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Welcome to
Farmington Valley Soroptimist Club

We are a global volunteer organization working to improve the lives of women and girls through programs leading to social and economic empowerment.

Email Address:

Club Officers:

President: Dr. Leora Berns
Vice-President: Ellen Wildman
Secretary: Elizabeth Berman
Operating Treasurer: Susan McGann
Service Treasurer: Darlene Sawczysyn
Director: Linda Goodman
Director: Susan Levine
Immediate Past President: Kathy McAfee

Committee Chairs:

Fundraising: Tracy Scala and Betsy Berman
Membership: Cynthia Ebanks
Programming Ellen Wildman
Public Awareness: TBD
Live Your Dream Education & Training Awards for Women TBD
Girls Program TBD

Soroptimist International of Farmington Valley
Presents a Celebration of International Women's Day

A Toast to Women!

An Evening of Wine and Chocolate Delights!

Saturday, March 7, 2015
7:00 - 10:00 PM

Hosted by: Avon Old Farms Hotel
279 Avon Mountain Road, Avon, CT

Tickets $55.00 in advance, available at
A Toast to Women! An Evening of Wine & Chocolate Delights

(Note: Event is for ages 21 and older!)

This event sold out in 2014! Plan to buy your tickets early!

~ Experience Great New Wines
~Bid on Exciting Auction Items
~Sample Original Chocolate Creations

Emcees for the evening are
Erika Arias & Joe Furey from Fox CT News

Photo of Erika Arias              Photo of Joe Furey

And back by popular demand...

Photo of Gina Barreca
Dr. Gina Barreca

Would your business like to sponsor this event?

Sponsor/Donor Letter

Would you like to donate a silent or live auction item?

For more information about this exciting event,
please contact Tracy Scala at 860.299.5113

Proceeds from the event will be awarded to Grace Academy, Prudence Crandall Center, and other SIFV-sponsored programs and awards that empower women and girls to live their dreams.

Our Special Thanks to our Host Hotel:

AOF Logo

Extra Special THANKS to our EMPOWERMENT Sponsors for this event:

Hoffman Auto Group

The Petit Family Foundation



Thank you to all our guests, sponsors and donors who helped create a great success with our 2014 A Toast to Women! fund raising event!

We raised over $30,000 which will benefit Grace Academy Hartford, Prudence Crandall Center and awards sponsored by Soroptimist International of Farmington Valley to empower women and girls to live their dreams.

Special thanks to our "Empowerment Sponsor"

Kathy McAfee
America's Marketing Motivator


- Wreath Selling
Spring - A Toast to Women: an evening of wine and chocolate delights
Ongoing - Women's Self-Defense Workshops

Our club strives to hold one fundraising event in the Fall & Spring of each club year (Sept. to June) to raise awareness about Soroptimist and financially support our service projects.

Service Projects:
Grace Academy, Hartford, CT ~


Grace Academy is an independent school dedicated to providing a quality, tuition-free education to girls of all faiths from low-income families residing in Hartford’s inner city neighborhoods.  Since opening in September 2010, SIFV has provided financial, in-kind and service assistance to the school.  SIFV members provide workshops and help organize clubs for the girls to participate in.  We find this to be personally gratifying and the organization greatly appreciates our assistance.

SIFV’s support includes:

  • In the 2010-2011 club year, $2,000 in financial assistance
  • In the 2011-2012 club year, $2,045 in financial assistance
  • In the 2012-2013 club year, $1,200 in financial assistance

Grace Academy Cooking Club - SIFV members and Grace Academy students enjoy the art of cooking!



Prudence Crandall Center (PCC), New Britain, CT ~

Over the last few years, SIFV has assisted PCC, the oldest domestic violence program in the State of Connecticut, in several ways:

  • In 2009, received a $7,000 Soroptimist Club Grant for Women and Girls from SIA Federation to help support its "SIFV & PCC Partners to Eradicate Domestic Violence" project. SIFV was able to purchase beds, bedding, linens, etc. to outfit the new Emergency Shelter.


  • In 2010, received a $2,500 Soroptimist Club Grant for Women and Girls from SIA Federation to help support its "Welcome to a New Hope...a New Beginning" project. With these funds, the club purchased items for, assembled and delivered "welcome" kits containing personal care/hygiene items for women and infants arriving to PCC's Emergency Shelter without these necessary items.



  • In 2011, received a $500 Janet Pfeiler Advancing the Status of Women club award from the Northeastern Region to help support its "Helping Young Hearts Heal" project. With these funds, the club purchased items such as paint/paint supplies, tables/chairs, bookcases and other supplies to help establish a Child Resource Center at PCC's Rose Hill facility. This resource center created a bright, safe place to aid PCC's child population in its healing process.

    SIFV member Tracy Scala with representatives from Prudence Crandall Center in the Child Resource Room

  • In the Spring 2012, received a product grant of $500 from "4imprint" (www.4imprint.com) for hand sanitizers and re-usable grocery bags for welcome kits. This donation allowed the club to donate over 120 kits in 2012 as well as in 2013.

