SI FC announces events and celebrates the joy of our Soroptimist successes on this blog. Welcome!

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Soroptimist Awards Near $20,000

Northern Colorado’s Soroptimist club culminates this year’s service efforts with distribution of awards, grants, and contributions nearing $20,000. The local Soroptimist club commits 80% of their service funds to projects in northern Colorado. The additional 20% goes to global projects.

“We’re delighted to see our service funds help women and girls throughout the lifespan” says Carolyn Wade, club president. “We’re paying it forward by donating to community partners with proven programs.”

Those accepting local donations this year include: Homeless Gear, Project Self-Sufficiency, the Women’s Center of Larimer County, and Sexual Assault Victim Advocate Canter (SAVA). Donations were previously distributed to the PVH Soroptimist Navigator Fund, Hearts and Horses, Journey Conference for Young Girls, Crossroads Safehouse for Transitional Housing, and Rocky Mountain High School’s Adopt a Family program.

Those accepting global donations include: 1) Help Uganda, 2) Children of Peace International for Remaking a Life--Capacity Building Workshops, 3) Project SIerra—a Family and a Future—helping women in Sierra Leon, 3) Soroptimist of the Americas for Disaster Relief and 4) Soroptimist Rocky Mountain Region for rehabilitation in Vietnam. Donations were previously distributed to the Soroptimist International (2010)President’s Appeal--Funding the Future: Soroptimists for Education and Leadership, and Soroptimist of the Americas in honor of this year’s local Ruby Award Recipient, Sister Mary Alice Murphy.

Soroptimist scholarships and grants totally $4500 were previously distributed to help local women live their dreams. Those donations can be used for any expenses related to a woman’s pursuit of schooling.

Saturday, February 19, 2011

SIFC Recognizes The Human Bean

President Carolyn honored Frank Sherman, and Jenae Nequette of The Human Bean during our 2011 Living Her Dream awards. During October 2010, The Human Bean collected and donated $5000 to the PVH Soroptimist Navigator Fund to help northern Colorado women and girls.

Thank you for helping improve the lives of women and girls!

Left to Right Above: SIFC's Carolyn Wade greets Human Bean's Frank Sherman and Jenae Nequette

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Women's Opportunity Awards Improve Lives of Women and Families

Soroptimist's Women's Opportunity Awards offer women heads of household, who provide the primary source of financial support for their families, the opportunity to achieve their career goals. Women's Opportunity Awards are for women who are attending, or have been accepted to, a vocational/skills training program, or an undergraduate degree program for a first degree. These awards are not tied to scholarship and may be used for any expenses related to educational pursuits. SIFC presented one $1000 award to Karissa and one $500 award to Lisa. Local winners advance to region competition for two $3000 and one $5000 award. Region awardees compete for three $10,000 federation awards.

Also shown above are recipients of Soroptimist's Ruby, and SIFC's Living Her Dream Awards.

Local Girls Recognized by SIFC for Volunteer Efforts

The Soroptimist Violet Richardson Award recognizes young women for volunteer efforts. The 2011 Violet Richardson Award is awarded to Kali Glenn. Matching cash awards were presented to Glenn and her volunteer agency, Rocky Mountain High School Activity Fund. The money will be used towards the creation of a cancer center in Fort Collins.  According to Tyler Thomas, the faculty head of this program, the money will also be matched by the Houska family (of Houska Garage fame) and PVH, so SIFC’s $500 donation will become $1500!

An honorable mention is awarded to Hannah Ekblad. Hannah shares SIFC's donation witho the Food Bank of Larimer County where she volunteers each summer.

Jennifer Jones Receives SIFC's 2011 Living Her Dream Award

The LIVING HER DREAM AWARD was established in 2006 by SIFC to honor and support a local women who is actively pursuing a dream. Living Her Dream Award applicants hold a high school diploma or GED, identify a dream, take steps to achieve that dream, demonstrate a passion and plan to live that dream, and work for the betterment of women and/or girls.

Jennifer Jone’s dream is to serve as the executive director for a nonprofit agency offering violence prevention and intervention services to women and girls. As with many of today’s young women, Jennifer’s dream has been side-lined from time to time; She has encountered barriers, yet has never given up hope. Jennifer has purpose, commitment, experience, empathy and passion.

One of her references sums it up quite nicely. “There is something about Jennifer that makes you want to be a better person. Maybe it is her passion for human rights, or maybe it is her rare combination of beauty, intellect and eloquence that brings out a person’s best, but I know that just sharing an office with her, I found myself striving to push my potential, take pride in what I do, and ultimately find the courage to finally quit making excuses and pursue my dreams,” writes Kimi Marin.

