Soroptimist luncheon shines spotlight on women helping women

The Soroptimist International of La Jolla Annual Awards Luncheon was held March 19 at Good Samaritan Episcopal Church. Lunch was catered by Gretchen Vedder and Tiffany Trevino of Indigo Cafe, which has donated the food for the luncheon for the past three years.

The event raised more than $16,000 for the club’s service projects — all in support of programs for women and girls. It included a silent auction underwritten by many local businesses. SILJ was founded in 1947. Learn more by visiting

The Violet Richardson Award went to Megan Hastings who was presented with a $1,000 award, plus $500 toward her selected charity, Becky’s House, a YWCA project that runs domestic violence shelters. Hastings is a junior at The Bishop’s School. She was also recently recognized as an “Everyday Hero” by Youth Service America for donating her own books, as well as books collected by her school, to the shelters.

The Soroptimist Women’s Opportunity Award winners were Luman Sellers, first place, who received $3,000, and Gloria Bradley, second place, who received $1,000. The funds are designed to benefit female heads of households, who return to school to improve their careers to support their families. Applications for the award were submitted in the fall, and a panel of judges from the community chose the winners from many qualified applicants.

The Ruby: Making a Difference for Women Award, $500, was given to Cora Cormody to benefit her organization, Technology Goddesses, which provides mentorship and education to girls pursuing careers in technological fields.

Keynote speaker Gretchen Means, an assistant district attorney working with the San Diego Sex Crimes Unit, discussed the growing concern over sex trafficking of girls in the greater San Diego area.

Assemblyman Nathan Fletcher was also a guest at the luncheon. He helped congratulate the winners and hand out awards.



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