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Santa Cruz Downtown Toastmasters (SCDTM) is Club #1803 of Toastmasters International, a global organization that has more than 350,000 members. Members improve their speaking and leadership skills by attending one of over 16,000 clubs in 141 countries that make up a worldwide network of meeting locations. The club has been active since 1955.

In its early years, the Santa Cruz Downtown Toastmasters was an all-men group that met at the Dream Inn—as now, early on Friday mornings. Over the years the meetings moved to the Golden West Pancake House, Sambo’s and the DeLaveaga Restaurant, and along the way, women joined and added their voices. In 2014 we moved to the Live Oak Senior Center on Capitola Road, and stayed there until COVID shut us down in 2020 and we went all-online. In 2022 we began hybrid meetings, with an in-person meeting at the County Office of Education, 399 Encinal St, and other members attending on Zoom.

Our membership has ebbed and flowed from 20 to over 45 members, but whatever the size, the feeling is one of mutual support and camaraderie. Members have many reasons for joining, from overcoming fear of public speaking to meeting new members in the community. Some stay for a year or so, and others are long-term members of over 20 years. All agree that there is a sense of family and shared friendship.

Wilder Ranch Picnic 2019

Our club picnic at Wilder Ranch State Park, July 2019.