BOUNTIFUL - Teens heading to Girls’ State, Ecuadorian women in need of clothing, mothers getting their education and a grandmother needing a home, were helped along their disparate paths by the women of Soroptimists International of Bountiful.
The local chapter met on April 10 to present awards and donations to a number of women and women’s organizations.
“I’m just so, so grateful,” said Mirna Fernilius, who works to bring needed supplies to the women of Ecuador. “I couldn’t do that without you. It is helping immensely.”
“I’m inspired,” said Megan Palmer, whose involvement in Girls’ State is being sponsored by the club. “You do so many wonderful things for the community.”
Through a series of fundraisers held throughout the year, members of the international women’s organization earn money to share with those in need.
Members hold a “junque” sale in June, a fashion show in the fall and a home tour at Christmas time.
This year, $15,575 was dispersed, an increase of $2,675 over last year’s donations. Amounts ranged from $100 to $2,500.
Lisa Higley and Camrie Gibson were presented gifts to help with their educations.
Students Yvonne Ward and Samantha Mulder received the Violet Richardson Awards. Yvonne received the award for setting up a science camp to help girls interested in engineering and math, Samantha for establishing a drum line at Judge Memorial High.
Organizations receiving awards included the Ecuador Project, the Bountiful Community Food Pantry and Habitat for Humanity.
Other awards were presented to the Literacy Action Center, which is set up to help illiterate adults; The Sharing Place, a non-profit organization that provides support to grieving families; the Cancer Wellness House, which offers support for families dealing with cancer; and the Mark Youth Event, a gathering organized to benefit widows and their children.
Megan Palmer and Emily Fox will be attending Girls’ State with the help of Soroptimists, and Phyllis Robins received a monetary donation to help fund a humanitarian trip to Vietnam, where she’ll be assisting medical teams as they take clinics to those in need.
In a surprise announcement, Gail Cheever, secretary of the local organization, was named 2014 Soroptimist of the Year for the Bountiful chapter.
The name of the organization means “best for women,” and that is the aim of the local club, which also gave over $2,000 to its parent organization to help stop trafficking and for disaster relief.