Soroptimist International of Ashland (SIA) honored recipients of various scholarships and awards at its annual Recognition & Awards Luncheon May 17 at Ashland Springs Hotel.

Soroptimist is a “global volunteer organization working to improve the lives of women and girls through programs leading to social and economic empowerment," currently celebrating its 70th anniversary in Ashland.

Leading up to the event was a year of fundraising and reviewing highly competitive applications from local women and girls to select recipients of the annual awards.

SIA raises funds by managing and staffing its pillow and blanket rental booth from June through October at the Oregon Shakespeare Festival (OSF). SIA donates 50 percent of its net proceeds to the OSF "FAIR" Program, which is a “professional development program that provides participants with an advanced Fellowship, Assistantship, Internship, or Resident opportunity to learn best practices across all administration, artistic, design, & production disciplines within a Tony Award winning theater environment.”

The remainder of these funds is awarded to local individual women and girls. This year's awards went to:

• SOU Women’s Athletic Award, Davalin Ontiveros, $1,500;

• Vicki Smith Memorial Ashland High School Scholarship, Delany England Meads and Elizabeth Leilani Sukles, $1,500 each;

• Vocational-Technical Award, Nellie Strong, Ashland High School, and Brittany Travis, Phoenix High School, $500 each;

• SOU Grant-in-Aid, Caitlyn Abshire, $2,000;

• Live Your Dream Award, Sarah Shepard, $2,000, andBrenna Culbert, $1,000; and

• Women Helping Women Award, Jennifer Rosenberg (SOU women’s soccer coach, $500).