Local Women Honored by Soroptimists of South Lake Tahoe

Soroptimist International of South Lake Tahoe honored three local women as winners of their annual Violet Richardson, Live Your Dream and Ruby Awards.

                        L-R: Sarah T. Gonzales, Dr. Kelly Shanahan and Aubrie Shott

The Violet Richardson Award recognizes young women in middle and high school who are making a difference with their volunteer service and leadership in the community. This year the club selected Whittell High School Sophomore Sarah T. Gonzales as their recipient. The 16-year-old is new to the South Shore and was a member of Interact, made boxes to send to Third World countries during the holiday, is active in her church and participates in Trauma Intervention Program (TIP). Next year she is headed to Australia to be a part of YWAM (Youth With a Mission) and their work with victims of sex trafficking in other countries.

Aubrie Shott was the club’s choice for the Live Your Dream Award, Soroptimists’s main award internationally that recognizes women who are working towards achieving a better life for themselves and their families through higher education. Aubrie is a single mother who is attending Lake Tahoe Community College with a premed focus, aiming for a degree in Natural Science before heading to medical school. Her goal is to work with children and those in cancer treatment to give them hope and love.

The Ruby Award goes to Dr Kelly Shanahan this year. She was honored not only for her contributions to women in the community as an OB/GYN and surgeon, but to women and men around the country as works to increase awareness and seek funding for metastatic breast cancer. The South Lake Tahoe woman is not only a mom, wife and doctor, but as someone with metastatic breast cancer, is the medical director for MetUP. This organization lobbies Congress for funding as well as protests and demonstrates to increase awareness of the disease for which there is no cure. She is also active with Metavivor. Kelly estimates she has delivered 8-10,000 babies through her years in med school and in private practice. The Ruby Award recognizes women helping women and those working to improve the lives of others.


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Stop Enabling Sex Traffickers Act (SESTA) Passes Senate Submitted by Cindy Archer

WASHINGTON, D.C. (March 21, 2018) – Polaris applauded the U.S. Senate today after the chamber passed the Stop Enabling Sex Traffickers Act (SESTA). The legislation was spearheaded by Sens. Rob Portman (R-OH) and Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), with a version passing the House by 388 to 25 in late February. SESTA provides a much-needed update to the Communications Decency Act (CDA) to help hold websites like Backpage accountable when they knowingly facilitate sex trafficking. Polaris worked with Sens. Portman and Blumenthal, human trafficking advocates, law enforcement, prosecutors, technology sector leaders, and survivors to craft compromise language that could pass Congress while protecting both First Amendment rights and people from being exploited online.

With passage of SESTA, Polaris urges Congress to turn its attention to reauthorizing the Trafficking Victims Protection Act (TVPA), which expired in Sept. 2017. The TVPA provides the legal foundation in the United States to combat human trafficking and authorizes the federal funds used to provide essential domestic and international anti-trafficking programs to support to victims and survivors.

Joe Racalto, Polaris’s Director of Government Relations, said:

“We can’t thank Senators Portman and Blumenthal enough for their leadership stewarding SESTA through Congress, crafting a targeted bill with broad bipartisan support. We also thank Senator Wyden for his passion to deliver more funding to combat human trafficking, and we look forward to continuing to work with him. Most especially, SESTA passed thanks to the tireless efforts of survivor advocates who relentlessly fought to help keep others from facing exploitation online as the result of websites that knowingly facilitate human trafficking.

“Congress’s work is far from over, though. By allowing cornerstone legislation to expire last year that provides the United States the framework and funding needed to help survivors, Congress is impeding the nation’s ability to combat human trafficking. We urge Congress to reauthorize the Trafficking Victims Protection Act as quickly as possible.”

SESTA BACKGROUND: SESTA is bipartisan legislation that enables state law enforcement officials to take legal action against individuals or businesses that violate federal sex trafficking laws without inadvertently affecting good actors who are not knowingly facilitating sex trafficking. SESTA also clarifies that victims of sex trafficking can seek civil remedy against the websites that facilitated their victimization. The National Human Trafficking Hotline, which is operated by Polaris, has received nearly 2,000 reports of sex trafficking that were facilitated through online advertisements.

