July 2023 Newsletter

President's Message

What a year it has been! We gave out over $82,000 in scholarships and grants this fiscal year helping women and girls achieve their educational and vocational dreams. A record we should all be proud of! In addition, our Wine & Restaurant Faire fundraiser looks like it is going to be as successful as last year‘s faire, which was a record. We also have a record 70 members in our club!  And, we continue to grow. I encourage you all to tell women you meet about our great work helping women and girls in the community, and invite them to consider joining our club. 
I am sure many of you have heard my story… I met Lisa Saqui in the parking lot of the regional park in 2019 where she told me about the club and I went to the business meeting the very next day. You never know when your next member or club officer will come from!
On a personal note, I want to thank you all for your kind assistance and support this year. It was an honor to serve as President and I enjoyed getting to know more members, working with various committees and representing our wonderful club at district conferences. I hope you all join me in wishing Cathy Leibow the best of success, and we will all be here to make sure her year is a grand success!

- Denise

The Program Committee Meeting will be held July 13 from 5:30-7:30pm at Constance Ledna’s house. Everyone is encouraged to attend to hear about the committee opportunities.

Incoming President's Message

I am very excited to be taking over as President of our SITD club this coming year. Denise did a wonderful job leading us to great accomplishments last year – namely breaking a record of funding over $80,000 to our community and, for the first time, soliciting money from local donors to expand our fundraising efforts.
I would like to continue to build a strong club focusing on 3 key areas:
  1. Recruit new members in order to build diversity and solicit creative ideas. This will entail planning more SUDS programs and encouraging our members to tell their friends about us and the great work we do. Of course, we also need to retain our current members and continue to elicit passion and demonstrate our value to the community.
  2. Find new ways to raise funds. Let’s focus on events that make the most money and find other creative outlets (like soliciting local donors). Perhaps we can also do some joint fundraising programs with our new Sparks or Reno clubs.
  3. Simplify and work smarter! Let’s streamline our processes wherever possible. It’s also important to focus on our key committees and match members with the right ones to maximize our efforts.
My theme this term is: “Empowering Women to Make the World a Better Place”. I want us all to remember that the work we do in our community has a ripple effect throughout the U.S. and globally. We are part of a larger organization, and our mutual successes impact the global community of women and children.
Some of you may know that I started playing golf last year (it’s never too late, right)? Learning to play golf requires a high degree of perseverance, resilience, and adaptability. I believe that our passion for Soroptimist requires the same attributes. Together, we can make a real difference!
REMINDER: The Soroptimist Development Retreat has been rescheduled for August 19-20th at the Atlantis Casino Resort in Reno. This conference is a great way to learn more about our mission and network with other Soroptimist colleagues. Sign up at  Soroptimist International Sierra Nevada Region (soroptimistsnr.org). The deadline for hotel registration is August 4th.
We held our Installation Dinner at Laura Mohun’s house on June 15th. There was a great turnout – over 30 people attended. Susan Horst did a fabulous job installing the new board officers and we had a lot of fun networking, eating, and drinking. Our outgoing President, Denise Trani-Morris, received some gift cards from the club for amenities in Tahoe Donner. Now that she has more time, I’m sure her golf game will improve!
- Cathy
2023-24 New Board Installation
Written by Cathy Leibow

