Soroptimists of Fallon Awards

  • 2022-07-09, 09:47 AM (update 2022-07-09, 09:53 AM)
  • Jo Petteruti
Soroptimists of Fallon Awards Kaitlin O'Keefe poses with some of the award recipients during an SI of Fallon social on June 28 at Pioneer Park. Photo by Jo Petteruti

Soroptimist International of Fallon awarded almost $24,000 to local women, girls, and organizations that support women and girls.  Just over $17,000 of that was generated by the group's fundraising efforts over the past year. Additionally, a little over $6,800 came from the Margaret Oser Fund for Women, a philanthropic fund that makes grants annually to organizations that directly benefit the lives of women.

The SI of Fallon ladies had their work cut out to award all of the monies from their 2022 fiscal year. They even posted notices on Facebook encouraging applicants to apply. SI of Fallon President Stephanie Alexander said of the awards, “The community was so generous, and we're happy that we're able to give out so much money.”

The group held a social on June 28 at Pioneer Park to celebrate the recipients, with some in attendance to receive their awards in person.

Three high school students were awarded scholarships for college tuition. Maiya Swan and Madelin Stephens each received a $1,000 Dream It Be It scholarship. Jaylee McEwen received a $1,500 Frances Aguirre scholarship toward attendance at the University of Montana Western. Maiya will use her award toward attendance at the University of Arizona, and Madelin will use hers for the University of Nebraska – Lincoln.

Wendy Bullock, Jenirae Sota, Amanda Vetter, Celeste Hopkins, and Analece Lammel each received $1,000 to assist with the cost of their college fees and books. As SI of Fallon's President-Elect Kaitlin O'Keefe presented each of those in attendance with their award check, she said “Congratulations. We are so excited to help you all continue your education and we're really proud that you are doing that.”

Jessica Homer Counseling was awarded $3,000 for an eight-girl eight-week juvenile dependency, mediation, and group therapy program, with O'Keefe saying, “This will help these girls get the mental health treatment they need, and to get tools to better themselves for the future.”

Other donations and awards included $350 for camping trip food for Cub Scout Pack 38 and $350 to sponsor one scout for that trip. Carri Arcoraci accepted the awards for Pack 38, saying “We started accepting girls and became a family pack over a year ago. We're hoping to expand beyond the four girls that we have right now. We are supported by fundraising and dues, so this will help families that cannot afford their dues.”

Oasis Academy received $1,700 to sponsor one-half of a girl's agriculture and ecology trip, Fallon Youth Soccer League received $420 to sponsor 7 girls for this season, and Churchill Library Association received $500 for a local woman author event for girls.

In March 2022 Jessica Guerrero and Heidi Fait each received a $1,000 Live Your Dream Award. Susan Imelli received a $200 Ruby Women Helping Women Award which she in turn donated to Room for Ruth.

SI of Fallon distributed the Oser grant funds to New Frontier/Room for Ruth, Domestic Violence Intervention, Students in Transition, the Juvenile Probation Office, and the Pregnancy Care Center.

O'Keefe said of the award to JPO, “Julie Benninghove and I do a lot of work with JPO through the District Court, and we see Julia Mello frequently. We know many of the programs they run for girls in our community that need help. The girls have gotten into some trouble but they're in programs to help better themselves so that once they reach adulthood, they are set on the right path. We reached out to JPO to offer funds to support one of those programs.” JPO's Julia Mello described how these funds would be used. “We chose a Leadership in Resiliency program, a community-based summer program that helps kids with team building and problem-solving, by having them perform activities in the community, and will fund the girls in that program. We also have a program with our facility that's geared toward getting girls the hygiene products and other items they need.”

After congratulating those in attendance, Alexander said, “We had a very successful year, and couldn't have done this without our community. We're just so happy that we can help.”



Jo Petteruti



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