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"Save the Redwoods" was the first project taken on by the Soroptimist Club in 1921.  Photo courtesy of Soroptimist Archives.
"Save the Redwoods" was the first project taken on by the Soroptimist Club in 1921. Photo courtesy of Soroptimist Archives.

By Carolyn Weikel, Snohomish County Auditor.

Soroptimist International of Everett is a non-profit organization supporting women and their families here in our community and around the world. We want you to learn more about Soroptimist International and consider joining the local Everett chapter.

The name Soroptimist was coined from the Latin “soror” meaning sister, and “optima” meaning best. And so Soroptimist is perhaps best interpreted as “the best for women.”

In 1921, the first Soroptimist club was formed in Alameda County, California with over 80 business and professional women from in and around the city of Oakland. With Violet Richardson as the first President they met weekly debating service projects and hearing speakers on various worldwide issues that would broaden members’ horizons.

Their first project was to “Save the Redwoods” – the great ancient trees, which were being felled at an alarming rate. The club members lobbied the legislature, taking on powerful lumber companies but winning public support which resulted in a major portion of the forest being set aside as protected land that still exists today.

Additional Soroptimist clubs soon followed along the Pacific and Atlantic coasts, amounting to fifteen clubs within five years, with a growing concern for women in their communities.

In 1946 Soroptimists held a reception for delegates to UN conferences, which included Eleanor Roosevelt, and in 1948 the Soroptimist International Association was awarded Consultative status with UNESCO, and in 1966 UNICEF also granted consultative status to Soroptimist International for service projects for children.

In addition, Soroptimists attended the First UN World Conference on Women, which was held in Mexico City in 1975.

Special thanks to The Soroptimist Archives, Soroptimist International of the Americas, Philadelphia, PA, USA for all photographs.

For further information regarding Soroptimist International of Everett click here, or call Marci Volmer (President) at 360-568-7760.

In 1946 Soroptimists held a reception for delegates to UN conferences, which included Eleanor Roosevelt. Photo courtesy of Soroptimist Archives.

In 1946 Soroptimists held a reception for delegates to UN conferences, which included Eleanor Roosevelt. Photo courtesy of Soroptimist Archives.

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