Several women were honored by Soroptimist International recently during a awards dinner at the Tea Room.
Soroptimist award recipients are, from left, Jean Johnson, Amanda Schreiber, Dori Blodgett, Ally Manley, Debbie Jones and Carolina Coria Rosa. Submitted photo.
Each year Brookings Soroptimist holds the special event to honor women and girls who have made a difference in the community to improve their opportunities for a better life, said Pat Shurtleff, club president.
A total of 27 people attended the event. Decorations were by Judith Faulstick and her committee.Awards given at the event began with Helena Chirinian presenting the Women’s Opportunity Award to Debbie Jones.
Since 1972, Soroptimist International has been helping women all over the world to reclaim their dreams through this award program, Shurtleff said. The Opportunity Award helps give women the resources they need to improve their education, skills and employment prospects. Eligible applicants must be women who provide the primary financial support for their families, and who are enrolled in or have been accepted to a vocational skills training program or an undergraduate degree program.
This award makes it possible for Jones to continue her training as a teacher and be certified to take on the responsibility in a classroom, Shurtleff said.
Aleta Mankamyer presented the Professional Technical Award to Carolina Coria Rosa.
This award is for women pursuing an educational program leading to a certificate or license. This includes training in a two-year degree or technical program. This is a Northwestern Region Soroptimist award, and the winner is eligible to an additional award from the region. The winner’s award will be given directly to the school of her choice.
Rosa, who came from Mexico, learned to speak English and to understand the importance of continuing her education, Shurtleff said.
Helen Donohue presented the Ruby Award – Making a Difference for Women – to Dori Blodgett.
This award was established to honor a local woman who has been exceptional in her efforts to assist other women in her community. The award’s criteria is flexible so outstanding performance in various endeavors can be acknowledged.
Accompanied by spouse Leroy, Blodgett explained how she enjoyed working with children in both the library and in plays where young women and girls had the opportunity to display their talents. She was also credited for her ability to renew the Grange interest and instrumental on reopening the facility in Harbor.
Blodgett has been involved in many various activities with both children and adults. Many present talked how she has in many ways touched their lives with her positive attitude. This award will now go to Northwestern District for review and if it is awarded, will go on to National competition.
Jan Richey presented the Violet Richardson Award to Amanda Schreiber. This award is given to a young woman whose volunteer activities maker her community a better place.
This award was started by Violet Richardson who was president of the first Soroptimist club in 1921. She was committed to creating opportunities for girls and young women. Her dedication and devotion to improving life in her community were an inspiration to everyone who knew her, Shurtleff said. Soroptimist International established the award to honor the memory of this unique woman and her dedication to volunteer action.
Schreiber told how Blodgett has impacted her life and taught her many things. Her first job at the library was to count papers. These papers were used by those in the community who used the computers. Schreiber said it was a good job and it also gave her the opportunity the learn how to work with children. Schreiber said she felt this award will open many doors for her in the future.
Karyn Dagenais presented a special award to Jean Johnson, who has volunteered many hours prior to becoming a Soroptimist. Johnson filled in many areas where assistance was needed and spent many hours on the phone talking to a large number of members and residents to promote Soroptimist programs such as Christmas wreath sales, the annual baby shower and rummage sale programs, to name a few.
Johnson was successful in so many areas that her support was instrumental in raising funds to support the community and young women in the Brookings-Harbor area, Shurtleff said.
Soroptimist also provides opportunities for high school seniors including Soroptimist Girl of the Month – which was most recently presented to Ally Manley – and the Scholarship Program. This is a local Brookings Soroptimist program with a minimum of two scholarships a year presented to Brookings-Harbor High School seniors.
The first scholarship may be awarded to a girl who has completed at least two years of college. A second scholarship may be awarded to a girl or boy who has completed at least one year of college. Applications may be sent by contacting Shurtleff at 541-469-3144.