April 2014 Award Recipients

During the month of April we gave away over $2500 to deserving woman in our area - women working to get their lives on track and women making a difference in the lives of others.

This is what Soroptimist is all about!

The following is a recap of the wonderful work our recipients are doing to change the lives of others and the world.

Soroptimst Ruby Award: For Women Helping Women

Recognizes and honors the first federation president, Ruby Lee Minar.  A ruby is also a deep red gemstone associated with wisdom, importance, vitality, strength, vivacity, power and love:  all words embodying the strong and compassionate women who are our award recipients.  The Soroptimist Ruby Award honors women who have worked to improve the lives of women and girls through their professional and/or volunteer work.

Chico Food Project

20140416_125109Fran Kenkel
Fran grew up in San Rafael, Ca. and moved to Chico in 1977. She has three grown sons. She completed her degree in Psychology at CSUC and later worked for Youth and Family Programs until retiring three years ago. Looking for a project, she met Wendy and Elena in 2011 and the Chico Food Project was born. Community response has been wonderful! She truly feels fortunate to call Chico "my hometown."

Wendy Smith
Wendy grew up in the San Fernando Valley, lived in Lake Tahoe for 8 years and arrived in Chico in 1985. She completed her teaching credential at CSUC and married Matt Smith in 1988. She worked as a first grade teacher in Oroville and opened a Waldorf inspired preschool called Laurel and Lavender. She has 3 children, Caroline who is 15, and the twins, Ben and Ian, who are 13. In 2011 she met Francine and Elena who also had a desire to help the hungry and together they brought the Chico Food Project to life.

Betty Boles Award

New 2Recognizes women over forty years of age who have completed, or are in the process of completing a training program, and who are re-entering the workplace.

Monica Thomas
Monica was nominated by Shelly Watson of the Jesus Center.  Over the past year Monica has completely changed her life.  Monica has maintained a positive attitude.  After success at the Sabbath House, Monica was able to move on to the House of Hope.  While there she naturally progressed into the position of on-site manager.

The staff was so impressed with her people skills, that they are currently training her to become a paid on-call backup worker for the Sabbath House.  Monica had worked for Wal-Mart during the holiday season, and was then laid off.NEW 1

Her work ethic was such that she is on the top of their re-hire list.  Monica is still working to improve herself, by working on her AA in Human and Behavioral Science.  It is her desire to give back to her community.  Shelly (pictured below Monica) nominated Monica “because of who Monica was in the past, who she is today, and what she plans to do in the future.”

Violet Richardson Award

20140416_125219The Soroptimist Violet Richardson Award is a recognition program for young women ages 14-17 engaged in volunteer action within their communities or schools.  The award is given to young women whose activities make the community and world a better place.

Kiana Sanchez, Chico Teen Center

Kiana is a graduate of the Boys & Girls Club's job mentoring programs with Crush, TJ Maxx and Sycamore Glen. "The opportunities I've experienced through the Boys & Girls Club have helped me stay focused, keep on track towards a path of going to college and follow my dreams and goals," Kiana said.

Kiana received a $500 scholarship towards her education, and Soroptimist will donated $500 to the Boys & Girls Club.