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Riverbank Soroptimists Meet For Charter Party
Soroptimist Sierra Pacific Region Membership Chair and Past Governor Gail Dekreon, left, is shown with newly installed Soroptimist International City of Riverbank President Christine Facella. Photo Contributed

The City of Riverbank has a newly formed service club that is officially associated with Soroptimist International of America and is known as SIA City of Riverbank. Soroptimist is a global volunteer organization that provides women and girls with access to the education and training they need to achieve economic empowerment.

There are two main programs that Soroptimist Clubs provide support for, one is the Live Your Dream; Education and Training Awards for Women and the other is the Dream It, Be It; career support for girls.

“This is not all inclusive of what the club will be doing for women and girls in the community,” said newly installed Club President Christine Facella. “As we develop the club, other projects will be added such as collaborative work with local organizations for the benefit of women and scholarships for senior high school girls.”

Soroptimist International of Oakdale recently hosted a charter party for the Riverbank club, which is the 32nd and newest club in the Soroptimist Sierra Pacific Region. Charter members include Susana Andalon, Kristal Austin, Penny Bartholomew, Stacy Bauer, Emily Blevins, Barbara Brown, Suzanne Dean, Ashley Edwards, Christine Facella, Holli Fox, Hope Galvez, Jessica Garcia, Laura Granger, Rachel Hernandez, Jill Hodge, Vanessa Lopez, Laura Manriquez, Mariana Perez, Erika Ramos, Bertha Reyes, Martha Reyes, Robin Torres, Maria Vigil, and Araseli Zamora.

On hand to officially pin the charter members were Sierra Pacific Region Governor Charlie Rodgers, Governor-Elect Judi Sanderlin, Membership Chair Gail Dekreon, and District II Director Charlotte Metcalfe.

In addition, the club’s inaugural Board Officers were installed with a fun football theme. The Board members for the 2023-2024 club year are President Christine Facella, President-Elect Suzanne Dean, Vice President Penny Bartholomew, Public Relations/Social Media Officer Vanessa Lopez, Secretary Jill Hodge, Treasurer Emily Blevins, Assistant Treasurer Stacy Bauer, Directors Laura Granger and Hope Galvez, and Delegate Susana Andalon.

Also on hand to celebrate the occasion were Sierra Pacific Region Past Governors Gail Dekreon, Tana Elizondo, Barbara Giambastini, Pat Maisetti, and Pam Taylor, Oakdale Soroptimist President Pam Benziger, and members from Oakdale and other Soroptimist clubs within the Region.

“The club came about out of what was seen as an unfilled need in Riverbank. Our surrounding towns and cities have had Soroptimist Clubs and we felt there was a tremendous need for this kind of support here in Riverbank,” noted Facella. “The club currently has 24 members who meet twice monthly to plan, identify and put into action fundraising efforts.”

The president also thanked the club members from neighboring Oakdale for being part of the support system as the Riverbank organization learns and grows.

“The Oakdale Club has been alongside Riverbank from concept to inception, providing support, learning opportunities and guidance,” Facella said.


From the Soroptimist website: Soroptimist was formed in 1921 in Oakland, California, at a time when women were not permitted to join service organizations. Our name, loosely translated from the Latin, means best for women. Today, we have over 25,000 members and supporters in countries across North America, Latin America and the Pacific Rim. We are one of five federations that make up Soroptimist International, which has clubs in more than 120 countries throughout the world.

Shown are the Soroptimist International City of Riverbank board officers, recently sworn in for the newly chartered club. Photo Contributed
Oakdale Soroptimist President Pam Benziger, left, presents a gift for the club to City of Riverbank Soroptimist President Christine Facella as other club members and officials look on. Photo Contributed