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Oklahoma State Senate
Communications Division
State Capitol
Oklahoma City, Oklahoma 73105

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For Immediate Release: April 3, 2007

Mrs. Sand Springs Melissa Soto and Senator Nancy Riley listen as SR 26 is read in the Senate commending Soto's many accomplishments.
Mrs. Sand Springs Melissa Soto and Senator Nancy Riley listen as
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 state.

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 against abuse.

“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 Business Association.

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

Inon: Horizontal Blue Band

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