The 2023/24 Board installation dinner was held on June 15th. It was a great evening with meaningful messages from the outgoing President, Denise Trani-Morris, and the incoming President, Cathy Leibow. Susan Horst did the honors of installing the new members.
Our 2023/24 SITD Board Members:
President: Cathy Leibow
President-Elect: Shirley Phelan
Recording Secretary: Keri Harvey
Corresponding Secretary: Chris Seitz
Delegate: Teri Dean Boelk
Delegate: Sue Westgarth
Treasurer: Nancy Davis
Treasurer-Elect: Lil Schaller
Director: Denise Trani-Morris
Director: Pati Johnson
Parliamentarian: Laura Mohun
Parliamentarian: Susan Horst
Parliamentarian: Lauren Schaake Hudson
2023 Wine and Restaurant Faire - Huge Success
Written by Marie Strassburger,
Soroptimist International of Tahoe Donner (SITD) held its 48th Annual Wine and Restaurant Faire on June 10th at Coyote Moon Golf Course. The fundraising event netted over $40,000 to be used for scholarships, grants and community projects. We thank our sponsors, members, and attendees for making this possible.  The rain did not discourage the 300 attendees who enjoyed food tastings, and wine and beer from local restaurants, wineries and breweries. The silent auction tables were packed with multiple bids.
SITD President, Denise Trani-Morris, noted, "This past fiscal year we were able to give over $82,000 in scholarships and grants, helping women and girls in our community. Now we have a head start for the upcoming year!"  To view more photos of the event click here.
SITD High School Scholarship Winners
Written by Teri Dean Boelk
It is with a great sense of accomplishment (after having read over a hundred applications) and enthusiasm (such a joy to be able to help deserving young women!) that the scholarship committee announces our recipients for the 2023 Scholarship year. Truckee High Scholarships totaling $ 15,000 and our Sierra High Scholarships totaling $1500.The recipients of the Truckee High Scholarships are as follows:
  • Gisela Ponce; is awarded $5000 with which she hopes to attend UC Davis to pursue a degree in Kinesiology. Sports and fitness have been an integral part of her life for some years, and she dreams of making a career in this field to assist others in their personal best. Gisela comes from an immigrant family with 4 children, she is the oldest daughter and often was responsible for caring for younger siblings. She has played basketball, but soccer is her specialty. She sold homemade treats and gathered recyclables to pay her way to play at a club level soccer. Parents of other team members assisted her in getting to tournaments and another employer coached her through her college application process because they believed in her. She has a positive outlook and states, “All you have to do is believe in yourself and have the work ethic to reach your dreams.”
  • Giana Alexis Bosserman-Coronel; is awarded $2500 to assist her plan to attend UC Monterey to pursue a degree in architecture. She is a creative and skillful artist, and she feels this is the best use of her talents. Her parents were separated early in her life, and she spent a good deal of time in an isolated country setting of her grandmother’s home. While growing up she would often go with her father to his construction jobs where she saw how housing was put together. She hopes to intern with an architectural firm in the summers as she learns the trade. She offered this sentiment regarding the design trade, “I have always looked up to my father, and after having always gone to his job sites working as an excavator, I am interested in designing the endless possibilities that could happen on different properties. It also intrigues me how a single building can hold so many memories and possibilities. I hope to create something that can be long appreciated in the future by many different people, and I believe I would feel accomplished and proud after working on and completing a large-scale project. It would be a lasting expression of myself, and an enjoyable future to look forward to.”
  • Ivette Nayeli Jauregui; with the $5000 award, has her sights set on several colleges within California’s state school system. Her goal is a BSN in the field of Nursing, thus fulfilling the vocational training criteria for this financial gift.  She is a child of a teen mother and as such was primarily raised within her grandmother’s home. She says her mother was an inspiration to her because she continued her education despite having a little one at home. In every step her mother has encouraged her to reach for her dreams.  Ivette feels that her greatest assets are her ability to problem solve with creative answers. This should serve her well in nursing others towards better health.
