The Manteca Soroptimists since their founding 65 years ago have planted the seeds of various endeavors and helped nurture them to strengthen the social fabric of the city.
The projects run the gamut from establishing a teen crisis counseling line in 1987 after a cluster of four teen suicides and continuing funding that effort with more than $360,000 so far to scholarship programs and helping support youth programs such as the Boys & Girls program.
Against that backdrop the service club Tuesday dedicated the Soroptimist Grove — 39 trees with a bench — in the Sierra Creek Park in a section near Pestana Avenue in East Manteca.
Each tree that will grow to provide shade for years to come is planted in memory of members that have passed away and active members who continue to participate in fellowship and community service.
Mayor Steve DeBrum lauded the club for its ongoing selfless dedication to community endeavors. At the end of the program he joined members in reciting the Soroptimist Pledge.
The newest tree added was in memory of Dorothy Indelicato who passes away last year. She was a Soroptimist for 44 years and served as club president in 1979-1980.
And just like all of the other members represented by trees in the Soroptimist Grove she not only was successful in business but she also played a role in making Manteca what is today as it celebrates its centennial year of incorporation as a city.
Indelicato played a key role in the building and operation of the Manteca-based Delicato Family Vineyards — the 12th largest winery in the United States by volume and the fifth largest family-owned winery.
She also served on the St. Dominic’s Hospital Board, the Delta College Foundation, the Manteca Convention & Visitors Bureau, the Mayor’s Committee on the Arts, and the Symphony Comes to Manteca among many other endeavors.
The Soroptimists also spoke of Jacqueline Brophy — a member that passed away several years who had a tree planted in her honor last year but it wasn’t officially dedicated.
Brophy, just like past and current Soroptimist members, was active in the community.
She was a 44-year Soroptimist member who made a big impact on youth as an educator. She served as a counselor at Manteca High and worked as the Dean of Students before her retirement.
She was known for her philanthropy and the key role she played in bringing Hospice of San Joaquin to Manteca.
There are plaques noting the members honored at the base of each tree.
The other members with trees that have passed away are Kathleen Aartman-Weed, Evelyn Allen, Julie Azevedo, Judith Collins, Shirley Davis, Sandra Dye-Miller, Flossie Fuller, Bobette Giles, Bianca Jacklich, Frances Schmiedt, Sherilyn Weatherford, and Selma Wrigglesworth.
Current members with trees are Mary Albertsen, Susie Beeler, Bea Bowlsby, Barbara Brocchini, Jan Brown, Dolores Cardoza, Tina Caperon, Sharon Cunial, Dorothy DeCosta, Betty Ingell, Danette Jarred-Kaiser, Pat Johnson, Mary Lou Kirk, Kathleen Mayhew, Connie Meinstasis, Nancy Myatt, Carol Nunes, Frankie Rieger, Arleen Sevor, Laurianne Stroud, Leslie Trueb, Alana Turner, Marion Thibodeau, Judy Vasquez, and Gayl Wilson.
The club currently has more than 30 active members.
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