Monday, January 10, 2011

LUNAFEST Film Festival

Women who hop on bikes and charge up and down mountains... women whose idea of a fun day off is competing in  a grueling race,on foot, on a bike and in the water - all in the same day! That's Team LUNA Chix (NY Mountain Bike and Albany Triathalon).

These are gals who know something about survival... about setting goals and about transcending obstacles. And their next challenge is to help other women who have experienced a different kind of survival- breast cancer survivors and domestic violence survivors. 

To do that they are sponsoring LUNAFEST a film festival with short films by, for and about women. Filled with stories of reflection and whimsy, hope and humor, grace and perseverance, LUNAFEST films are renowned for celebrating the talents and stories of women. Collectively, LUNAFEST films captivate audiences, compel dialogue and arm those who participate with both the knowledge and the motivation to make a difference in their communities.From quirky animation to touching documentaries, the 10 selected films are incredibly diverse in both style and subject matter, united by a common thread of exceptional storytelling by, for, about women

 LUNAFEST Film Festival

Date: January 29, 2011 6:00pm Location: Revolution HallTroy, NY
Ticket Price:
$20 at the door,
$15 seniors, students and presale

FOR MORE INFORMATION: Contact 518-421-0551 



Breast Cancer Fund 


Domestic Violence and Rape Crisis Services of Saratoga County (DVRC)

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Best for Women ...all women...everywhere

I spent today at the annual Soroptimist retreat. I'll confess, each year when the retreat day comes, I need to drag myself there. That's not a reflection on the retreat, but rather the state of my weekends. So on Saturday morning as I'm trying to figure out how I'm going to get it all done this weekend: cleaning the house, paying bills, installing and painting wainscoting, practicing heeling with my puppy (we've done lots of indoor practice with “down”, “stay”, “leave it”, “come”, but too many long workdays meant we've done very little outdoor walking together so we need to seriously cram before Sunday's class), cleaning out the car, and grocery shopping (unless I want a repeat of last weekend where every meal's menu centered around Swiss chard and cheese)-- well the Soroptimist retreat felt like an obligation that I just didn't have the time for.

And then something magical happened... I went to the retreat. Thanks to the fine planning and facilitation by Valerie Orapallo, Rachel Alderman and Stacie Mayette what could be a tedious day of membership retention activities , increasing leadership skills, and strategizing future directions for the Club is instead a day filled with learning, insights, wit and wisdom...and sisterhood. And more than anything this retreat once again (as it does every year) rekindled my commitment to the Club and my appreciation for what an impressive impact Soroptimists have in Saratoga County and worldwide (for more info on specific Soroptimist activities read  http://maggiefronk.blogspot.com/2011/01/whats-soroptimist.html.

In the years I've been a member, I've seen Soroptimist change-- for the better. The group was always concerned and committed-- and offered wonderful opportunities to interact meaningfully with women who I would not otherwise get to know. But in recent years, we've gotten more focused and mission-oriented, launching new programs, and increasing our expectations of ourselves. The change has not gone unnoticed. Soroptimist of Saratoga County won the governor's cup for our region (and it's clear that there are a number of high achievers in the Club who intend to make sure our Club earns that cup every year!) Their signature local service activity, Project Hope and Power, has also garnered support at the district and regional level.

At the retreat we challenged ourselves to consider whether we're doing enough not only locally, but to help more globally, to support women who commit their lives to global volunteerism, and strategically direct our resources to have the greatest impact.  We also challenged each member to assume a leadership role-- and gave tangible tools to make this happen.

And I left the retreat, not overwhelmed, but rather energized-- not just about my commitment to this fantastic organization, but energized in general...and grateful for the friendships with women who are intelligent, talented, creative, gracious, and inspirational leaders. The challenges of the weekend seemed insignificant-- I'm part of a group that makes a difference in so many lives, surely a little home renovation and housekeeping isn't insurmountable (but it' still gonna take a lot of practice to master “heel” before Sunday's class).

Are YOU Interested in doing one thing to help make a difference for women and girls?
Come to Cabin Fever!
Join us for lunch and to meet
 Mika Brzezinski
 co-host of MSNBC's Morning Joe,journalist, author, and media icon
Saturday, January 29th at noon

For more information visit:

Saturday, January 8, 2011

What's a Soroptimist?

I'm member of Soroptimist and I've had many people ask me, “What is Soroptimist? “and “Why are you member?” So here's very brief overview of Soroptimist.

Soroptimist is an international organization for business and professional women who work to improve the lives of women and girls, in local communities and throughout the world. They are committed to:
  • the belief that all women deserve to lead full and productive lives
  • women helping women
  • international diversity and fellowship
Almost 95,000 Soroptimists in about 120 countries and territories contribute time and financial support to community–based and international projects that benefit women and girls.

Investing in women and girls in our community
The Saratoga County chapter, with about 50 members, gives over $10,000 each year to help local organizations improve the lives of women and girls. That's money to help breast cancer survivors, to help homeless women start over, to console hospitalized children, and to help local girls become, physically fit, and build self-esteem and leadership skills. Soroptimists also provide financial support and a volunteer commitment of over 150 hours each year to help domestic violence victims break free from abusive relationships and achieve financial independence. And they've given thousands of dollars each year to: assist female heads of household to improve their family's quality of life, to recognize teenage girls engaged in volunteer action, and to honor women who work to improve the lives of women and girls.

Helping women and girls across the globe
That's a lot of local effort... but their impact extends far beyond Saratoga County. In just the past two years, our local chapter has:
  • providing education and improved living conditions to girls in Eastern European Republic of the Moldova, to prevent them from becoming victims of sex trafficking
  • supported clean water projects in third world countries
  • provided medical care for girls whose lives were ruined due to fistulas
  • sent seeds to war ravaged countries to provide food, income and healing
  • helped girls in Sierra Leone, West Africa go to school.
The name, Soroptimist, means "best for women," and that's what the organization strives to achieve. Soroptimists are women at their best, working to help other women to be their best.