TVPA BACKGROUND: The Trafficking Victims Protection Act (TVPA) originally passed in 2000 and has been reauthorized four times since. Three bills were introduced in 2017 to reauthorize the TVPA, either in whole or in part, ahead of its expiration in Sept. 2017: The Frederick Douglass Trafficking Victims Prevention and Protection Reauthorization Act of 2017 (H.R. 2200) introduced by Reps. Chris Smith (R-NJ) and Karen Bass (D-CA); the Abolish Human Trafficking Act of 2017(S. 1311) introduced by Sens. John Cornyn (R-TX) and Amy Klobuchar (D-MN); and the Trafficking Victims Protection Act of 2017 (S. 1312) introduced by Sens. Chuck Grassley (R-IA) and Dianne Feinstein (D-CA). Polaris is supportive of all three of the bills. Along with reauthorizing funding to combat trafficking, the bills contain a number of new provisions aimed at addressing current policy gaps. In particular, they strengthen the Department of State’s Trafficking In Persons (TIP) Report by ensuring countries are more accurately analyzed and ranked. It also exempts restitution for trafficking survivors from federal taxes, bolsters efforts to keep goods made from forced labor from entering the United States, and increases support for the U.S. Advisory Council on Human Trafficking.

People can be connected to help or report a tip of suspected human trafficking by calling the National Human Trafficking Hotline at 1-888-373-7888, texting “BeFree” (233733), or chatting at www.humantraffickinghotline.org.

About Polaris
Polaris is a leader in the global fight to eradicate modern slavery. Named after the North Star that guided slaves to freedom in the U.S., Polaris acts as a catalyst to systemically disrupt the human trafficking networks that rob human beings of their lives and their freedom. By working with government leaders, the world’s leading technology corporations, and local partners, Polaris equips communities to identify, report, and prevent human trafficking. Our comprehensive model puts victims at the center of what we do – helping survivors restore their freedom, preventing more victims, and leveraging data and technology to pursue traffickers wherever they operate. Learn more at www.polarisproject.org

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In Memory Of Marnie Ryan submitted by Rose Marie Ottman

Past SISLT member Marnie Ryan passed away peacefully in the company of her family on Thursday, March 22nd.
Correspondence my be sent to
The Ryan Family
PO Box 10634
South Lake Tahoe, CA 96158
A celebration of life is planned for the spring.
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Dress A Girl Around the World Update By President Pam

On May 23 the topic of our meeting will be “Thank you for contributing to our Dress A Girl Around the World project.”  If you have friends or relatives who sewed for the project, I hope you will invite them to lunch so we can thank them.  All completed dresses must be delivered to me by Wednesday, May16.

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A Message From President Pam 

March was a busy month for our club and now that discussions with Edgewood about our participation in the Celebrity Golf Tournament have ended with the loss of one of our big fundraisers, it is time to move on. I hope you have all marked your calendars to attend our meeting on April 11 when we will hold our first discussion on where our club is going and how we are going to get there. We want to hear your thoughts and ideas and I have talked to enough of you to know that there are lots of ideas out there.

Pat Disney has volunteered to chair our Winetasting Committee for this year.  Thank you Pat! This year’s winetasting is scheduled on Friday, November 9, at MontBleu. Mark your calendar!  I think this year’s winetasting will be bigger and better than ever!

The Nominating Committee (Del Laine, Chair; Kris Keesling and Pat Disney) are busy working on the slate of officers for 2018-2019.  I hope our newer members will consider getting involved in the leadership of our club by running for a position on the Board of Directors.  If you receive a phone call from a committee member asking you to run for office, I hope you will seriously consider it.

SI Tahoe Sierra, is holding its annual fundraiser Elegant Evening on Saturday, April 21, at Harrah’s.  The evening includes wine, vodka and beer tasting; bags and baskets; auction; dinner; and dancing with music by Trey Stone and the Soul Experience. I encourage you to support our sister club by getting together with others in our club and attending this fun event. Pat Disney is putting together a table for 10 so contact her if you want to attend.

