Soroptimist International of Ashland is seeking applications from women in the community for various cash gifts and awards.

Soroptimist International of Ashland is seeking applications from women in the community for various cash gifts and awards.

Award-winners will be honored at a May 12 luncheon. Many local award-winners qualify for additional awards at the regional or national level.

The Ruby Award honors a woman in the community who has worked to improve the lives of women and girls through her professional and/or volunteer work. The winner will receive a small gift to the charity of her choice and will qualify for up to $2,500 in additional monies. Nominations are due by Dec. 1.

The Violet Richardson Award recognizes a young woman, age 14 to 17, who is making the community and world a better place through her volunteer efforts. The winning applicant will receive $200 and qualify for additional awards of $1,000 to $2,500, all for the charity of her choice. Applications must be received by Dec. 1.

The Women's Opportunity Award is given to female heads of household who are improving their economic and employment status through college or vocational education. The winning applicants will receive awards of $500 to $2,000 and qualify for additional awards of $3,000 to $10,000. Applications must be received by Dec. 15.

A graduate fellowship supports a woman who is working toward a graduate degree to enhance standing or competence in her business or profession. Applications, due by Jan. 15, will be forwarded to Soroptimist Northwestern Region, which will award a $4,000 fellowship.

Finally, SI-Ashland is sponsoring a local Live Your Dream Art Contest for Ashland, Talent and Phoenix girls and boys in kindergarten through 12th grade. Applicants will submit their picture of a living woman who inspires them and write a short essay explaining why. Winners in the several grade categories will be honored at a March meeting. All applicants will be forwarded to Federation for the opportunity of winning a $100 personal award and $100 for their school.

For more information, applications or nomination forms go to the Ashland link of www.soroptimistRV.org. Soroptimist International is a volunteer service organization improving the lives of women and girls locally and globally.