For Immediate Release: April 3, 2007
Mrs. Sand Springs Melissa Soto and Senator Nancy Riley listen
SR 26 is read in the Senate commending Soto's many accomplishments.
Senate Welcomes Mrs. Sand Springs
The Senate honored a remarkable woman Tuesday
for her dedication to her family and to helping bring awareness
to sexual abuse in Oklahoma. Sen. Nancy Riley authored Senate
Resolution 26 commending Melissa “Missy” Soto on
her selection as Mrs. Sand Springs 2007 and for her dedication
to giving a voice to the silent crime of sexual abuse in the
As a child, Soto was sexually abused by a family friend. It
was a secret, however, she kept from her family for 15 years;
and by the time she had the courage to speak out about the abuse,
her abuser was dead. For this reason, she chose to help bring
awareness to sexual abuse as her personal platform. As Mrs.
Sand Springs, she encourages youth to speak out about their
abuse and is working to change how people view victims of abuse.
She hopes that by empowering others with her story, she can
help ensure that child molesters get the punishment they deserve.
Soto is a spokesperson for “Project Nightlight,”
which is an organization that uses short films, music and apparel
to grab kids’ attention and inspire them to speak out
“We were so excited to get to honor Missy’s many
accomplishments in the Senate. She is not only a tremendous
mother and wife, but an outstanding public servant as well,”
said Riley, D-Tulsa. “We wanted the opportunity to acknowledge
her many contributions to her family and her community, as well
as her bravery in sharing her personal story of sexual abuse
to help others.”
Soto grew up in Tulsa, Oklahoma and is a third-generation graduate
from Berryhill High School. She is a local Sand Springs business
owner. Her family has owned Chastain’s Casual Café
and Catering Company for more than ten years. She is also a
member of the Sand Springs Chamber of Commerce and Downtown
She also serves as a board member and co-chair for the Oklahoma
Prom Angel Charity (OPAC). The organization was established
to assist young women in Oklahoma with financially challenged
backgrounds achieve higher self-esteem and a sense of self-worth
by making it possible for them to attend their junior/senior
proms. Each year, thousands of Oklahoma girls are unable to
attend their proms because they lack the finances to purchase
the dresses, shoes and jewelry they feel are necessary to attend.
OPAC helps these young women’s prom dreams come true.
Soto and her husband, Aaron, have a one-year-old daughter named
Launa. On April 28, 2007, Melissa will be representing Sand
Springs in the Mrs. Oklahoma Pageant in Guthrie, Oklahoma.
For more information contact:
Senator Riley's Office: (405) 521-5600