Soroptimist awards $52K in grants, scholarships

Soroptimist International of Ashland awarded $52,100 in grants, scholarships and awards at its Recognition and Awards Luncheon on May 28.

The Oregon Shakespeare Festival's FAIR Experience &

which mentors emerging and early-career theatre professionals with fellowships, assistantships, internships and residencies &

received the largest award of $25,100. Kimiko Shimodo, the FAIR Experience Manager, said FAIR supported 37 individuals last year.

From Helman Elementary School, Principal Susan Hollandsworth and child development specialist Jennifer Egan received an award of $12,500 for the development of a new partnership, "Soroptimist Strong Girls Strong Women."

Individuals were recognized with the following scholarships: Alicia Bulux-Rodas, the $2,000 Ashland High School Scholarship; Ampara Rivera, the $500 Phoenix High School VoTech Award; and Diana Banda, the $500 Ashland High School VoTech Award.

Southern Oregon University Athletic Director Dennis Francois accepted $3,000 on behalf of the outstanding women SOU athletes in each area: Judi Dietz, soccer; Mary Converse, track; Shanna Claflin, volleyball; Alicia Caudill, softball; and Keri Nakamura, basketball.

Soroptimist awarded $2,500 in SOU grants to Sharon Clymer, Julie Lawrence and BreAnne Vinchattle for their scholastic excellence, community focus and professional goals.

Special Soroptimist awards were also presented. The Violet Richardson Award, which honors a young woman between 14 and 17 for her outstanding community service, went to Abbigail Foster. The Women's Opportunity Award honors women heads-of-household training for a profession. Stephanie Diane Bradley, $3,000, and Donna Allen, $1,500, were this year's winners. The Making A Difference for Women Award, honoring a local woman whose projects benefit women and girls, went to Barbara Scott Winkler, the director of Women's Studies at SOU. The Senior Center Foot Care Clinic received a special award of $1,250 by Soroptimist's Health Committee.

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