Soroptimist International of Patterson held installation of officers for the 2017- 2018 year on Sunday June 25 at the Las Palmas mobile Estates Clubhouse. Following the theme “Southern Hospitality,” each board member received a hat and flowers.

Installing officers Gloria Satcher and Regina Reid installed Wanda LaRussa, a 3-year member as its new president. LaRussa is the owner of Glitzy Glasses, a line of hand painted glitzy wine glasses. LaRussa follows Regina Reid in the position.

LaRussa said she joined the club to give back to the community.

“One of my favorite quotes is from Gandhi and he said, ‘The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others.’”

La Russa said after attending her first meeting as a guest, she researched the organization and learned more about its vision and core values.

“I realized that I had a personal connection to the Soroptimist mission of improving the lives of women and girls through programs leading to social and economic empowerment. Without hesitation, I contacted the membership director and joined! Over the last 3 years, I have made new friends, enjoyed being with like-minded women, gained leadership skills and have had hands-on opportunities to do volunteer work.”

La Russa has held the offices of co-vice president 2016-2017 and board of director/board member 2016-2017.

She has served on many committees, such as chairwoman of public awareness, Hot Cocoa 5K, Miss Patterson Finalist Table Setting, Martini Mayhem/Mardi Gras, Little Mr. and Miss Apricot Talent Show and National Night Out.

This year the local service club will continue along the path of service. “We are a service club and will continue to uphold our mission and serve more disadvantaged women and girls in Patterson,” La Russa said. “One of our goals is to expand the “Live Your Dream Award,” which 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.

We will also expand our program “Dream It, Be It: Career Support for Girls”. This program will help girls grow up to be strong, successful, happy adults and it provides girls with access to professional role models, career education and the resources to live their dreams,” La Russa said.

“As the President, my goal is to ensure that our club is happy and thriving and I’m looking forward to working with our club members and the community,” LaRussa said.

PI community reporter

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