Soroptimist International of Ashland helped a diverse group of women and girls with almost $50,000 in scholarships and awards at their 2009 Annual Awards Luncheon held at the Lithia Springs Hotel on May 27.
Soroptimist is an international volunteer organization for business and professional women whose mission is to improve the lives of women and girls locally and globally.
Susan Hollandsworth, principal of Helman Elementary School, received $3,824 for the Soroptimist Strong Girls Strong Women program, which begins its second year in September and benefits girls grades K-5.
The Women's Opportunity Award winners were Sandra Lawyer and Jessica Smithson, both nursing students. Sandra received $2,000 plus an additional $3,000 from Soroptimist International of the Americas, and Jessica was awarded $1,500.
This award aids women who are their families' primary wage-earners and are enrolled in a vocational training or undergraduate program.
Demonstrating support for women's athletics, a total of $3,000 in scholarships was awarded to SOU athletes Auika Muragin, soccer; Rosie Converse, track; Lindsey Stone, volleyball; Meghan Laughlin, softball; and Whitney Scott, basketball.
Ashland High School seniors, Tanager and Katya Ludwig, received $2,500 scholarships for demonstrating personal qualities that served as role models while pursuing their education goals.
Vocational-Technical scholarship winners Emily Tess McWhorter, Tania Quispe, and Alaina Joy Barrett received $400, $300, and $300 respectively. Corey Anderson, SOU Grant-in-Aid winner, received $1,700.
To qualify for this award, an SOU female student must excel scholastically, contribute to the community, and have a desire to enter a profession of service.
Allison Krevitz received $200 as the recipient of the Violet Richardson Award. This award recognizes the volunteer efforts of a young woman age 14-17.
The Making a Difference for Women Award honored Sudy Storm with $200 for her personal and professional commitment to improving maternal and infant mortality rates in West Africa by conducting comprehensive training of over 140 midwives.
Kimiko Shimodo acknowledged SI Ashland's contribution of $28,050 to OSF's FAIR program, which fosters a collaborative exchange of knowledge, skills, and perspectives between the experienced and the next generation of theater practitioners.
Soroptimists International of Ashland's primary fundraiser is operating the pillow and blanket rental booth at the OSF Elizabethan Stage.
The group also participates in a variety of women's health initiatives such as the Soroptimist Wine Walk for Women's Health to be held September 20. For more information about Soroptimist, go to www.soroptimistRV.org.