FROM THE DESK OF GOVERNOR GINGER COLE
It is a privilege to have been chosen as your Governor for the 2016-18 biennium and I look forward to working with our Region Board, Club Presidents, and all members to fulfill our organization’s dream of increased collective impact. We are a Region of dreamers. We dream of a world where “women and girls have the resources and opportunities to reach their full potential and live their dreams”. We dream of improving “the lives of women and girls through programs leading to social and economic empowerment”. We are a Region dedicated to making dreams come true. We turn the dreams into reality . . . one woman/one girl at a time . . . day after day, week after week, month after month, and year after year.
Our 2016-18 Region Theme is CATCH THE DREAM. The dream catcher will serve as a symbolic representation of our theme. It will be a physical reminder that we, along with the women and girls that we help, should allow our positive dreams to become our reality, and let our negative dreams become entangled in the mesh of the dream catcher and dissipate into thin air. The dream catcher will remind us that we are never given a dream without also being given the power to make it true.
This biennium we will R.I.S.E., focusing on:
- Retention, recruitment and reclamation; Inclusivity; Support, fellowship and Engagement.
- Women's health for ourselves and the women and girls we serve.
- And, we will strive to build a healthy region with healthy clubs that are viable and fun. We will work with our elected leadership teams, region-wide, to reexamine what we do well; how we can improve; and how we can attract more members to assist us in our service to our communities.
This biennium we will R.I.S.E. together and we will “CATCH THE DREAM”!
Many of you have asked me to publish my installation speech. The following is that speech which was given at our Spring Conference 2016.
Eleanor Roosevelt once said, “The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams.” Our own Soroptimist organization defines dreams as being empowered to believe in one’s own capacity to make future dreams a reality. And someone else compared dreams to bubbles saying, “Bubbles are like dreams, the higher they fly, the more fun they are when you catch them.”
Everyone dreams. Good or bad. We dream. Some People think dreams aren't real just because they aren't made of matter, of particles. But dreams are real. But they are made of viewpoints and images, of high hopes and lost hopes, of memories past and visions of the future.
Dreams are successions of images, ideas, emotions, and sensations. And yes, like bubbles, if we are lucky, our bad dreams eventually pop and disappear, while the good dreams float on air and carry laughter and joy to those who dare to catch them.
As children, we dream of having friends. We share toys and stories. We frolic in the park and blow bubbles, trying to catch them, making wishes with each one that lands in our hand before it pops. We believe "a dream is a wish your heart makes". Wishes and dreams. Yes, wonderful childhood dreams and a lifetime ahead to make them come true.
Then as young adults and adults, we dream of life, we begin to live our dreams. Those bubbles we played with as children, those illusive dream bubbles that tickled our noses and brought us happiness, those bubbles that flew high and popped when we reached for them, begin to take form and become reality. We dare "To dream the impossible dream", to live the life we have dreamed for ourselves. If we are lucky, we chase and catch some of those dreams: the proverbial American Dream; the dream that leads to college or career. The dream that brings the comforts of "home" and family and friends. Some of us catch the dream bubble with passion. Some with philanthropy. Others will catch the one containing public service … the get out and get your hands dirty and help someone else catch their dream bubbles. Yet, we all go confidently in the direction of our dreams and we live the life we've imagined.
But for too many of us, especially the women and girls we serve, in the effort to catch their dream bubbles, stumble and fall. Their bubbles don't hold laughter or joy. They are illusive. They are dreaming with broken hearts. Their dream bubbles hold ghosts of their fears and haunt them with worries. Langston Hughes said, “Hold fast to dreams, for if dreams die; Life is a broken-winged bird, that cannot fly.” For many in our service areas, there is no dream to hold fast to. Their dream is postponed, or stamped "canceled". They need a catcher of dreams.
And that's where we, as Soroptimists in the Camino Real Region step in. Our mission is to help them, once again, achieve their dreams. Sounds corny, but we need to keep singing that Disney song of our childhood, “a dream is a wish your heart makes” to them, with the ending ““No matter how your heart is grieving, if you keep on believing, the dreams that you wish will come true.” We, as Soroptimists, are charged with modelling the way to "catch the dream" and help them emerge as stronger, more productive individuals.
Our organization is dedicated to creating programs for those whose dreams have been deferred. We become partners in other’s journey. Through our programs, we have the ability to make others dreams come true. We have the ability to help women and girls reinvent the dreams that they have lost. They need “a kiss to build a dream on” and we can provide that for them. We can become their dream catchers. We have the ability to help them find ways to restore their dreams at some level, to some degree.
- At the club level, with scholarships and awards. Restoring someone's dignity. Returning a family to normalcy. Simple acts like making sure a mom receives a Christmas gift from her children or homeless women receive clean under garments when they take showers or women with cancer receive care packages. We walk down that boulevard of broken dreams and throw out a safety net that allows others to “CATCH THE DREAM”.
- At the District level, where clubs band together to present a powerful program on stopping human trafficking in order to fulfill the dream of freedom for women and girls who suffer slavery in the sex trade. We restore dreams so that they can “CATCH THE DREAM”.
- And, at the Region level, with events and programs that encourage high school girls to dream big and learn about all the possibilities that lie ahead for them. We help create dreams because, “If they can dream it, they can be it!”
Yes. Dreaming is like catching bubbles. If you persevere, you can catch one. Our mission is to help others visualize and “CATCH THE DREAM”, beyond their wildest imagination.