Community & Clubs: A reason to be (Sor)optimistic

The Women's Opportunity Awards program assists women by giving them the resources they need to improve their education and employment prospects, according to Soroptimist International of Newport Harbor Area president Carolyn Turner. Women who are the primary wage-earners for their families, who are enrolled in education or training, should apply for a $1,000 cash award to be used for any education-related expense, including childcare and transportation. The Newport Harbor club honoree is eligible for additional awards at other levels of the Soroptimist organization. Since 1972, Soroptimist has disbursed about $25 million and helped more than 30,000 women through the Women's Opportunity Awards program. Applications may be completed online or by mail and must be returned by Dec. 15.

For applications and information, contact Turner at soropti-carolyn@socal.rr.com or Joan Weeks at gdubw@aol.com.

The Soroptimist Violet Richardson Award is a recognition program offering a $1,000 cash award for young women ages 14 to 17 engaged in volunteer action within their communities or schools. The program is named after Violet Richardson Ward, the first president of the first Soroptimist club in 1921, who was committed to creating opportunities for girls and young women. Applications may be completed online or by mail and must be returned by Dec. 1. For applications and information, contact Dalia Badajos Lugo at daliabms@benefitmanagementspecialists.com.

Founded in 1955, Soroptimist International of Newport Harbor Area is part of Soroptimist International of the Americas, a volunteer organization for women who work to improve the lives of women and girls, in local communities and throughout the world. To learn more about what the group does, visit http://www.soroptimistinternational.org and http://www.soroptimist.org.

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Busy time for the interfaith community

The Newport-Mesa-Irvine Interfaith Council will hold its annual Hearts & Hands day on Saturday between 9 a.m. and 3 p.m. at the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints at 801 Dover Drive, Newport Beach, according to event chair Jaimie Day.

In 2012, over 30 congregations and community groups with 600 youth and adults participated in Hearts & Hands, and Day expects more this year to work on 20-plus hands-on service projects that will benefit the needy, locally as well as internationally.

There will be a blood drive, emergency preparedness seminar and lunch for $5 prepared by the Newport Beach Fire Department, with proceeds to the Wounded Warrior Project. Military and civil servants will have an Honor Wall where photos and bios can be displayed.

This year, they are collecting plastic grocery bags, new or gently worn shoes, canned goods and baked goods. For students and Scouts, this is a good time to earn your community service hours. For more information, email Day at jaimieday@yahoo.com.

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Celebration of Thanksgiving

Young and old will enjoy the 13th Annual Celebration of Thanksgiving on Sunday at 7 p.m. at Newport Harbor Lutheran Church, 798 Dover Drive, Newport Beach according to co-chair the Rev. Brad Stienstra.

Participating choirs include Newport Harbor Lutheran Church, Baha'i Faith, First Drops children's choir, soloist Devin Duquette of First Church of Christ, Scientist, Newport Beach and Mesa Verde United Methodist Church. There will be readings from a wide range of faith communities expressive of the theme of "Gratitude for the Beauty and Bounty of the Land."

Event co-chairs are Stienstra and Lane Calvert of the Bahai's of Costa Mesa.

Admission is two cans of food for the hungry, which will be distributed by Share Our Selves and Families Forward.

There will be a reception following the celebration service. For more information on the celebration of Thanksgiving, email lanec@oclfl.org or pastorbrad@nhlcs.org.

Happy Thanksgiving to all of our Daily Pilot readers and friends from Barbara and myself!

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Service Club Meetings This Week

WEDNESDAY

Noon: The 15-member Exchange Club of Corona del Mar meets at the Bahia Corinthian Yacht Club, 1601 Bayside Drive, Corona del Mar for a business meeting.

THURSDAY

7 a.m.: The 20-member Costa Mesa Orange Coast Lions Club meets at Mimi's Café, Newport and Harbor boulevards, Costa Mesa.

Noon: The 45-member Kiwanis Club of Newport Beach/Corona del Mar meets at the Bahia Corinthian Yacht Club. For more information, visit sites.google.com/site/kiwanisofnewportbeach.

Noon: The 75-member Exchange Club of Newport Harbor meets at the Bahia Corinthian Yacht Club for a program by Adam Timm, a meditation coach and stress relief expert. For more information, visit http://www.nhexchange.org.

Noon: The 40-member Kiwanis Club of Costa Mesa meets at the Costa Mesa Country Club, 1701 Golf Course Drive, Costa Mesa. For more information, visit http://www.costamesakiwanis.org.

Noon: The 55-member Newport-Irvine Rotary Club meets at the University Club, 801 E. Peltason Drive, Irvine.

6 p.m.: The 57-member Rotary Club of Newport-Balboa meets at Bahia Corinthian Yacht Club. For more information, visit http://www.newportbalboa.org.

MONDAY

6:30 p.m.: The Harbor Mesa Lions Club meets at the Costa Mesa Country Club on the first and third Monday of each month. The club meets at various restaurants in the area. For more information, email clion93@verizon.net.

TUESDAY

7:15 a.m.: The 58-member Newport Beach Sunrise Rotary Club will meet at Working Wardrobes, 3030 Pullman St., Costa Mesa for a program by Carter Jenkins, "Students for Safe Water." For more information, visit http://www.newportbeachsunriserotary.org.

COMMUNITY & CLUBS is published Wednesdays. Send your service club's meeting information to jdeboom@aol.com.

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