The Soroptimist International of Lake Havasu City and its affiliate Soroptimist Friends consists of about 50 local women who work to make dreams come true for other local women and girls. Membership and assistance is open to women of all ages.

“It’s the friendships that are forged over the years, we’re always there for each other,” said Candy Adragna, 26-year Soroptimist member, on why she stays involved.

There are three components by which the group empowers and enriches the lives of local women.

Vanessa talks to a class of sixth grade girls at Havasupai Elementary about the High Heel program. Jillian Danielson/RiverScene

Vanessa Liesen talks to a class of sixth grade girls at Havasupai Elementary about the High Heel program. Jillian Danielson/RiverScene

The Dream it. Be it. program has two moving parts. First, it helps youth define a career path and provides avenues to meet those goals. For example, local sixth-grade students can participate in the Junior High Heels event. It is a self-esteem seminar that co-mingles the young students with young women involved with the Lake Havasu High School S Club. The 100 S Club members simply are junior Soroptimists.

“They would really rather talk to a teen than an old lady,” Adragna said.

The second part of Dream it. Be it. Happens during the Arizona’s Children Foster Children Baby Shower. The Soroptimists help provide items for the fosters of varied age such as pajamas, diapers, dry formula, clothing and more. However, more recently, Soroptimists have become attuned to fosters who are aging out of the system.

“We are mentoring one girl who is aging out,” Adragna said. “We’ve taken her under out wings and we support her in any ways that we can.”

The 20-year-old local girl, whose identity remains anonymous, began the mentorship in August. Since, she has completed her GED and enrolled in college courses.

Live Your Dream is another long-standing Soroptimist project. It is a program geared toward women applicants who are single or head of household and in school. Assistance is available to the selected applicants. The deadline is Dec. 15. Contact Karlene Boss at 928-855-4544, or any Soroptimist member to apply.

Live Your Dream also is available to women who are single or head of household and in school even if the community in which they live have no Soroptimist group. Women in the more desolate and rural areas of the world still can apply for assistance at www.Dream.org.

The group’s website, www.soroptimist.org, states the international nonprofit is 76,000 strong in its membership in 120 countries and territories. The volunteers work to improve the lives of women and girls through programs leading to social and economic empowerment.

Fundraising efforts to make that happen in Havasu include annual home tours and a street scrambles.

The Soroptimist 44th annual House and Garden Tour is set for noon to 4p.m., Sunday, Dec. 4. Five homes will be showcased. Last year, 548 tickets were sold. Tickets are $20 in advance, $25 on the day of the tour. They’re available at Mohave State Bank, Michael Alan Furnishings, National Bank of Arizona (Jamie), Desert Rose, Horizon Community Bank, The Mail Store (on Smoketree), or, from any Soroptimist member. For more information, call Adragna 928-727-1226.

The 4th annual Street Scramble and Scavenger Hunt is set for March 11, 2017. For more information, contact Lisa Jennings at 928-486-2769.

Historically, the Soroptimists were sponsored by the nearby Parker club before establishing on their own in 1971. Through the years, Soroptimists in Havasu were instrumental in the formation of a domestic violence coalition and the city’s first crisis hotline, working beneath the late Pat Creason.

During the 1980s, Soroptimists began a community health fair that has since morphed into the annual Havasu Community Health’s annual health fair that coincides with the HCH breast cancer awareness walk in October each year.

Soroptimists meet the first three Thursdays of the month at noon at Golden Corral for lunch. The fourth week of the month is the night meeting and is geared toward those members who cannot get away from work to go to the day meeting. Dues apply. For more information about membership, contact Judy Rogers at 909-709-6238.

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