Each year, Soroptimist of Anacortes offers the following Awards and Grants to women in our community:
Live Your Dream Award: Given to assist 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.
Violet Richardson Award: Named in honor of the President of the first Soroptimist club who had a lifelong commitment to volunteerism. It is given to a high school age girl who is pursuing her leadership aspirations through volunteer service
Women Helping Women Grant: Available to women living in Skagit county to help them pay for classes or special training to further enhance their skills either as a working professional or as a volunteer, to allow them to continue helping other women
Woman of Distinction Award: Recognizes a woman who is an outstanding community leader and role model for other women.
The following applications are currently available:
None at this time. Check back to find out when the next applications will be posted.
This year’s Awardees are from left: Marge Thomas, Kathleen Wolff, Sarah Minter, Erica Thomas, Dee Doyle, Whitney Hogge, Stephanie Rice and Sarah Vaux. Not in the picture: Amy Heidecker.
Marge Thomas is our Woman of Distinction Awardee. As a school counselor and then Director of the Career and Technology program at Anacortes High School, Marge was a dynamic force in helping students determine their career and future education goals. She is a charter member and long term co-President of Soroptimist International of Fidalgo Island, also a founding member of the Skagit Coalition Against Trafficking, a moving force behind Food at Fidalgo Elementary for hungry kids. She has spent her life making a difference for women and children and in her retirement, she continues to work tirelessly to raise funds for cancer treatments not covered by insurance and has given hundreds of presentations to various community groups to raise awareness and fight human trafficking. Marge is unbelievably generous and no one is more devoted to the success of kids, especially disadvantaged kids. She puts her time, effort and money making a difference—a true Woman of Distinction.
Sarah Minter is our Live Your Dream Awardee.
Sarah is a single mother of three children who works full time as a Head Start teacher in Anacortes. She is a part time student at Skagit Valley College working towards her transfer degree for Western Washington University where she will major in Education with emphasis in Special Ed. Sarah states: “My kids (ages 17, 15 and 11) are what motivate me; they have been a support system and I thrive on teaching them by example. They have seen me go from being a stay at home mom with a 9th grade education, in an unstable marriage, to getting my GED and working toward my goal of becoming an advocate for special needs children and their families.” Sarah was almost ready to give up on finishing college because she had exhausted all sources of funding for her education. She thought she was done! Her Live Your Dream Award changed all that and now she is on track to finish her transfer degree in the winter quarter of 2018.
Our Violet Richardson Awardees are:
Sally Vaux is a mentor, tutor and an active student leader. She works with the Seahawk Athletic Booster Association designing media presentations, photographing students and events and helping with fundraisers. She is co-editor in Chief of the Anacortes High School yearbook and she volunteers her time as a girls’ volleyball coach for the Anacortes Parks and Rec Department.
Whitney Hogge has represented the students of Anacortes for 2 years on the Anacortes School District Board of Directors. She also founded the Family, Career and Community Leaders of America Club at Anacortes High School aimed at helping students in leadership development, career planning and participation in their community. Whitney has traveled to Ecuador and Peru working with people to teach them about gardening and small animal farming. This summer, she will travel to Thailand and Nepal to serve youth living in poverty.
Our Women Helping Women Grant winners are:
Amy Heidecker works as a mental health counselor to adolescents and majority of her clients are teen girls who struggle with anxiety, depression, suicidal tendencies and substance abuse. Amy’s grant will fund the first of a three module certification program in chemical dependency treatment. She continues to work in Anacortes, despite other opportunities elsewhere, as part of her ministry and service to our community.
Stephanie Rice is a full time student at Skagit Valley College completing her prerequisites towards a Nursing Program. She hopes to work as a Nursing Assistant in the Birth Center at Island Hospital. Her grant will fund her certification towards becoming a Childbirth Educator.
Erica Thomas is a shelter assistant at the Anacortes Family Center. Her grant would fund her attending training for an EXCEL class at the Bellingham Technical College to allow her to develop additional skills for her job.
Dee Doyle is an art teacher of both acrylic and watercolor painting at the Anacortes and Burlington Senior Centers. She volunteers in local schools, docents at MONA, and is involved in the Brigid Collins Family Support Center in Mt. Vernon. Through her classes, she allows her mostly women students to achieve self actualization through art and face challenges in their lives with more confidence. Her grant will allow her to take a more advanced training class with Sterling Edwards, a nationally recognized artist and teacher.
Kathleen Wolff leads the Ukulele group at the Anacortes Senior Center. She is a self taught musician, but obviously a natural leader as there are about 50 people in the group—mostly women. Playing the ukulele enhances eye/hand coordination, contributes to the players’ well-being and keeps them young. Her grant will allow her to attend the 2017 CENTRUM, a ukulele workshop where instructors from all over the world teach, lead, educate, and continue to propagate the joys of playing the ukulele. What she learns, she hopes to bring back and share with the group in Anacortes.