Club Awards & Grants Night distributes $6350

Club president Connie Kemp and Sofia Tavera

On March 4, 2015, the Soroptimist International Club of Lake Oswego / West Linn held its’ fourth annual Awards & Grants Night at Holy Names Heritage Center on the campus of Marylhurst University.  The club is comprised of residents of the general area with the mission of serving for the better for women and  girls.   Each year the club provides individual awards to young women volunteers, scholarships to single mothers attending post secondary schools and grants to agencies/organizations in Clackamas County serving women and their children. Six awards and grants were presented this year.

This year’s Violet Richardson Award of $250 was given to Samantha Reed, a junior at West Linn High School.  The award is on behalf of her summer volunteer work at Camp Yakety Yak in Lake Oswego.  Camp Yakety Yak is devoted to children with Autism Spectrum Disorder and other developmental disabilities.  It is a two week, therapeutic day camp that helps children with special needs grow socially and emotionally by improving their communication skills.  The children are more equipped to successfully handle situations at home, at school, and in public.

The club issued two Live Your Dream awards this year:

Mirinda Martinez  of Tigard received an award of $800, to be used in any manner necessary as she completes cosmetology studies at the NW College of Beauty.  She is the mother of one son.

Sofia Tavera of Oregon City received an award of $800, and her application was forwarded to the Soroptimist NW Region for further consideration.  A SI funded award of $3000 is being presented on April 10th at the NW Region Conference in Bellevue, WA.  Sofia is working towards a criminal justice degree at Clackamas Community College.  She is the mother of two daughters.

The club presented three grants to community organizations:

Children’s Center in Gladstone (www.childrenscenter.cc) received $2,500 to support a pilot project raising community awareness and promoting the protection of girls at risk of falling prey to sex trafficking.  The grant is matched with $2,500 of Children’s Center funds to bring important educational video screenings and candid conversations to audiences. Screenings are tentatively set to start in May 2015.

Clackamas Family Life Skills (www.familylifeskillsoforegon.org) received $1,000 to partially support two to three women in their studies to strengthen their lives and relationships, helping them build stronger families and careers.

Clackamas Women’s Services (www.cwsor.org) of Oregon City received $1,000 to purchase art media supplies used in therapy sessions for adults or children exploring their experiences of domestic violence.  Play therapy for children makes it possible for child survivors of violence to explore trauma in a safe way.

The club fundraises throughout the year with a September Harvest Festival, Christmas Wreath sale and community led events, such as the April 18th event with Five Guys and Fries at both the West Linn and Tigard locations.  See www.soroptimistlowl.org or their Facebook page Soroptimist International of Lake Oswego/West Linn for details.  The club is seeking sponsors and members to help increase the amount of funds available for applications.   The next round of applications will be collected between July and November 2015.

Founded in 2010, Soroptimist International of Lake Oswego/West Linn is part of Soroptimist International of the Americas, an international volunteer organization for business and professional women who work to improve the lives of women and girls, in local communities and throughout the world. Lake Oswego/West Linn members join with almost 95,000 Soroptimists in about 120 countries and territories to contribute time and financial support to community-based projects benefiting women. The Lake Oswego/West Linn club is active with SAVE (Soroptimists Against Violent Environments) as well as continuing efforts in fundraising projects to help local women's shelters.  In addition, the club participates in Soroptimist International of the Americas’ major service project, the Live Your Dream program—cash grants for women seeking to improve their economic situation through additional training and/or education. For more information about how Soroptimist International of Lake Oswego/West Linn improves the lives of women and girls, contact us!