1921: First Soroptimist club founded in Oakland, California. The Founder President was Violet Richardson Ward. In the first constitution, the purpose of the organisation was:
"To foster the spirit of service as the basis of all worthy enterprises and to increase the efficiency by its members in the pursuit of their occupations by broadening their interest in the social, business, and civic affairs of the community through an association of women representing different occupations."
That first club met weekly, debating service projects and hearing speakers on various worldwide issues that would broaden members' horizons. Their first project was to 'Save the Redwoods' – the great ancient trees which were being felled. They lobbied the legislature, took on powerful lumber companies, and won the support of the public. The result: a major portion of the forest was set aside as protected land and still exists today.
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