|Dr. Kay Taylor was the keynote speaker at the Soroptimist International of Clear Lake’s annual “Spring Fling” luncheon in Clearlake, Calif., on Saturday, March 1, 2014. Photo by Denise Rockenstein/Lake County News.|
CLEARLAKE, Calif. - Soroptimist International of Clear Lake held its annual "Spring Fling" luncheon Saturday at the senior/community center in Clearlake, welcoming Dr. Kay Taylor as its guest speaker.
Dr. Taylor is a gynecologist, women's health advocate and founder of Prevention International No Cervical Cancer (PINCC) foundation.
Soroptimist of Clear Lake is part of an international organization with a mission to improve the lives of women and girls in local communities and throughout the world.
Locally, the club sponsors educational scholarships for women and girls, a free mammogram program, a clothes closet project, offers support for a shelter for victims of domestic violence and provides financial support to a variety of other community projects.
Soroptimist member Olga Martin Steele described Taylor as an inspiration to all women in what they can become and as an example of what they can accomplish.
She was particularly intrigued, she said in introducing the speaker, with Taylor's educational journey, which culminated in Taylor graduating alongside her sons.
Taylor established PINCC in 2005 after a medical mission to Honduras. She said she saw more cases of women dying of cervical cancer during that single trip than she had in her entire medical career.
She said the disease is treatable and the death of these women is unnecessary.
"Cervical cancer is the medical success story of the century," Taylor said, explaining that medical breakthroughs in treatment and early detection have resulted in significantly lowering the death rates attributed to the disease.
She said because of limited access to medical resources, women in impoverished countries are suffering painful deaths from a cancer that could have been stopped with one simple test.
"For this reason, in the developing world (cervical cancer) is the biggest public health failure in the world," Taylor said.
Taylor said cervical cancer is caused by a slow-acting virus called human papilloma virus, or HPV , which she said also infects men.
Vaccination against HPV is key to eliminating the disease, much like was done with polio, she said.
Taylor's nonprofit, volunteer medical service organization creates sustainable programs that prevent cervical cancer by educating and treating women, training medical personnel and equipping facilities in developing countries.
PINCC has worked in 10 countries and has established 30 sustainable medical sites.
"We can help our sisters in these countries," Taylor said. "This has been a life-changer for me. I encourage everyone out there to find your passion and follow it."
The club thanked Taylor for her efforts to better the lives of women and children with a $1,000 donation to her foundation.
The event included a silent auction as well a live auction that saw a fair number of bidding wars between the ladies.
It was Jane McKnight who put up the biggest fight in her battle against Sally Munger, who ultimately claimed the San Francisco Giants grand package with the top bid of the auction.
Chic Le Chef catered to the guests of the luncheon with the assistance of student volunteers from Lower Lake and Carle high schools. Lunch was topped-off with the club members' traditional dessert bar.
Email Denise Rockenstein at [email protected] .