Pat Murphy...This is an event I look forward to all year long. For me it’s the best of the all the springtime events. I’m referring to the Annual Soroptimist Salad Luncheon. The food is great and there is always a good turn out from the community. On April 12 the turnout at the Grace Presbyterian Church on East Vista Way was, according to co-organizer Assly Sayyar, “Tremendous’. Sayyar praised this year’s sponsors for their “Unfailing generosity” and her fellow Soroptimists for “coming together” to make this year great. She also told me that the “mix of salads” was some of the “best ever”.
The salads were indeed scrumptious! Garden salad, potato salad, Cold slaw, several pasta salads, Chinese chicken salad, and more were complimented with deviled eggs, baked potatoes, and fresh rolls. All the salads were tasty and very healthy eating but luckily the ladies balanced out the menu with chocolate cake, brownies, and fresh strawberrys.
A host of volunteers served the salads, bussed tables, and brought second servings around to the tables. Volunteering from the Vista Fire Department were; Fire Fighters, Greg McClellan, Sal Casteneda, Robert Hollander, Ian Wong-Wolch, Dominic Puccio, Adrian Valdez, and Casey Montez. Also, Engineer Eddie Jimenez, Captain Miles Sweeney and Captain Brendan Halle. Volunteering from the City of Vista were none other than her honor, Judy Ritter, the Mayor of Vista and accompanying her was Council Member Joe Green. Joe and the Mayor will be vying for the office of Mayor in the next election but on this occasion they were comrades for a good cause.
Photos by Pat Murphy
The salad luncheon is a major fund raiser for this energetic group. Soroptimist International is a worldwide volunteer service organization for business and professional women, who work together to improve the lives of women and girls in local communities and throughout the world.
SI Vista and North County Inland originally chartered on March 23, 1953 and now has approximately 40 active members. They are celebrating 65 years of helping to make young women’s dreams a reality. SI of Vista and North County Inland is part of the Desert Coast Region, Soroptimist International of the Americas. Almost 95,000 Soroptimists in about 120 countries and territories contribute time and financial support to community-based and international projects that benefit women and girls.
Projects like, ”Live Your Dream” (Women’s Empowerment through Education) where every year, the Soroptimist International of Vista, San Marcos and Escondido give education grants to women who have faced extraordinary hardships, yet are determined to pursue and achieve their educational and professional goals. This program, called “Live Your Dream”, was established to help women obtain the skills, training and education necessary to improve their employment status and standard of living for themselves and their families.
Awards are also given to motivated women who are the primary financial supporters of their families and seek to improve their lives by gaining additional skills, training or education. Many of the previous awardees are single mothers pursuing degrees at local colleges and universities. These cash awards are unique in that they are meant to offset costs associated with the recipient’s efforts to attain higher education including tuition, books, supplies, child care or transportation costs.
The ladies also support other area non-profit agencies with the proceeds of the salad luncheon. “Operation Hope” and “Alabaster Jar” are two such agencies. The latter is a program that seeks to empower survivors of Human Trafficking. The Anti-Human Trafficking campaign is something that the Soroptimists work to promote all year long with Awareness Walks and Community meetings.