Jennifer earned a GED and began working toward her goal by pursuing a Bachelor of Social Work degree, volunteering as a sexual assault victim advocate, and interning for a domestic violence shelter. Upon graduation, she became a women’s advocate for Crossroads Safehouse. After six months she was offered the role of shelter director for the agency and served in that capacity for three years before accepting her current position as Director of Development and Sustainability. Currently, Jennifer is a single mom, enrolled as a full-time MBA student at Colorado State University, and is working full-time for a domestic violence victim advocacy agency.

Jennifer has been active in issues involving women and girls since 2004. She volunteered as a sexual assault victim advocate and as a mentor for a seven-year-old girl who had been abused by her father and exposed to domestic violence against her mother. As an intern with Crossroads Safehouse, she responded to the scene of domestic violence crimes to offer support and information to victims and volunteered as a legal advocate to accompany victims during court hearings and explain the criminal justice process. Since graduation, she has engaged in activities ranging from providing teen dating violence prevention education in schools and engaging faith groups in the response to domestic violence to helping to complete a capital campaign to establish a new Safehouse in Larimer County.

In addition to her academic and professional activities, one of Jennifer’s most significant commitments is working toward the betterment of women and girls through parenting her son. Jennifer states, “I know that to be successful in our work to improve the quality of life for females, we cannot disenfranchise or exclude men and boys. By fostering empathy among boys and modeling respect for all genders, we create a united effort in ending violence against women.”

Jennifer Jones could easily be a poster child for SIFC’s Living Her Dream Award. “Jennifer’s passion has been and continues to be the improvement in quality of life for women and girls. Her ability to overcome obstacles to pursue her passion and to model independence and self-sufficiency allow her to relate to women who need encouragement and inspiration,” adds Vicki Lutz. Fort Collins Soroptimists look forward to her success. As the 2011 recipient, she receives a check in the amount of $1,000 to help her Live Her Dream.

Woman and Daughter Benefit from 2nd Place Living Her Dream Award

Michelle Pace, and daughter Mia, receive SIFC's 2nd Place Living Her Dream Award
"It was great meeting you and all the other Soroptimist ladies. What a wonderful organization. I am truly honored to have received such an award. I would be happy for you use my name for in the media. I want EVERYONE to know!!":

Sister Mary Alice Murphy Receives Local Soroptimist Ruby Award

Sister Mary Alice Murphy received the local Soroptimist Ruby Award: For Women Helping Women, during the annual Soroptimist International of Fort Collins Living Her Dream awards ceremony, February 15th at the Hilton Hotel. The Soroptimist Ruby Award honors women who, through their professional or personal efforts, are making extraordinary differences in the lives of women or girls. Their work has had a significant impact, and also inspires and encourages other women.

Sister Mary Alice personifies the Soroptimist Ruby Award. She is not satisfied to merely raise awareness about the needs of girls and women, she does something about it; she delivers. She truly is an inspiration. Highlights from her nomination, submitted by Anita J. Hildebrand, include the following.

1989--While Sister Mary Alice was the Executive Director of Catholic Charities Northern, The Mission, was opened. The Mission is a night shelter for homeless with separate facilities for the increasing number of women and families who seek shelter there.

1992--Sister Mary Alice founded CARE Housing, a non-profit organization, providing affordable rental housing and supporting services to working families. Approximately 85% of the residents are single women with children.

2002--Sister Mary Alice saw the need to help working families make it through the month and she, along collaborated to form the Homelessness Prevention Initiative (HPI), a non-profit which provides emergency rental assistance to renters who need help to stay in their homes. Many of HPI’s clients are single women with children.

2010--The Sister Mary Alice Murphy Center for Hope (Center for Hope) opened. “It is a place for people who are ready to make life changes to overcome their current situation, and who need some help doing so. The mission of the Center for Hope is to help these families and individuals achieve stability and long-term self-sufficiency.” Sister Mary Alice worked tirelessly for “this resource center for families and individuals who are homeless or on the brink of homelessness.”

2011--Sister Mary Alice is a consultant for the United Way for services to the homeless. Her focus is helping people obtain services and benefits to which they are legally entitled. The paperwork required to obtain benefits can be formidable to a woman who has no place to store documentation or a woman who has never had to seek help before. Sister Mary Alice is an eloquent and compassionate voice.

Sister Mary Alice’s name has been submitted to Soroptimist International, Rocky Mountain Region. If selected at region, she will go on to the federation level. The winner of the federation-level Ruby Award will receive a $5,000 donation to the charitable organization of her choice.