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Marilyn Adams George: Soroptimists celebrate community service

Marilyn Adams George
Other Voices

Soroptimist International of Grass Valley recently held its annual “Celebration of Service” in the Nevada County Contractor’s Association’s conference room.

A gathering of Soroptimist members and recipients of the annual awards and grants met for a presentation of $11,500 in gifts to local scholarship winners and charities assisting Nevada County women and children. The crowd was greeted by copresident–elect Ruth Evans following a dinner buffet. The celebration was led by Fran Freedle, past president of the local Grass Valley Soroptimist and chairperson of the Scholarships and Grants Committees, which presented the event.

Freedle explained that the purpose of the celebration was to honor those who helped fulfill the mission and purpose of the organization, which is to empower women and children in ways that change their lives and those of others for a richer, more rewarding life.

Freedle stated that since 1972 the local club has been partnering with local causes and agencies to improve lives in Nevada County, either through the physically establishing of centers, programs and projects or the outright funding of them, including scholarships for women returning to college or special training venues. Funds obtained by SIGV for presenting “A Day for Women Conference” were raised in conjunction with Sierra College and through the selling of healthy rice bowls at the annual Nevada County Fair.

A series of gift presenters introduced this year’s recipients sharing details of their programs and projects and the amount of the award they received.

Mary Sivila presented the “Live Your Dream Education” and “Training Awards Program,” which awards $1,000 scholarships to women who have experience adversity and difficulties yet desire to gain an education to improve their lives. This year’s recipients are Hailey Patterson and Jolene Mulagane. Silva also presented Sierra Harvest with a grant for $2,000 aiding them in establishing a program focused on women as farmers. The project will train and support women who wish to make farming their livelihood. On hand to receive the grant were Aimee Retzler, codirector of Sierra Harvest, and a local woman farmer from Posh Squash Farm.

Joan Beard announced that a grant for $1,000 will be sent to Jennifer Singer of the local Friendship Club, which works with at-risk girls, encouraging them to stay in school and aspire for a successful future. Seventy percent of club members stay in school and graduate. The funds will help them plant a garden with the members learning vegetable gardening and healthy food preparation. The first garden will be placed on Litton Hill.

Cindy Caruso introduced Donna Raibley and Harriet from One Source-Empowering Caregivers, an agency supporting caregivers in their work caring for disabled and elderly, giving them a $500 grant for educational materials. Sharon O’Hare and Fran Freedle announced a vocational scholarship of $1,000, awarded to Ariel Jamison and Cloey Peterson, young women who have faced obstacles in finishing high school and pursuing higher education.

Kate LaFerriere handed a check for $2,000 to Women of Worth representatives, JoAnn Weber and Sandy Schmidt Escobar to help fund a service navigation project helping women at risk obtain much need life-changing service with over 262 women availing themselves of services last year. Fran Freedle explained that the KARE Crisis Nursery caring for infants and children during a domestic crisis in a family or homelessness was established by Soroptimist and continues to be a special project of the club. She introduced Lynn Woerner, director and presented her with a $2,000 grant.

Lynn Costa announced that the very successful “Dress a Girl Around the World” project has made and delivered to five international locations 1,000 girls dresses which are be shipped to struggling countries. The project was aided by local women who volunteered to cut out and sew the dresses. Many of the items are being hand delivered by local volunteers traveling to foreign countries. The Soroptimist project has invited the Rotary Clubs of Grass Valley and Auburn to join in this cause by obtaining and donating clothes for young boys as well, she added.

Copresident-elect, Ruth Evens thanked all who attended for sharing in the celebration of a very successful year for the Soroptimist service club.

Marilyn Adams George is a member of Soroptimist International of Grass Valley.


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