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CLUBS:Heart-warming luncheon

COMMUNITY &

February 17, 2007|By JIM DE BOOM

Soroptimist International of Newport Harbor Area members celebrated their 51st anniversary at the 27th annual Matters of the Heart awards luncheon at Costa Mesa's Turnip rose on Feb. 9. Club President Carolyn Turner noted they have started to use "area" in the name once again. When the club was formed 51 years ago, "area" was in the organization's name because the area of influence went beyond Newport Beach. And it still does.

The luncheon honored Jane Glenn Haas, founder of WomanSage in 2004, now with 600 members in Orange County and 6,000 across the U.S. and the Orange County Girl Scout Council.

While Martha Garcia received this year's Women's Opportunity Grant, I enjoyed learning about Angela Kelly, who received the same award from the Soroptimists in 2000. Angela is a single parent mother of seven children — and against all odds, but with the help of Soroptimists and the Women's Opportunity Grant, she was able to return to college, earn a degree, help her children attend college and become successful adults. Today, Angela serves others at the Florence Critten Home and is giving back to the community as a member of the Soroptimist Club in Cerritos and is active in the Soroptimist District activities as Dist. 1 representative for Women's Opportunity Grants.

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The luncheon included silent and voice auctions to raise funds for local and international Soroptimist projects. The colorful Valentine's baskets were the hit of the silent auction while the most squeals during the live auction were for "good dinner with good-looking firemen at a Costa Mesa fire house."

Haas is a newspaper columnist, book author, television host, professional speaker and founder of WomanSage, a organization dedicated to empowering, educating and fostering mentoring relationships among women at midlife in all types of life situations. Visit www.womansage.com for more information.

Nancy Nygren, chief executive officer of the Girl Scout Council of Orange County, spoke on behalf of the council at the luncheon, noting that there are 25,000 girls and 13,000 volunteers involved in Girl Scouts in the county. Nationally, the organization that was founded 95 years ago has 3.6 million members. Cookies, crafts and camp are the old view of Girls Scouts, noted Nygren, while explaining the new thrust is "from dreams to reality, goals and careers." Go to www.gscoc.org  for Girl Scout program information.

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