Six decades in, and the Soroptimists of Pittsburg is still going strong.
The club, a national service organization dedicated to "improving the lives of women and girls," will celebrate its 60th anniversary this spring with a big lunch.
"We'll invite all the other clubs in our region (to it)," said Doris Bedford, treasurer.
Bedford joined the local chapter in 1979, and likes helping raise money and giving it away.
The Pittsburg group, which features about 30 members, annually raises about $25,000 to help local residents.
So, just how does the club make $25,000 a year? Bedford said the women head several fundraisers, events and sales throughout the year. The big moneymaker is the Festa Italiana event. Members cook a traditional Italian dinner, honor a local family and make about half their annual budget at the event held at the Good Shepherd Church.
Other events include teaming with Pittsburg's Steeltown cafe for Coffee for a Cause; a partnership for a golf tournament; and a huge bake sale.
"About 15 of us get crazy and (bake a lot of goods.) That raises $1,500," Bedford said.
The women meet at noon every Thursday at Country Waffles on Harbor Street in Pittsburg. The meetings are a mix of business, fundraising discussions, education and social time.
In addition to an upcoming $2,000 scholarship, the group also doles out several awards to those returning to college and one to a teen volunteer, which gives
Over the years, the Soroptimists have helped students in need and made major financial contributions to Small World Park for its popular party castle attraction. Current President Timi Tumbaga has gathered plenty of great memories in her seven years with the organization.
Two of her favorite memories include the Kidz on Target (spearheaded by Bedford), which offers schools supplies and clothes to 100 underprivileged students.
"To see the smiles on their faces once they are done is one of the greatest rewards you can ever receive," Tumbaga said.
She also enjoys the group's annual luncheon, which features scholarship giveaways.
"These awards allow us to hear the different stories from the ladies receiving these and how these can help make a difference.
"Both these events help remind us why we work so hard to fund raise throughout the year. We get to see firsthand our projects at work and the impacts they can make on an individual and within a community."
Tumbaga enjoys this "dynamic and resourceful group. These women are very committed and passionate about this organization. If asked to move a mountain, I am almost certain (they) would find a way to make that happen."
Applications are available for the Marilyn McFaul Vocational scholarship and due by Feb. 8. This is for a female student "currently attending or has been accepted to a vocational/skills training program, trade school or institute of technology program accredited by the state of California."
For more info, visit http://siofpittsburg.org/index.htm
Contact Trine Gallegos at email@example.com.