Eureka’s Soroptimist International recently hosted their annual rewards program through Zoom. Kris Chorbi, SI Eureka member and current Governor of the Soroptimist Founding Region, chaired the event.
The theme of the 2021 program was “Dream BIG for your future”. The program is held annually to honor women and girls who strive to improve their lives, the lives of their families and their communities. The winners each received certificates of recognition from local leaders, a copy of the book “The Moment of Lift: How Empowering Women Changes the World” by Melinda Gates and a $ 100 Amazon gift card, in addition to the amount of each prize. .
The $ 1,000 Live Your Dream Awards – which help women who provide the primary source of financial support to their families by giving them the resources they need to improve their education, skills and employment prospects – were awarded to Ebelyn Miranda, Brittnee Thompson, Lori Squillace and Nancy Hurtado.
Miranda is a single mother of one who is completing her professional training in PSI property and casualty insurance. She currently works for Stan Smith Insurance in Eureka. Thompson studies early childhood education at the College of the Redwoods and is a single mother of one. Squillace is a 51-year-old divorced mother of a teenage son who is studying to become a holistic health practitioner at Quantum University. Hurtado is a divorced mother of two young children and is studying for a bachelor’s degree in physical / health education at the International Sports Sciences Association.
The $ 1,000 Violet Richardson Prize – which honors young women ages 14-18 for their volunteer actions such as fighting drugs, crime and violence, cleaning up the environment and fighting discrimination and poverty – was awarded to Klayre Barres of Eureka High School. She is the co-founder and vice-president of the “S” club of the school. Barres was also chosen as the district winner and received an additional $ 1,000 from the Soropotimist founding region.
The Ruby Awards – which recognize women who, through their personal or professional activities, work to improve the lives of women and girls – have been awarded to Aileen Bartscht, Katelyn Graeser, Sarah Fox and Byrd Lochtie.
Bartscht has helped distribute toys to needy children in Humboldt, Trinity, Mendocino and Del Norte counties for more than five years. She also started a project to make blankets and beanies for local charities such as the Women’s Rescue Mission. Graeser and Fox are the co-head coaches of women’s softball at Eureka High. On the softball field, they encourage girls to play even if they have never picked up softball before, and they combine teamwork and team cohesion with plenty of drills. Lochtie has been a member of the Humboldt County League of Voters for over 50 years. She is active in the Girl Scouts program, the Humboldt Area Foundation and now oversees the Human Rights Commission, the County Board of Supervisors’ human trafficking grant.
Danelle Tegarden concluded the annual awards program with a special presentation on the Founder Region Fellowship, which aims to advance the status of women through financial support to women in the final stages of their doctorate. This project awards grants to selected women attending universities within the founding region. Each nominated scholar represents $ 1,000 in donation to the Soroptimist founding region scholarship program.
Eureka’s Soroptimist International presented Denise Young with this special honor in recognition of her continued financial support to the club through its PG&E twinning program.
To learn more about Eureka’s Soroptimist, visit the club’s Facebook page. Right now, the group meets on Thursdays at noon via Zoom.