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Soroptomists issue grants, scholarships

The Soroptimist International Club of Lake Oswego/West Linn recently held its fourth annual Awards & Grants Night at Holy Names Heritage Center on the Marylhurst University campus. Six awards and three grants were presented this year, to young women volunteers, single mothers attending post-secondary school and agencies serving women and children.

This year’s Violet Richardson Award of $250 was given to Samantha Reed, a junior at West Linn High School, for her volunteer work at Camp Yakety Yak in Lake Oswego, which serves children with autism spectrum disorder and other developmental disabilities.

The club issued Live Your Dream awards to Mirinda Martinez and Sofia Tavera this year. 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. T

Tavera of Oregon City received an award of $800; she is working toward a criminal justice degree at Clackamas Community College. Her application was forwarded to the Soroptimist NW Region for further consideration for an additional $3,000 award, and she won. She is the mother of two daughters.

The club presented grants to Children’s Center, Clackamas Family Life Skills and Clackamas Women’s Services. 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. It is seeking sponsors and members to increase the amount of funds available for applications. The next round of applications will be collected between July and November 2015.

Founded in 2010, SI 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. 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. Visit www.soroptimistlowl.org or the Facebook page Soroptimist International of Lake Oswego/West Linn for details or call club president-elect Pam Banning at 503-534-3090.

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