  • Carrie Rebecca Vaughan; is headed to the University of Hawaii with our gift of $2500 to attain a degree in business. Her hope is to learn the ropes to become an entrepreneur by opening her own business in the future with an eye to community building. She has taken six college level courses in preparation for her next big educational goals. Her reference letter cited that she has the characteristic of being “inclusive of others” which serve her well in her endeavors. She felt that Truckee High’s Leadership program has given her confidence to speak and organize others. It also gave her a greater appreciation of all the details and planning necessary to make events happen. She is thankful that these experiences in High School helped shape her goals for the future.
The Sierra High School Scholarships are being given to the following recipients.
  • Alexis Marquel Neal; is planning a career in Cosmetology by attending the Paul Mitchell School. She will receive $1000 towards this goal.  She was raised by a single parent since her father passed away when she was merely 3 years old. She has worked steadily in her high school years to graduate a year early. She feels that her ability to stay focused in school and stay organized and her persistence has really what has gotten her through tough times. Alexis wrote, “The past two years have made me realize I want to learn who I am more as a person and who I want to become. Pursuing this career will enable me to help other people feel good and confident about themselves as well. Once I get my cosmetology certificate, I want to develop my own business in this field. In the long run, I want to expand and franchise all over the US.”
  • Ana Ivet Pena-Espinonza ; will use the scholarship of $500 to attend a community college with the goal of becoming a Dental Hygienist. She has worked hard to catch up with her high school education and she feels her strengths lay in time management and organizational skills. She is bilingual and has used this to better serve clients in a retail setting. She hopes to get an entry level job within a dental practice to see how the office is run before she begins her practice. 
As you can ascertain from this list of deserving young women their ambitions and dreams are likely to become a reality as they take concrete steps to build their dreams. Thank you for all the fund raising you have done in making these gifts possible.
Sierra Community House Family Room Visit
Written by Denise Trani-Morris
Soroptimist International of Truckee Donner ("SITD") granted $5,000 to Sierra Community House for needed equipment, educational materials, toys and furniture to enhance the educational experience of families participating in its Family Room bilingual early learning program. The Family Room is located in the Truckee elementary school.
The mission of SITD is to ensure that women and girls have the resources and opportunities to reach their full potential. The Family Room is a place where children can engage in play-based learning activities that are focused on school readiness and parents can develop peer networks. 70% of the participants are women and their children.
SITD President Denise Trani-Morris said Sierra Community House is an important and respected service provider for local families and we are thrilled we can assist them by providing needed equipment to enhance the experience of parents and children.  The equipment provided included a carpet, storyboard, musical instruments, gross and fine motor skill toys and furniture.
SITD members were invited to the unveiling of the refurbished room. From left to right in the photo- Debbie Quement, Family Room directors Irene Lopez Arellano and Conchita Zarate, Denise Trani-Morris, Sue Westgarth,  Allison Edwards Development Director Sierra Community House and Keri Harvey.
Better Futures Program - Update
Update from Pam English
Made it Happen - June 2023
Presented by Denise Trani-Morris
The June “made it happen“ award went to Lil Schaller. “Lil has served as the treasurer elect for many years, helping Nancy make sure our books are in order. Lil also handled the restaurant and wine faire tickets– from distributing to our members, counting the tickets and collecting the money. She also obtained golf courses as donations. Lil also sits on the grant review committee reviewing grant requests and following up with requestors for additional information when needed to assess the request. Lil always steps in when needed. For example, when we were deciding whether or not to have the Sees candy sales, Lil stepped right in and handled it. When we found out that we needed media consent forms for all of our members, Lil volunteered and obtained the signatures, following up to make sure all were signed and organized. Lil does so very much for the club, I’m sure I’m overlooking something
Thought for the Day - June 2023
Presented by Brady Leigh McClintock