    Products donated by "4imprint" through its "one by one" program – include hand sanitizer and bag with "S" logo

             Infant Welcome Kit Contents                      Adult Female Welcome Kit Contents

    SIFV members Linda Terry, Eileen Moskey and Marilee Porter assembling welcome kits

  • In July 2012, received a $750 Janet Pfeiler Advancing the Status of Women club award from the Northeastern Region to help support its "Welcome to a New Hope...a New Beginning" project (see previous information).

    March 2013 – SIFV members sit in a "sea of blue" welcome kits for Prudence Crandall Center

    Also in July 2012, received a $7,000 Soroptimist Club Grant for Women and Girls from SIA Federation to help support its "Helping Teen Hearts Heal" project. SIFV was able to purchase furniture, a large TV, home theater system, computer workstations and other items to create a teen room at Prudence Crandall Center in order for these victims to have a place for counseling sessions, to complete homework and to have supervised movie/game nights.

    SIFV members Tracy Scala, Joan Hofmann & Eileen Moskey on a site visit to the PCC Teen Resource Room.


    Photos of the PCC Teen Resource Room – furniture, TV, computer workstations purchased

    In October 2012, our club was honored to receive the PCC "Impact" award at its annual meeting. Members were there to receive the award on behalf of the club. Senator Richard Blumenthal also honored the club with a special citation from his office for its work with Prudence Crandall Center.

    Awards given to SIFV for its philanthropic work with Prudence Crandall Center


    SIFV members receive the PCC Impact Award –
     Left to right: Lydia Tedone, Joan Hofmann, Eileen Moskey & Tracy Scala

  • In Summer of 2013, again received a $500 product grant from "4imprint" (www.4imprint.com) for re-usable grocery shopping bags with the Soroptimist "S" logo and "Best for Women" tagline for PCC welcome kits. This donation will allow the club to continue this project of donating kits in 2013 and 2014.
  • Ongoing - financially via proceeds from our fundraisers and through procured grants.


Self-Defense Workshops, Canton CT
This community service project, sponsored by the women of SIFV and members of Yu's Academy for Martial Arts, is free of charge. However, attendees have generously donated money and helped us raise over $2,500 to date to help our service projects which improve the lives of women and girls in our local community and throughout the world.

Photo of students and teachers at Yu's Academy for Martial Arts in one of our Self-Defense Workshops for women. The men were very brave to get suited up so we could really hit them hard! Thanks to Yu's Academy in Canton, CT for allowing us to conduct these vital workshops to help women learn basic skills to protect themselves! For more information and photos about the self-defense workshops, please visit www.bestforwomenselfdefense.com


Live Your Dream Award
The Live Your Dreams Awards program assists women who provide the primary source of financial support for their families by giving them the resources they need to improve their education, skills and employment prospects. Please participate (yourself or by recruiting a women who is eligible) in this year's program. Completed applications (including eligibility form and two letters of recommendation) are due by November 15, 2014. Applications received after this deadline will not be considered. This year's award winner will receive $2,000!!

To receive an application by mail, please email us. To download an application, please click here. You will also need to download the reference form that needs to be completed. Both forms are in PDF format.

To view and/or print an "At a Glance" Eligibility Form" for this award, please click here.


Violet Richardson Award

Each year SIFV presents a young woman between the ages of 14 & 17 a monetary award for her outstanding community service.   A monetary award is also given to the institution she volunteers with.  In prior years, we've also had a runner-up for this award.  Again, this is one of the Soroptimist signature projects.

Do you live in the Farmington Valley and want to learn more about our club? Then contact us! We'd love to have you as a guest at an upcoming meeting or event!

Membership Chair: Cynthia Ebanks, (860) 944-5022

Back to Top

Chartered Nov. 17, 2004

Meeting Date/Times:
First Monday of each month except on holidays.
6:00pm to 8:00pm

2014-2015 Club Meeting Schedule
September 8, 2014
October 6, 2014
November 3, 2014
December 1, 2014
January 5, 2015
(New Years Party)
February 2, 2015
March 7, 2015
(A Toast to Women benefit evening)
March 9, 2015
April 6, 2015
(Awards Banquet)
May 4, 2015
June 1, 2015
(year-end pot luck social)

Follow us on:

Download or view our
Club Brochure
(PDF Document)

Download or view our Prospective Member Form (Word Document)

Press Release  for "Welcome Kits" for the Prudence Crandall Center

Press Release for
Women's Opportunity Award

Watch this video from
Soroptimist member
Kathy McAfee

Soroptimist International's Best for Women magazine is now available in digital format on line. The latest issue focuses on how parental leave helps families and the economy. Take a look here.


April 24-26, 2015
Northeastern Region Spring Conference
Mystic Marriott Hotel
Groton, CT



Send mail to webmaster@soroptimistnortheasternregion.org with questions or comments about this web site.
Last modified: 04/18/15