DOWNTOWN Local Soroptimists are hoping Santa Monican’s in the mood for a movie on Saturday night will look beyond the summer blockbusters and buy a ticket for their LUNAFEST fundraiser.
The event features nine short films by, for and about women. Proceeds from the event support Soroptimist programs locally and contribute towards a national breast cancer foundation.
Barbara Andres, President of Soroptimist International LA West-Santa Monica, said the local club would use the money in two ways. First, to support the clubs educational scholarships and second, to help support other local groups who work on behalf of women.
“What we raise money for, and is our biggest project, is scholarships for a woman who is going back to school for higher education to improve her life and give a better opportunity to her kids,” she said. “Our educational program is certainly not our only project, but that’s kind of what defines us. We want to improve the opportunities for women who might not have them otherwise in our community,”
She said other projects the club has been involved in include partnering with organizations that help women locally and over the world deal with issues such as domestic violence, human trafficking, and other issues affecting women and girls.
The LUNAFEST fundraiser is administered by the makers of Clif energy bars under their Luna brand, which is targeted specifically at women. The company assembles a selection of short films and provides local organizers with the means of showing them. The local host keeps 85 percent of the proceeds for their own causes and 15 percent return to the company to support its breast cancer foundation.
Meaghan Praznik a public relations spokesperson with Clif Bar said they review more than 950 film submissions to assemble the program.
“We always try to program 8-10 short films that showcase exceptional storytelling, creative delivery, humor, honesty and heart,” she said. “We love what we do, and are committed to sharing the inspiring stories of our very gifted women filmmakers.”
Andres said the films have an appeal to a wide audience.
“They are really very compelling, the films that we’re going to be showing on Saturday,” said Andres. “These films, I think would be of interest to anybody but particularly to women in the community that want to be inspired by women and see films on great topics that are of great interest to women.”
Praznik said the films were chosen for their potential impact on viewers.
“We hope viewers walk away from LUNAFEST inspired and moved by the overwhelming community support, dedication to help local nonprofits, and passion to raise awareness for the environmental causes of breast cancer,” she said. “In about two hours, our viewers are entertained, encouraged and often educated to make a positive impact on the community. LUNAFEST allows viewers to be a part of something special, and we hope that when you get up from your seat, you’ll walk away and hopefully be changed for the better.”
Soroptimist International of Los Angeles West-Santa Monica will host a local screening at the Santa Monica Masonic Center, 926 Santa Monica Boulevard on June 28, with a social hour, opportunity drawings, and dinner starting at 5:30 p.m. and showtime at 8 p.m. Tickets are $50 and are available to purchase at: soroptimistlawestsantamonica.org or by emailing: barbaraandres@gmail.com
Soroptimists is an international service club focused on women’s issues. Members are traditionally professionals or businesswomen but the Santa Monica group has expanded its membership roles to include any woman that wants to help other woman. Andres said Soroptimists have been involved in the Santa Monica area for years with the current club growing out of a merger in 1997 that produced the LA West-Santa Monica branch.
matt@smdp.com

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