Teresa Todd | Cheri’s Choice

Letters to the Editor
Letters to the Editor

Cheri Fleming’s favorite color was red, her birthday cake of choice was chocolate with banana crème filling, and the love of her life was husband Don. But Cheri’s passion was giving and, in so doing, she inspired others. 

She was a force of nature, a consummate giver of time, talent and treasure, and a friend to all. She was loved and adored. Whether a casual acquaintance or lifelong friend, Cheri had the unwavering ability to make certain that people felt valued, respected and loved unconditionally. 

Cheri was fiercely loyal and supportive of others. Her kindness was legendary and amplified through her passionate work and involvement with many nonprofits, including Soroptimist International of the Americas, Henry Mayo Newhall Hospital, Child & Family Center, and scores of others.  

While petite in stature, Cheri was a mighty icon of influence. Her leadership personified genuine empathy, compassion, grace and impeccable style. She came by her brilliance, tenacity and drive naturally. Cheri’s strength inspired, motivated and moved others to action by first setting the example herself. 

She had unrelenting faith that nothing was off limits or unattainable. She brought an abundance of hope, promise and excitement to each new endeavor. She was up to every challenge and savored the journey. 

Even though her life was not without difficulties, it never slowed her down. “Challenges never define you,” Cheri once said. “How you react and deal with them often does.” 

And with ever-present optimism, Cheri sincerely believed that if you could dream it, you could do it. Her life’s story is evidence that all things are possible. 

During a final interview as Cheri was preparing for a webinar on mentorship presented by the College of the Canyons Foundation, she offered, “I am successful if I help others find success, which is why mentoring is so important to me. The highest compliment I could receive would be to have helped groom someone to become my replacement. I live every day embracing the true mission of Soroptimist, which is to empower others. I never feel threatened by the success of others; rather, helping others succeed enriches my own legacy.” 

Since her passing in November 2020, there has been a distinct void in the community. While we can’t bring back her infectious laughter or her approachable counsel, we can follow in her path. Cheri’s vibrant personality, brilliance and capacity to endlessly give for the benefit of others, along with her irresistible charm with an unmistakable love for life, will continue in the deeds of friends, family, colleagues and community. Her legacy is enriched and fulfilled by the success of others to continue with her quest to create a greater good. 

On Sunday, June 12, Soroptimist International of Greater Santa Clarita Valley presents the inaugural Cheri Fleming Shining Star Legacy Award luncheon from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Hyatt Regency Valencia. In addition to the award recognition, a tea room fashion show by Assistance League and Closet on Main will accompany a live auction, which includes a personal item curated from the Cheri Fleming Collection.  

In celebration, 19 honorees have been nominated by local nonprofits in consideration of the award. The selected recipient will exhibit those qualities that Cheri cherished and someone she would have been proud to mentor. 

All proceeds from this event benefit the Cheri Fleming Legacy Fund through Soroptimist International, established in her honor to ensure that her influence and impact to help others will shine eternally. 

Tickets are $75 and available at www.sigscv.org/cheri-fleming-shining-star-legacy-award or by contacting Pam Ingram at 661-312-4428 or email [email protected] 

Teresa Todd 

Santa Clarita

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