By Elizabeth Marie Himchak
Soroptimist International of Rancho Bernardo presented a combined $6,500 in awards and grants at its annual awards luncheon.
The March 20 event at The Barrel Room in Rancho Bernardo included presenting three global Soroptimist awards that revolve around the organization’s focus — improving the lives of women and children.
The Violet Richardson Award, designated for a 14- to 17-year-old community volunteer, went to Taylor Laputka. The Ruby Award for an outstanding woman volunteer was presented to Jeeni Criscenzo from Amika, a transitional housing program for female veterans.
The Women’s Opportunity Award, designed to assist a woman with reaching her educational goals, went to Carolina Moreno. She will use it to improve her life and that of her children.
“The (Soroptimist) members are working moms, single and retired women, small-business owners, corporate executives, attorneys, teachers and physicians,” said Sue Callahan, a Soroptimist board member.
According to Callahan, the members’ goals are to improve the lives of women and girls, help women achieve economic and political equality, serve as a global voice for women, provide outstanding leadership development opportunities for women and enhance world peace and understanding.
Grants were given to organizations that further the Soroptimists’ goals.
• The Center for Community Solutions received a grant to help it provide a retreat for sexual assault survivors. Edith Glassey represented the center at the luncheon.
• Palomar Health Lifeline Medical Alert Services — represented by Jennifer Allen — received a grant so it can provide personal help buttons to women in need.
• The Bilateral Safety Corridor Coalition received a grant supporting its efforts to assist victims of human trafficking. Marisa Ugarte was the coalition’s representative.
• Quaker Bolivia Link — represented by Ken Barrett and Robert Vincent — was given a grant so it can continue to bring fresh, running water to remote villages in Bolivia.
• Amigos de los Californios received a grant supporting its dental and health clinics in Baja California Sur. Founders Sue and Bill Evarts could not attend the luncheon due to their organization conducting a clinic at that time.
Soroptimist International of Rancho Bernardo meets from noon to 1:30 p.m. on the second and third Wednesday of each month, except in July and December, at Carver’s Steaks & Chops in Rancho Bernardo. For membership details, contact the club at SIofRB@gmail.com or visit its website at www.