hour hotline for battered women, in 1980; the implementation of Rainbow Kids Club in 1988; the Mammogram Program established in 1994 (which provides for an average of 60+ free and low-cost mammograms each year); and, since 1995, the Teen Self Esteem Day which has since evolved into Camp Girl Power. In just the last seven years alone, Soroptimists have contributed over $1 million to our community, funded by projects such as the annual Man About Town campaign and the Soroptimists Home Tour, which first started in January of 1980. Additional community contributions in years past have provided for playground equipment at both parks and schools, flag poles at City Hall and CSD, and, per President Walsh, substantial funds for a community pool—these funds are still designated for that purpose and are currently in safe investments. Adds Walsh, “We would like to thank the community for supporting our club for the last 30 years and partnering with us to make a difference in someone’s life.” Soroptimists next fundraising venture will be their 30th annual Home Tour, scheduled for Saturday, June 27. Tickets, offered at $25 per person, are available at Union Bank, Phil’s Automotive, Interiors, the Big Bear Chamber of Commerce, and Haus & Home.