Our History and Structure

The first Soroptimist club met and was chartered in Oakland, CA in 1921.  The Constitution of that first club stated that the purpose of Soroptimist was “to foster the spirit of service….”  That purpose and spirit of service drives every club, district, region, and federation to this day.   

SI-MSC was chartered April 29, 1979, sponsored by the Fort Bragg club.  Several of those early members still work creatively and effectively with the club.  

Over the years, we have helped with many local programs to improve the lives of women and girls.   Among others, these include the Garcia fire and rescue squad, Shamli Hospice, domestic violence prevention projects and agencies, and the Action Network.  We have also worked toward several civic projects, like the Point Arena Lighthouse restoration and the Museum there.  We have sent hundreds of kids on field trips around the country to learn and grow and we have given dozens of awards.

SI-MSC works with other service organizations, like The Lions’ Club and Rotary International, to meet community needs.  Notable among these activities is Project Santa which reaches deep into the area to ensure memorable Christmases for families and individuals who are struggling.

Part of a bigger whole….

SI-MSC is a club within District IV.  
     District IV is part of Founder Region.  
          Founder Region is part of Soroptimist International of the Americas, and
               SIA is a part of Soroptimist International!  

So, joining SI-MSC brings you into both a committed group of local people — your neighbors — and an international group with different, essential perspectives on the needs and joys of women.  

District IV

SI-MSC’s District IV has eight clubs and is led by Director Barbara Young, of Santa Rosa.    The eight clubs are in these areas:  

Healdsburg             Marin County              Mendocino-Sonoma Coast             Novato                  
Santa Rosa             Sonoma Valley            Ukiah                                          Windsor 

District IV is one of six districts within the Founder Region.

Founder Region

Founder Region is, as the name implies, the area where Soroptimist was started.  Thus it has a long and important history.  Founder Region also has a unique program called the Founder Region Fellowship.  This offers grants to women in their last year of the doctoral studies at a school within the Founder Region.  

Founder Region includes six Districts in… 

  • the north-western California counties of 

     Alameda             Contra Costa              Del Norte             Humboldt             Lake          
     Marin                  Mendocino                 Napa                    Solano                  Sonoma

  • the State of Hawai’i
  • the US Territories of Guam and The Marianas

Soroptimist International of the Americas (SIA)

SIA has headquarters in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.  SIA is one of four federations under the umbrella of Soroptimist International (SI).  SIA includes 28 regions, with about 1290 clubs and 30,000 members. 

The SIA Vision:  Women and girls have the resources and opportunities to reach their full potential and live their dreams.

The SIA Mission:  Soroptimist improves the lives of women and girls through programs leading to social and economic empowerment.

SIA’s Values:

  • Gender Equality: Women and girls live free from discrimination.
  • Empowerment: Women and girls are free to act in their own best interest.
  • Education: Women and girls deserve to lead full and productive lives through access to education.
  • Diversity & Fellowship: Women from varied backgrounds and perspectives work together to improve the lives of women and girls.

SIA’s Strategic Outcomes: 

All levels of SIA will collectively provide a
 sustainable impact on the lives of women and girls. 

Members and supporters will find value through engagement with the SIA mission. 

SIA is recognized for its efforts to improve the lives of women and girls.

Members and supporters will fully fund our Dream Programs.

We will enter our second century able to serve more women and girls through our Dream Programs

Soroptimist International (SI)

Since its beginnings in 1921, SI has become the world’s largest volunteer service organization for women in business, management and the professions.  Its international headquarters are in Cambridge, England.  

SI has consultative status with the Economic and Social Council at the United Nations and is a recognized authority on matters that women value most.  

PO Box 1064  Gualala, CA  95445                                                                        © 2022 Soroptimist International Mendocino Sonoma Coast