Our June Program meeting will be held Monday, June 23 at the Senior Center at noon. Our program will be presented by Lori Winnook of the Sheriff’s Office. She will be speaking about human trafficking and violence against women.
The Soroptimists of Central Wyoming (SICW) will host a presentation by Children of Peace International (COPI) founder Binh Rybacki at 7:00 p.m. on May 1st at the Agricultural Resource and Learning Center, 2011 Fairgrounds Road. Children of Peace International is a non-profit organization that provides support to orphanages in Vietnam. Founder Binh Rybacki has been recognized internationally for her humanitarian work in Vietnam.
The Natrona County Library will also present “A Necessary Journey,” a 90-minute video of a COPI 2009 medical mission trip at 6 p.m. on April 29. The documentary, by Jake Ladder Productions,
follows the medical team on a 17 day road trip through Vietnam, treating the children, orphans, families, and survivors of the
Founded in 1993, COPI provides support in many provinces of
Vietnam. Since, 2004, COPI has been offering scholarships to several hundred small scholars each year and has built several schools for all levels. COPI has developed and supports several orphanages and has made it a priority to try to understand and respect the Vietnamese culture and beliefs. Since 1997, COPI has organized two medical mission trips each year. These missions provide basic medical and dental care and offer free medicine and vitamins every six-months. COPI also provides medical equipment and training to nurses and physicians in rural Vietnamese hospitals.
Binh Rybacki left Vietnam with her family at the age of eighteen. The American government evacuated her family in the last days before the fall of Saigon to the Communist troops. Binh continued her education at Colorado State University and worked for Hewlett-Packard for 25 years as an integrated circuit designer and information technology specialist.
In 1993, Binh returned to Vietnam to locate the rest of her family and to make peace with her home country. She found children working as street peddlers, beggars, and prostitutes. Unable to leave things as she found them, Binh and her husband, Jack, began Children of Peace International in 1993 to help improve the lives of these kids. Children of Peace International was incorporated in January 1996 with a board of ten members and gained non-profit status in June of 1996.
Children of Peace International believes it is a privilege to serve the children in Vietnam and operates with integrity, understanding and respect. The children’s needs are of first and foremost concern. The organization is supported by donations and volunteers. For more information about COPI, please visit http://www.childrenofpeace.org. For questions about Binh’s presentation on May 1, please call Donna Cuin at 262-2253 or email Debbie Ehlers at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Regular Business meeting of SICW will be held April 14 at the Casper Petroleum Club, 1301 Wilkins Circle at 12:10 PM. We are usually given the upper lounge for our meeting location. For reservations please let Dyann know at DYANNDURST
On Thursday, March 6, two outstanding women were named the 2014 Casper Woman of Distinction at the recognition luncheon held at the Parkway Plaza Hotel and Convention Center. Jennifer Henderson and Catherine E. Wilking were recognized as the 2014 Casper Woman of Distinction. Announcing the prestigious winner was Shauna VanderLinden. Jennifer and Catherine received the award based on a cumulative point system that considers: professional activities, volunteerism, citizenship, community service, leadership, advocacy of human rights and status of women, high standards of education, and depth of commitment. Four local women’s service organizations – the American Association of University Women, the Accounting and Financial Women’s Alliance, Casper Alumnae Panhellenic and Soroptimist International of Central Wyoming – comprise the Woman of Distinction Planning Committee.
Jennifer Henderson was nominated by Soroptimist International of Central Wyoming. She is an engineer with the Casper Fire-EMS Department, where she has worked for 10 ½ years. She was promoted to engineer in 2012, the first woman ever to attain that rank in Casper. She is currently studying for additional certification as a paramedic, a lengthy process involving hundreds of classroom hours and more than 1,300 hours of clinical time.
She has served as fitness coordinator in the department and is an EMT-1. She promotes fitness in the community as a personal trainer and group fitness instructor at a gym. She is also an adjunct faculty member for the Fire Science program at Casper College.
She has volunteered with her church on international mission trips, traveling to China to work at an orphanage and Zambia to work with the Chande Project and assist with building an elementary school.
She has been a Big Sister through the Big Brothers/Big Sisters program and inspired her “Little” to join her junior high school dance team to emulate her “Big” who danced at the University of Wyoming.
She represented the United States at the World Firefighter Combat Challenge from 2006 to 2011, where she was ranked second in the world and first in the United States.
She is vice president of Local 904 Firefighters Pipes and Drums and a member of the Honor Guard, which lends traditions and solemnity to promotional/retirement ceremonies and funeral duties.
Jennifer holds degrees in Fire Science, and Distributive Math and Science and is currently working on her Applied Science degree to become a paramedic. She is a mentor and inspiration to young women embarking on careers in fire service and embodies the importance of physical fitness.
Catherine Wilking was nominated by the Casper Children’s Chorale. She serves as a judge for the Seventh District Court of Natrona County, appointed by then-Governor Dave Freudenthal in December 2010 and retained by the people in 2012. Prior to her judicial appointment, she was a partner in the law firm, Nicolaysen & Wilking. Catherine is married to her husband John and has two daughters, three dogs, four cats, a rabbit, a chinchilla, a tortoise, and a gecko.
She is past-president of the Wyoming Make-A-Wish Foundation, was president of Natrona County CASA, and a former board member of the Children’s Advocacy Project.
She has always served her community, although her current position prevents further service on volunteer boards as she did in the past. She now instead donates time to schools and civic organizations, helping them understand the legal system and the role of courts in that system.
With few females serving as a district judge, Catherine actively encourages other women to enter the profession. She strives to render decisions enabling women to lift themselves out of the cycles of domestic violence, drug and alcohol abuse, and poverty that bring them into the justice system.
She is a voice for oppressed women and children in our court system and does not back down from uncomfortable situations or difficult decisions.
Frequently covered by local and regional news organizations during controversial or sensational trials, she emerges as a brave voice of justice and reason, and a defender of human rights.
Jennifer and Catherine were among 10 nominees being honored at today’s luncheon, including: Karen Brannon, Denise Bressler, Elane Burkhalter, Cori Cosner Burton, Marilyn Connor, Jerre Jones, Carol King, and Crystal Mueller. As the winners of this award, Jennifer and Catherine will be asked to serve as the keynote speaker at the 2015 award luncheon, where the committee hopes to recognize many more Casper Women of Distinction. Nominations will again be accepted in early January of 2015. You may follow our committee on Facebook at www.facebook.com/WODCasper.
The Second Annual Soroptimist Easter Fun Run will be held on Saturday, April 19, 2014. We will begin registration at the Ramada Inn on the River at 8 a.m. The run will begin at 9 a.m.
Easter costumes are encouraged and there will be prizes for kids and adults. You may email Michelle at or call Debbie at 234-2173 for more information.
Registration: 8:00 a.m.
1K Fun Run: 8:45 a.m.
5K Run: 9:00 a.m.
Cost: $20.00 adults, $5.00 kids
Contact: Debbie at 234-2173 or
Michelle at email@example.com
The Races will begin at the Casper Ramada Riverside Hotel, 300 West F Street.
The race course will be on the Platte River Parkway.
PDF File suitable for download and giving to friends or posting at work (we would sure appreciate it!): Easter Hop Flyer 3-2014
The regular March business meeting of SICW will be held on Monday, March 10 at 12:10 at the Casper Petroleum Club 1301 Wilkins Circle.
The January business meeting of Soroptimist International of Central Wyoming will be held on Monday January 13, 2014 at the Casper Petroleum Club at 12:10 PM.