Congratulations MARYLYN WHITE! 

Marney Horton presented Marylyn White (left) with the Soroptimist of the Year honour at our May 4th Business Meeting.

Marylyn has been a Soroptimist member for 42 years and been involved many committees and events etc. during this time.

Marylyn joined the Venture Club in 1956 in Barrie ON. Her parents were members of the Lions Club and encouraged her to volunteer and give back to her community.

In 1957 Marylyn attended her first joint Soroptimist/Venture club convention in Windsor ON.

In 1959, Marylyn moved to Toronto and joined the Toronto Venture Club and as a member, volunteered in a rehabilitation hospital. She also helped with a club Fashion Show which was held at the Royal York.

In 1967, Marylyn moved to Peterborough and joined SI Peterborough in 1979.

Notable accomplishments

  • 1995, with member Esther Might, entered a contest in Canadian Living magazine and won 400 tulip bulbs. These were awarded based on the story submitted about the relationship between Canada and the Dutch during WWII. Esther had served during that war. Marylyn approached the City of Peterborough, and the city gave the Soroptimist Club a garden in Del Crary Park to plant the tulips. This park is in a very central location and visible to many residents and visitors to the area. After establishing the garden, Marylyn spearheaded the purchase of a bench donated in memory of Soroptimist members who had passed away. The plaque on the bench acknowledges the club and the members.
  • A woman ahead of her time and passionate about the environment, Marylyn chaired the Soroptimist Environment committee. A slogan was developed “Hang out with us”. Marylyn and the committee members attended various events and hung the club business cards on a clothesline and recruited members by encouraging them to ‘hang out with us’. The local TV station (CHEX) was approached, and they agreed to give the club a spot on TV in the afternoon to promote the organization. The committee used a local garden, along the Otonabee River as the backdrop. They hung a clothesline and encouraged viewers to save on electricity by hanging laundry out to dry. Soroptimist was in the spotlight by virtue of having this television exposure.
  • Marylyn was on the Golf Tournament Committee for many years. Each year the funds raised from the tournament would be used to support local causes related to women such as women’s health and education
  • Marylyn was on the Fashion Show committee for many years as recently as our last show in 2019. She assisted with almost every aspect of the event including packaging door prizes and modelling in the shows.
  • In 2020, with the challenge facing the club in the recruitment of new members, Marylyn volunteered to Chair the Membership Committee. In 2020 /21 SI Peterborough signed up 7 new members using Zoom to hold the introduction meetings. An amazing accomplishment during a pandemic. Marylyn and her team partnered with the Public Awareness committee in 2020 and designed lawn signs. Members including new members, would post these signs on their front lawns to garner interest in the club by those passing by. Marylyn distributed these 12 signs to members across our community (city and rural) and after 2 weeks, redistributed the signs to other members. Marylyn has always encouraged people that she meets to become a Soroptimist.  She does not miss an opportunity to tell anyone she meets about the organization within the first few minutes of a conversation
  • Marylyn has attended Soroptimist meetings in the Barbados and during her winter vacations in Clearwater Florida, attended meetings with SI Belleair. During trips to Great Britain, Marylyn stayed at the Soroptimist of England Bed and Breakfast at Number 63 in London. It was there that she met with a London Club member who she had met in Peterborough.

“Joining a service club is very satisfying knowing the work we do locally and around the world. I have met so many great members over the years, as we all have the same agenda, we understand the work we do; how it improves the lives of girls and women … I am proud to call the members my friends, they are all so special to me.” Marylyn White 2021