Three Local Women to Receive Awards at March 23 Gala

Soroptimist International of Vista and North County Inland will hand out three education grants of $5,000 each to three recipients, all of whom are single head-of-household women who have overcome enormous obstacles and are trying to better their lives and the lives of their children, at the club’s annual “Live Your Dream” Awards Gala on to be held Saturday, March 23, 2019 from 5 pm to 10 pm at the Vista Optimist Club, 600 Optimist Way, Vista. 

Order tickets at

Tickets are still available for the Gala. Tickets are $85 per plate, and Table Sponsorships are still available for $800 per table of 8. Proceeds benefit future education awards for women. Event sponsors are Tri-City Medical Center, Modern Builders Supply, Tri-City Realty and California Real Estate Services.

Guests are urged to choose from one of three “Main Course” options by March 9th.After that date there will be no guarantee but the Beef option will be the most plentiful (and good!)

Guests will begin their Gala experience with a 5 p.m. Welcome Reception with no-host bar, music, passed tray appetizers, and Silent Auction and Cork Pull. Dinner and dessert will be served concurrently with the award presentations. “The Optimist Club, a beautiful venue located in the heart of Vista’s Shadowridge community, is preparing an awesome menu for us, featuring their famous slow-cooked Beef Short Ribs,” said Soroptimist Paula Nix. “Non-meat eaters can choose the Salmon or Ravioli options if they reserve by March 9,” she added. “Our silent auction items include a beautiful handmade quilt, a ‘Man Crate,’ a Luxury Wine Basket, hand-crafted jewelry, and more.”

Tickets are available online at or by contacting Gala Co-Chair Paula Nix at 760-500-0013 or emailing


(Their names have been changed to protect their privacy).

“Ruby” is pursuing a BA in Criminal Justice at Cal State San Marcos, while supporting three children with only scant financial help from her ex-husband, whom she divorced after he succumbed to alcohol and substance abuse. After being in “survival mode” following a traumatic divorce, Ruby, determined to improve her employment prospects, enrolled in classes. She earned her Paralegal Certificate (and made the Dean’s List) and now her long-term goal is to become a lawyer. “There is nothing that I want more than to be able to succeed, stabilize a good career with benefits, and provide a better life for my children. I want to be a positive role model and someone that they admire,” she said.

Theresa” escaped from a domestic violence situation and is now working part-time while residing with her four young daughters at Solutions for Change homeless shelter. The Solutions program has given her breathing room and the opportunity to enter a 2-year nursing program at Palomar College, with the goal of eventually becoming a Registered Nurse. “I am showing my girls that no matter what happens in life, to never give up on your dream and to keep going,” said Theresa.

Melissa” is a single mother of two studying Marketing at Palomar College after escaping an abusive husband. “Since I was young, I have loved everything related to business, art, and technology,” said Melissa. She plans to earn a Certificate in Social Media, Entrepreneurship and E-Marketing at Palomar College and then transfer to Cal State San Marcos for a BA in Graphic Design, and eventually earn a Masters in Business Marketing. Her dream is to be an e-commerce entrepreneur. Her natural aptitude for graphic design and computer software has allowed her to earn money as a freelance graphic designer, but the Live Your Dream cash award will help pay her books, tuition, transportation, bills, and allow her to focus on her studies more. “I am setting an example for my kids of good values, attitudes, and behaviors, and I see these reflected in the way they behave in school, their relationships, how they make difficult decisions, and when talking in therapy about their dad who abused us,” she said, proudly. “I’m showing my kids how to work wisely, and despite struggles and ups and downs, to just keep on going to achieve their goals.”


Soroptimist International of Vista and North County Inland (SI Vista/NCI) was chartered on March 23, 1953. 2019 marks the club’s 66th year of service to the community. We are a dynamic group of professional business women who seek to make a difference in our community through offering scholarships and grants to women in need and by raising awareness and educating the public about issues affecting women and girls, such as domestic violence and human trafficking. Funds are raised through our annual salad luncheon for the public, Casino Night, Scrip sales, and other club and personal fundraising projects. The club meets for lunch the first and third Friday of each month at Shadowridge Golf Club in Vista. For more information see or email

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1 Response to Three Local Women to Receive Awards at March 23 Gala

  1. Pingback: March Collaborative Meeting | Soroptimist STOP Trafficking Program

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