I am on a three-week Panama Canal cruise with some time in New Orleans and Seattle so I’ll be gone for the month of April.  You will be in President-elect Natasha’s good hands while I’m away. Happy spring!  

You will recall the club asked me to send a letter to SIA regarding the $495 mandatory fee for the convention in Japan.  Here are my letter and the response from Dawn Marie Lemonds at SIA.

March 8, 2018

Ms. Dawn Marie Lemonds
Soroptimist International of the Americas
1709 Spruce Street
Philadelphia, PA 19103-6103

Dear Ms. Lemonds:

Soroptimist International of South Lake Tahoe reluctantly submits our $495 mandatory convention delegate registration fee. At this point we do not have a member able to attend, and this is a hefty expense for a voting seat in which we cannot participate.  How do smaller clubs afford this?

We understand that administering a convention can be costly, but we find that a more than 28% increase in the mandatory registration fee in a four-year period to be excessive ($385/ 2014 Vancouver to $495/ 2018 Yokohama).  According to SIA Procedure C.5 the SIA Board establishes this fee to whatever dollar amount they deem appropriate to cover expenses without any accountability to clubs as to how that money is spent or costs are controlled. If we are required to pay this mandatory fee, is there any detailed report available as to how this registration dollar amount is derived?

SISLT is concerned that the mandatory registration fee is not just about covering costs but producing revenue for the administration based upon the “Convention and Meeting” category in the 2016 SIA Financial Statement (year of 44th Biennial Convention in Orlando, Florida). Revenue for this category was $972,458 and expenses were $885,469 resulting in a net profit of $86,989. If convention costs go up, clubs are charged more for the registration fee, but if there is an almost $87,000 “Convention and Meeting” surplus from 2016, why is there still a 4% increase in the registration fee for the 2018 45th Biennial in Japan?

We would greatly appreciate it if you would respond to our concerns.


Pam Barrett, President
Soroptimist International of South Lake Tahoe

March 26, 2017

Pamela Barrett, President
SI/South Lake Tahoe
P.O.Box 2179
Stateline, NV 89449

Dear President Pamela,

Thank you for your email dated March 8, 2018. I appreciate that you took your time to write and express your concerns about our convention fee. I am sorry that SI/South Lake Tahoe will not have the opportunity to have any member attend our 2018 convention in Yokohama, Japan. It is true that the cost of the convention – our only face-to-face opportunity to plan and conduct the business of the organization – is shared by all clubs whether or not they can attend the convention.

The board of directors has fiduciary responsibility for the organization and I can assure you, we take that role seriously – whether it is the annual budget of the organization or the convention budget. The board is elected by the membership to exercise their fiduciary responsibly so I can assure there is accountability to the clubs as to how the money is spent or costs controlled. The convention fee is set based on the location, costs and expected attendance at the convention. In the case of the 2018 convention, the cost of doing business in Japan is very high but we are also hoping for an increased attendance to offset the higher costs.

Unfortunately, the costs of holding a global meeting like our convention are increasing in every expense area. There were still charges pending for the 2016 convention at the end of the financial period which reduced our “profit.” But, there are many expenses of the convention that are not charged to the convention budget but instead are charged to the organization as a whole such as technology and registration fees, legal expenses and marketing costs. When the full costs of the convention are included, each convention runs at a deficient. Furthermore, any funds reflected as “profit” on a financial statement are invested back into the organization.

The board has considered raising the convention fee to cover the full costs of the convention but have felt that clubs would not be able to manage those costs. SIA will continue to cover the costs of the convention with dues and investment income to try to keep it affordable for clubs and members.

If you have any additional questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to contact me again.

Dawn Marie Lemonds
SIA President

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Thought For April by Lucie King

I’m dancing with the Angels
Can’t you see
The ones that live inside of me
Whenever I check
My cup is half full
I’m experiencing God’s blessings
Wherever I go

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$25,000 Awarded to Local Programs Benefiting Our Youth by Colleen Manzer

On March 14, 2018 at Harrah’s Convention Center, Soroptimist International of South Lake Tahoe awarded $25,000 towards programs in our community that benefit local youth.

