Soroptimist International, Inc., is a worldwide organization of classified service clubs, which unites outstanding professional and executive business women in activities that make a difference in the lives of women and girls. In cooperation with other organizations, Soroptimists seek to advance international understanding, goodwill, and peace.
The name Soroptimist was derived from Latin and is translated as best of women, best for women.
The first Soroptimist club was formed in Oakland, CA, in 1921. Now about 95,000 Soroptimists in more than 120 countries and territories contribute their time and financial support to community-based projects benefiting women and girls.
Soroptimist International of Canton-Stark County was chartered on June 9, 1941 (in the midst of WWII), by Soroptimist International of Akron, which also chartered a Soroptimist Club in Cleveland. Cleveland lost its charter in 1991; Akron in 2003. Dr. Marie Keener, our lone surviving charter member, was among the more than two dozen business and professional women from the greater Canton area that met at the Hotel Onesto in Canton for the chartering ceremony.
The Canton club, throughout the years, has twice sponsored Venture clubs for young women. In the early years the club gave no-interest loans to qualified nursing students. This loan program was later expanded to include the entire health field.
The club also has participated in the Soroptimist Federation of the Americas identifying projects: currently the Womens Opportunity Award and the Violet Richardson Award and, previously, the Youth Forum/Seminar and Youth Citizenship Award. They also participate in the Midwestern Region project, the Virginia Wagner Award.
Club members have also participated in the Federations project to end Domestic Violence and, more recently, the Stop Trafficking project. Along with the club donations to and support of the area Domestic Violence Shelter, in the past we have adopted Shelter families moving into a community environment. Other projects have included teddy bears and backpacks for Foster Children in transition and (for more than a dozen years) personal care packages for rape crisis victims.
The club also has honored outstanding women (both from the community and club) since the late 1970s.
Club members have faithfully attended conventions, regional conferences, and district meetings. Several club members have served on the regional board and in various district leadership capacities. Canton has hosted Spring Conferences and District meetings in the past.
The club currently has a Friendship Link in Onomichi, Japan. In the 1980s, the Hornsby, Australia club was also a Friendship Link for our Canton club. (History by Patricia Dugan)
ABOUT SOROPTIMIST INTERNATIONAL of CANTON/STARK COUNTY
Domestic Violence Project, Inc. (DVPI), a private, non-profit organization established in 1978 is committed to providing a strong, comprehensive safety net for the families in our community. DVPI clients are welcomed by a caring and compassionate staff offering supportive services necessary to establish an abuse-free lifestyle.
The most recent newsletter for Soroptimist International of Canton/Stark County can be found by clicking here!
Soroptimists are leaders in their communities who believe in making the world a better place for women and girls. They are volunteers who, in addition to the intangible rewards such as friendship and personal fulfillment, have the opportunity to participate in life-changing programs. Soroptimist members are women who work, are recently retired, or are embarking on a new career. There are over 76,000 Soroptimists in 120 countries around the world.
We welcome new members at any time and would love for you to stop by one of our monthly meetings at Buehler's in Jackson Township on the corner of Fulton and Wales roads. We meet at 6:00PM on the first Tuesday of each month in its restaurant meeting room.
WHAT WE ARE KNOWN FOR
We're known for: Partnership with Domestic Violence Project, Inc. (Furnishing a Fresh Start and W.O.W. program); Presentation of Women of Distinction, Ruby, Women's Opportunity, and Virginia Wagner awards; Auction/Brunch fundraiser in the fall; Monthly donations to the Domestic Violence Project, Inc.; and Creating awareness of Human Trafficking in an effort to Stop Trafficking.
THE WOMEN'S FUND
The Women's Fund will award charitable grants to non-profit organizations serving women and children as prioritized in the 2013 Women's Fund Forum.
Soroptimist International Midwestern Region
Partners Against Trafficking of Humans - Stark
GIRLS ON THE RUN OF STARK COUNTY
Girls on the Run of Stark County is a life-changing, non-profit prevention program for girls in the 3rd through 8th grade. Our mission is to inspire girls to be joyful, healthy, and confident using a fun, experience-based curriculum that creatively integrates running.
FASHION STUDENT ORG.
Our club partners with the Fashion Student Organization at Kent State University each year to bring a unique fashion show element to the annual fall fundraiser.