The members of Soroptimist International of Marysville presented the club's annual awards at a recent breakfast meeting. Left to right are Justine Saxton, Violet Richardson award recipient; past president Rosie Reynaud; Heather Folden, the Women of Opportunity award recipient; and Ardyce Johnson, who received the Ruby Award.
The Marysville chapter of Soroptimist International, a women's service club, presented its prestigious annual monetary awards to three deserving local women at the organization's June breakfast meeting.
Heather Folden, a single mother of two who is working to earn a degree in nursing, is the 2011 recipient of the Women's Opportunity Award.
The award program is designed to help support women who serve as the primary wage earners for their families, providing them with the financial resources to offset costs associated with their efforts to attain higher education or additional skills and training. The award of $1,000 can be used for tuition, books, childcare, carfare or any other education-related expense.
Since 1972, Soroptimist International of the Americas has funded the Women's Opportunity Awards program. The program begins on the club level, where award amounts vary. Club level winners become eligible for additional awards in the region level of the organization. In addition, Soroptimist grants three $10,000 finalist awards each year. Since the program's inception, an estimated $15 million has been disbursed, providing educational assistance to approximately 25,000 women.
Justine Saxton is the 2011 recipient of Soroptimist International of Marysville's Violet Richardson Award. This award is given to young women aged 14 to 17 whose volunteer activities make the community and world a better place.
The award is in honor of the president of the first Soroptimist club, Violet Richardson, a woman of action, whose indomitable spirit and sense of personal responsibility were demonstrated by her lifelong commitment to volunteering in her community. The award-winner receives $500, with a matching donation of $500 given to the charity of her choice.
Justine, a student at Monroe High School who has volunteered at Kloz 4 Kidz for the past two years, chose the local nonprofit organization for the contribution on her behalf.
The club's 2011 Ruby Award, recognizing women who work to improve the lives of women and girls through their professional or volunteer work, was presented to Ardyce Johnson.
The award is named in honor of the national organization's first president, Ruby Lee Minar, and also reflects the properties associated with the ruby gemstone-wisdom, importance, vitality, strength, vivacity and love.
Johnson is currently president of her church's women's group and a regular volunteer at Kloz 4 Kidz and Cocoon House, who also spends time reading to students at Kellogg-Marsh Elementary and participating in mission trips. She donated her monetary award of $500 to Kloz 4 Kidz and the Koinonia Women's Organization.
Cutline: The members of Soroptimist International of Marysville presented the club's 2011 Women Making a Difference award at a recent breakfast meeting. Pictured left to right are Justine Saxton, Violet Richardson Award recipient; Rosie Reynaud, Marysville Soroptimist past president; Heather Folden, the Women of Opportunity Recipient; and Ardyce Johnson, who received the Ruby Award.