You are never too old to set a new goal or dream a new dream.

– Les Brown

SOLT – SNR Conference 2023
Written by Diane Venezia
I, along with fellow delegate Loretta Mullins, Board President Denise Trani-Morris and fellow members Susan Horst and Laura Mohun, attended the 47th annual Conference for Soroptimist International Sierra Nevada Region. Denise was recognized and honored as a first-time attendee along with 60 other first time attendees. There were 9 clubs from District 5 and all of our 6 districts in the Region participated.
On Friday after a short Meet the Candidates (Candidates for the 2023-2025 Nominating Committee) and the Delegate Briefing we enjoyed a Diamonds & Denim themed cocktail reception and a delicious dinner. Before dinner, our very own, Denise Trani-Morris was in the President’s parade.  During dinner we were introduced to many honored guests and heard many statistics about membership and growth. To name just a few we have 48 clubs in the region and 1,254 registered members. There were many awards given and we were honored with 2nd place for our website!
Now for the highlight of the evening …. The West at its Best Follies and Line Dancing which was hosted and coordinated by Susan Horst was a great success. Susan did a fabulous job as host and also corralled Laura, Loretta, Denise and me to be her backup singers/dancers as she sang a parody to Richard Blair’s song “Donner.” We had lots of fun and guess what …. We won first place!!
On Saturday the Marketplace was bustling and the Bunkhouse breakfast was awesome. The meeting was led by Governor Lisa and featured many awards for club engagement. Our club was highlighted for our campaign on sex trafficking.
The afternoon Corral Yee Haw Luncheon was also a great success with a very insightful and hilarious (at times) talk from our SIA president, Stephanie Smith. We thoroughly enjoyed her perspective on welcoming and getting acquainted with new and prospective members to retain membership and foster an environment of inclusiveness. One of her many points was that everybody should listen to understand NOT listen to respond. She reminded us that the words LISTEN and SILENT have the same letters!
Saturday evening was another great buffet dinner followed by a game testing everyone’s knowledge on all things Soroptimist. We were just happy to have Susan Horst at our table to lead the way!
Date to Remember:   July 24-27, 2024 SIA (Soroptimist International of the Americas), which is our SI Federation, is holding their meeting in Belleview, WA. Hopefully, many of us can attend the SIA Convention in 2024. Members are already talking about a train trip to Washington. Details are on the SIA website under Events.
Business Meeting June 2023
Susan Horst and Laura Mohun re-enacted their first place skit from the SNR Conference;
The West at its Best Follies and Line Dancing
BEE BUZZ - June 2023
Presented by Marie Casey
I am originally from Long Island, New York…lived in New Jersey, Ohio, Texas, California, Mexico…..now splitting time between Truckee and Cabo.
Early years- big sports  enthusiast - tennis, softball, soccer, scuba diving…later years skiing, golf, kayaking
Active in Junior Achievement as a student….later years active volunteer as JA mentor.
I am a bit if a math and science geek…got my undergraduate degree in Electrical Engineering in Houston (oil industry)
Spent summers doing office assistant work and as field engineer trainee  for a pipeline location company….only female in 100’s of miles for several months on Gulf Coast jobs and learned alot about field work and interacting with the locals. 
Once I graduated, I was employed as sales representative with IBM, attended Harvard Business School as part of IBM executive program, and ultimately achieved global VP level managing diverse teams.
On the personal side :
Married my high school sweetheart, David, who is from England.
My daughter, Kathleen, is 25 and working as a PR consultant in the Bay Area. Funny factoid, we had 9 aupairs from around the world join our family when our daughter was young, hosted several of their families to visit us, our daughter was since in 3 of their weddings.
At 91 years old, my mom Claire, is living nearby in Reno independently at 5 Star Senior Residences and continues to be a role model of survival and how to celebrate life.
Passion for cooking, gardening, home remodeling, global travel
Bought a home in Mexico 8 years ago, was on House Hunters International which was great fun, drive the Baja Peninsula frequently with two fur babies in tow
How did I come to join this group ?
I attended the Wine Fund Raiser last year as a guest…over did it with auction bids.
Then participated in Toys for Tots Drive last year and felt compelled to join this wonderful group.
I felt I could contribute more to the Truckee community and, in particular, I see the need to put more emphasis on the needs of women and girls to achieve their full potential. I was lucky to have a strong family support system as well as a company looking to promote women and minorities that allowed me to achieve and excel in what was a male dominated environment. My professional success came thru hiring, mentoring, and building diverse teams. I hope to leverage these experiences to elevate the lives of other women.
July Program Meeting
July Hospitality Sign Up
July Business Meeting
Upcoming Events
SITD 2023 July Board Meeting
Dickson Realty Office
Jul 06, 2023
12:00 PM – 1:00 PM
SITD 2023 July Business Meeting
Truckee Airport
Jul 13, 2023
12:00 PM – 1:00 PM
SITD Program Committee Meeting
Constance Ledna's house
Jul 13, 2023
5:30 PM – 7:30 PM
SI Dublin Convention
Jul 27, 2023 – Jul 29, 2023
SITD 2023 August Board Meeting
Dickson Realty Office
Aug 03, 2023
12:00 PM – 1:00 PM
SITD 2023 August Business Meeting
Truckee Airport
Aug 10, 2023
12:00 PM – 1:00 PM
SNR Development Retreat
Aug 19, 2023 – Aug 20, 2023
View entire list
Birthdays & Anniversaries
Member Birthdays
Marie Strassburger
June 3
Lisa Saqui
June 9
Lil Schaller
June 16
Jeannie Burrows
June 17
Kathy Neus
June 23
Kitty Gannon
June 25
Nancy Davis
June 27
Erica Sarouhan
June 28
Marie Casey
July 3
Leslie Dugger
July 6
Sue Sage
July 6
Chris Seitz
July 23
Charlene Simmons
July 31
Rachel Lyons
Johnny Lyons
June 21
Join Date
Chris Carroll
July 1, 2007
16 years
Denise Eyton-Lloyd
July 1, 2022
1 year
Kathy Neus
July 1, 1993
30 years
Katy Carroll Jones
July 1, 2013
10 years
Laura Mohun
July 1, 1992
31 years
Leslie Kahn
July 1, 2015
8 years
Lynette Powell
July 1, 2015
8 years
Philippa Nigg
July 1, 2016
7 years
Ruth Geresy
July 1, 2022
1 year
Sue Sage
July 1, 2014
9 years
Susan Horst
July 1, 2010
13 years
Valerie Hotz Brown
July 14, 2022
1 year
Executives & Directors
Recording Secretary
Corresponding Secretary
Interested in being a sponsor?
Download the website sponsorship guide
Photo Albums
2023 Wine Tasting
2023-24 Installation Dinner
Bulletin Editor
Marion Thatch
Please add mailservice@clubrunner.ca to your safe sender list or address book.
To view our privacy policy, click here.
102-2060 Winston Park Drive, Oakville, ON, L6H 5R7