Hi everyone! I hope all is well.
Yesterday, I had the honor of being able to attend the the Soroptimist International Founder Region Conference Brunch at the Doubletree Inn in Rohnert Park. It was a fabulous time and I would like to thank everyone involved in Soroptimist for being so kind and accommodating.
Now, the reason I was there was because several weeks ago I attended a luncheon for winning the Violet Richardson Award from the Soroptimist International of Santa Rosa. I talk about it in THIS post. For a refresher, below is a description of the award from the website.
“The Violet Richardson Award honors young women between the ages of 14 and 17 for volunteer action such as fighting drugs, crime and violence, cleaning up the environment and working to end discrimination and poverty.”
The award process begins on the local level. I applied for the local award way back in december and won. My local club is the santa rosa. Now this award has the potential to go all the way to the national level. Since I won the local award, I was submitted to win the district award. All of the local winners were submitted to the district. In my district, (district IV), there are ten clubs. A couple of weeks ago, right before I was to go the the luncheon for being the local winner, I received a letter in the mail saying that I was the district winner as well! I was very shocked and honored. Because I won district, I was invited to go to the Awards brunch at the Doubletree in Rohnert Park, yesterday (May 1st).
The next level up from the district level is the regional level. There are six districts in the region that Santa Rosa is a part of. Therefore, there were five other AMAZING girls that had also won the Violet Richardson Award at the district level in attendance at the brunch. All six of us were asked to speak for two minutes on what we had done. Below is a picture of me speaking at the brunch.
After each of us had talked in front of the four hundred people in attendance, we were each handed a very nice gift-bag full of fun little goodies, and a $250 check! I totally had no idea about that, which was amazing!!! Anyway, after each of us had spoken, they announced that of the six of us district winners, one would be winning $2000 more, $1000 for the charity of our choice, and the other $1000 for the winner personally. This girl would win at the regional level and be eligible to compete for the national award.
I was already ecstatic to be attending the breakfast, and honestly did not think that I would win. All of the other girls had told their stories, all so incredibly diverse and amazing. Then, the winner was being announced. “The winner of the $2000 is district…………………..4, ALLYSON AHLSTROM!” My jaw literally dropped. I had no clue that I was going to win! I am shocked, honored, and so thankful to Soroptimist for giving me this opportunity. Threads for Teens will benefit immensely from this wonderful donation. THANK YOU!
Here are several pictures from the event.
With my certificate!
By the lovely flag
Now, last years regional winner was a girl named Sarah Williams from Pleasanton, CA. She started a blanket project called “A Blanket of Their Own”. She collects handmade “tie” blankets and donates them to foster children. Her project will soon be in all fifty states and is already in several different countries. What she has accomplished is incredible. HERE is a news article and video explaining what she does/has done. This is a great cause that anyone can participate in and make a huge difference in a young foster child’s life. Below is a picture of Sarah and me at the awards brunch.
I am so blessed to have been able to attend this event and meet so many amazing women. Once again, thank you Soroptimist International! I truly appreciate everything that you have done for Threads for Teens.
Lastly, some updates about what is going on with Threads for Teens itself. I am currently working on setting up a scholarship fund sponsored by Threads for Teens. This has been very exciting. A part of Threads for Teens mission statements says that it wants to focus on education, this is bringing in a huge part of that mission!
Another new element that is being planned are educational seminars that will take place in the fall and winter of this year, and the spring of next year. Topics will vary. Some include panels on Drug & Alcohol Abuse, and Human Trafficking. There were will also be lighter topics that relate to personal grooming, college, and cooking. This is also something that I am thrilled to be starting. It has always been my personal goal to help educate teens, tweens, children, and really anyone who will listen on current problems, and other fun things. Please watch out for an official announcement about this.
The number one question that I am asked about Threads for Teens is, “When can I come visit the boutique?” Well, Hours are by appointment only. However, I would love to have as many people as possible come into the shop and really get a feel for what it is all about. Therefore, an open house is being planned to bring people in to see what Threads for Teens is like. There will be appetizers, a presentation, and a q&a session. This event will be a lot of fun! The date is not set yet, however it will definitely be sometime in June. When I have all of the details finalized, they will be posted here on the blog, the Facebook, and the Twitter. This will be no later than friday the 13th.
One last thing, I am looking for donations from local hair and nail salons of gift certificates for girls that come into the shop. All donations will be tax deductible. Please send me an email if you or someone you know is interested! Thank you. firstname.lastname@example.org
Now, I apologize for this EXTREMELY long post. Thank you for reading!
I will update very soon!