Long-time, local travel agent Karen Pray most likely has the same response to your travel questions today as she would have had in March when the COVID-19 pandemic began: cruise ships, airplanes, tour buses and even local guides are simply not active, as in “not going anywhere.”
Pray, who currently specializes in cruise ship travel, is still staying on top of the facts and circumstances impacting that part of the industry. Drawn from her 35 years of experience as a local travel agent and a traveler herself, Karen has three travel adages: there is no such thing as a bad vacation, however there is a bad attitude; glitches make travel experiences memorable and worth a good story or two; and just when you think you will never see anyone you know while traveling, there they are.
Pray’s familiarity with Hawaii and her recognition of a good travel deal when she sees one led her to place the highest bid for any single item at the May 2020 Soroptimist International Coronado (SIC), Virtual Auction, helping to make the event a resounding success. With her bid, Pray won a one week stay at the exclusive Pono Kai Resort, Kauai. Her intention is to enjoy that week in March 2021. We all hope she can meet that goal!
Pray joined Soroptimist International of Coronado in 1984 and promptly started working with Linda Pipes, a close friend and Soroptimist member, on two projects directly affecting the lives of women in the San Diego area: breast cancer research and battered women’s shelters. These two projects were clear illustrations of the mission of Soroptimist International of Coronado which is “to improve the lives of women and girls through programs leading to social and economic empowerment.”
While no longer a member, Karen continues to support and participate in SIC fundraising events like the previous annual luncheons and the 2020 virtual auction. In this way, she, along with many other donors, make a meaningful difference in the lives of women and girls through a variety of Soroptimist funded programs such as scholarships for graduating female Coronado high school students named for local residents, Jane Granzer and Sybil Stockdale; grants to nonprofit entities like Generate Hope for women survivors of human trafficking, Home Start, a maternal women’s shelter; Point Loma Nazarene University’s kNOw MORE educational program on human trafficking; Coronado Public Library for resources for women and girls; and for the work initiated by Rotary Binational Club of Coronado on clean water in Mexico.
Though travel questions remain largely unchanged, the work of Soroptimist International of Coronado, with the help of donors like Karen Pray, continues to improve the lives of women and girls.