The following presenters gave a brief description of the program on how the funds that were awarded would be used. It was a heartwarming program and all attendees learned from the presenters about the various programs that are helping youth in our community.

The presenters and the program funded are listed here:

Jen Nelson – NAMI, El Dorado County, SLT – Brain Health Leadership

Paula Peterson – St. Theresa Bread & Broth – 4-Kids Health Snack

Peggy Blowney – Tahoe Arts Project – Performing Arts in School

Kristy Wilson – Sierra House Elementary School PTA – Agroforestry Project

Cheyanne Lane – Tahoe Youth & Family – Drugstore Project

Maggie Brandenburg – Tahoe Rim Trail Association – Inspiring Local Youth in the Outdoors

Family Resource Center – Youth Equity Project, Leadership Opportunities

Jen Prahe – UCD Tahoe Environmental Research Center – South Tahoe Science Expo

Cary Brown – Lake Tahoe Environmental Science Magnet School – Growing Green Program

Krystal Long – BATS: Bringing Art to Schools – Meet the Masters

Jackie Tan – South Tahoe Middle School – Computer Coding for Girls

Gavin Germere – Friends of El Dorado County Library, SLT Chapter – Outdoor Learning Garden

Cindy Martinez – Bijou School – Get in the Act! Science Theater

Theresa Papandrea – SOS Outreach – Progressive Outdoor Program for Underserved Youth

Lyn Barnett – St. Joseph Community Land Trust – Motel to Housing Program

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Learn Web Development at LTCC with Hanna Bernard

Board Member Hanna Bernard is teaching a WordPress introduction class at LTCC this spring. Take advantage of a great opportunity to learn how to launch your own Blog!
Here’s what the College’s course catalog will say:
WordPress – website development basics
What is WordPress? Learn how to set up your own WordPress blog or website. The WordPress platform is free which has made WordPress the world’s most popular website and blog platform. Basic setup including customization of a theme, how to choose and install plugin.  Identify whether to set up as self-hosted or .com hosted site. There is a big difference!  In completion of this workshop, leave with a finished product ready to launch.  Homework will be assigned weekly in order have a completed website.
THUR, April 19-May 3  5:30-7:30pm — $99

Submitted by Hanna Bernard
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April Birthdays

Happy Birthday April!

Roberta Benvenuto


Julie Gudaitis


Chandler Monroe


Rita Redd


Virginia Matus Glenn


Jennifer Lukins


Lucie A. King


Colleen Manzer


Kristina (Kris) Walters


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Programs by Del Laine

  • September 12          Business Meeting, President Pam Barrett, Harveys Emerald Bay
  • September  15          Sample the Sierra, Lake Tahoe South Shore Chamber of     Commerce, a fundraiser for us too!, Bijou Park, noon to 5 p.m.
    September 19           STEM Camp Program, Jamie Orr (Roberta Mason), Harveys Emerald Bay
    September 22            19th Annual Sunset Gala, Live Violence Free, Jane Flavin, Harveys Roof Top, 5:30 p.m.
    September 26           Technical and Sevice Committees, President Pam Barrett, SLT Library
    October   1                 Board Meeting, President Pam Barrett, LTCC, Room 106A, 5:30 p.m. 
    October   3                 Business Meeting, President Pam Barrett,
    October   5                  Dance of Hope, Music and Dance performed by children from  Uganda, Tahoe Arts Project, Peggy Blowney 542-3632, MontBleu, 7:00 p.m.  Adults $10.00, Children accompanied by an adult Free
  • Check back to this article in the newsletter for regular updates to Programs, or view them in the Calendar.
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Attendance Reminder

Just a reminder to all that your RSVP to the weekly attendance notice is important.  

  • We need to give Harrah’s numbers by 12:30 on the Monday before a meeting.  An accurate count keeps our expenses way down and helps Harrah’s plan the amount of food they need. 
  • Remember that if you register properly you will receive both an immediate acknowledgement at the site AND an email thanking you for registering.  
  • If you forget or think something is wrong, you can email or call me to get on the list. We always try to accommodate you.

Attendance Committee
Linda Mitchell     530-541-2635


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