San Francisco Soroptimists Honor Three Local Women Awards given to women who make a difference for women through volunteer services to the community

The Soroptimist "Making a Difference for Women" program comprises three awards recognizing those who work to improve the status of women.
The Women Helping Women Award goes to Elizabeth L. Colton, Chair of the Board of the International Museum of Women (IMOW), a world-class cultural and educational facility that will explore the history of women and contemporary gender issues. Elizabeth will receive the award for being the driving force in building this new institution, which is scheduled to open in San Francisco in 2008. Elizabeth has provided the leadership to create and develop this visionary new institution. Under her guidance, IMOW has cultivated crucial Bay Area political and community support, developed a strategic plan to secure a site in the Embarcadero and taken major steps in the development of the exhibitions. For more information on the International Museum of Women, please see

The "Women of Distinction Award" honors women with outstanding achievements in their professional and/or volunteer activities. Janet von Doepp, co-founder of TEAMS, The Ecumenical Approach to Ministry and Service will accept the Women of Distinction Award. When in 1994 Janet and her friend Troy Wheeler learned that 60% of nursing home residents have no visitors, they developed TEAMS a volunteer ministry to nursing homes. Since Troy passed away a year later from AIDS, Janet assumed full leadership of TEAMS and made it grow and thrive and started the TROY Gift Project with the goal to have a Christmas present for each resident in a nursing home. In 2002, Janet distributed 2,022 gifts to seniors. She coordinates volunteers throughout the year to collect, sort, and wrap gifts, which she stores and delivers at Christmas.

Teresa Mejia accepts the "Advancing the Status of Women Award", on behalf of The Women Building (TWB) she serves as Executive Director. Teresa has provided crucial leadership in the expansion of services, implementation of new development strategies and during the renovation of TWB.

"The Soroptimist organization provides an enriching environment for women to develop friendships while experiencing the satisfaction of their collective efforts to improve their community. We are presenting these awards not only to show our appreciation to these women for exemplary work in our community and touching the lives of so many people, but also in order to encourage women of all walks of life to pursue whatever avenues they find to effect positive change in the world," said Debbie Hofmeister, Co-President of the Soroptimist International of San Francisco. "We are always looking for women who want ‘make a difference' to become new members"

Soroptimist International of San Francisco supports local projects such as the Avon Breast Cancer, Brennan House, Salvation Army, Larkin Street Youth Center, North of Market Senior Center, The Recreation Center for the Handicapped and S.A.G.E. (Standing Against Global Exploitation).

About Soroptimist International
Founded in 1921, Soroptimist comprises almost 100,000 members in about 120 countries and territories worldwide who contribute time and financial support to community-based projects benefiting women. Soroptimist's major service project, the Women's Opportunity Awards program, provides cash grants for women seeking to improve their economic situation through additional education and training. Soroptimist International is a non-governmental organization with Category 1 status at the United Nations. For more information about how Soroptimist makes a difference for women, visit
For more information, please contact: Xenia Rosen,, Phone: (415) 577-4302

About the International Museum of Women
The International Museum of Women is a world-class cultural and educational institution planned for San Francisco. Operating under a Board of Directors and an Advisory Council comprised of community leaders, businesswomen, elected officials, civic philanthropists, arts patrons, historians and educators, it will be the only international museum exclusively dedicated to chronicling and honoring the lives of women worldwide. The museum will engage women and men of all ages intellectually and emotionally - provoking them to question the status quo through an examination of social order, cultural structures and identity. The exhibits and events will produce new perspectives based on feminist scholarship in history, arts and sciences. The IMOW embraces the responsibility of bringing together different voices to stimulate thought, discussion and action as it strives to be a community-oriented experience that is imaginative, innovative, provocative and fun. For more information visit:

About The Women's Building
The Women's Building (TWB) is multi-ethnic, multicultural, multi-service center for women and girls. It's mission is to provide women and girls with the tools and resources they need to develop their full potential and participate equally in the governance of their lives and communities. San Francisco TWB was created in 1971 as an incubator for emerging Bay area women's projects.
For more info Please see:

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