Establishing a Women’s Resource Center

Benicia is known for its generosity for local organizations aiming to help and do good works in the community. Soroptimist International of Benicia is hoping that strong spirit of giving will infuse its first wine tasting event. Proceeds will go towards local scholarships and to establish a Women’s Resource Center and Safe House for domestic violence survivors. The “Sip with Soroptimist: An Evening of Wine Tasting & Pairing” event comes on the heels of October’s designation as Domestic Violence Awareness Month. It takes place 7-10pm, Saturday, Nov. 12 at the Benicia Clock Tower. “We were just looking to do something a little different. What a great event to come together with some music, food and wine tasting,” said Nancy Martinez, Benicia Main Street Program executive director and board member for the women’s social service club.

Improving Lives

With a mission to improve the lives of women and girls, Soroptimist International of Benicia members want to shine a spotlight on domestic violence and its impact on women, children, families and the community. The club has a long-term goal of building a Women’s Resource Center and Safe House in Benicia to support women and families as they start to rebuild their lives in the wake of domestic violence. “We’ve been working on this for a few years. There are Safe Houses in Vallejo and Fairfield but there is nothing available in Benicia. It’s a goal of ours. Eventually, we’d like to bring in the whole community to work on this,” Martinez said. The Safe House will be a combined effort of local churches, the City of Benicia and others in town. Soroptimists are looking to work with SafeQuest Solano, a dual domestic violence and sexual assault emergency response agency that serves all of Solano County. Services include a 24-hour crisis line and a state-certified emergency shelter.

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Fundraising Event Details

The “Sip with Soroptimist” promises to be a tasty affair with an assortment of wine paired with plenty of gourmet hors d'oeuvres from local restaurants or other sources. The Henry Wine Group, located in the Benicia Business Park, will supply wine, and wineries from Napa and Solano counties also may step up and donate some bottles. Musical offerings to add a festive air to the event are still being mulled over, but Soroptimists are leaning towards playing CDs of Frank Sinatra and Dean Martin favorites. One highlight of the evening will be a drawing for a $1,000 Raley’s gift card. Tickets are $10 each for the raffle. Advance ticket prices for “Sip with the Soroptimists” are $40 per adult or 2 for $75. Tickets are $50 the day of the event. Designated drivers pay a reduced fee of $10 and will and receive bottled water and snacks during the event. Tickets are available at, or by calling 707.745.3551 or 707.746.1509.  Martinez said she’s optimistic both the raffle and the event will be a big success, with at least 400 tickets sold. “The Benicia community always seems to come together for these special events,” she said.