Soroptomist presents annual service grants |

Soroptomist presents annual service grants

Nancy Oliver Hayden, Tribune Community Editor
Jim Grant/Tahoe TribuneNaval Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps Commander Matt Williams and NJROTC Cadets Dusty Torres, Aaron Darth, Luis Gomez and J.T. Reece are presented a $2,000 grant by SISLT President Cheryl Chambers.

Members of Soroptimist International of South Lake Tahoe worked hard for the $70,000 they presented at the 2002-2003 Community Service Grants luncheon — and they enjoyed giving it away to 30 deserving organizations.

The service club for business and professional women on Jan. 29 presented checks to representatives from each of the grant recipients at Harrah’s Lake Tahoe. The sixth annual event was opened by President Cheryl Chambers, who welcomed the 280 Soroptimist members, city and county officials, grant recipients and supportive community members.

Ann Swallow, past president of Soroptimist International of South Lake Tahoe, was mistress of ceremonies.

“After years in the making, Soroptimist International of South Lake Tahoe has been granted nonprofit status and is now officially a tax deductible foundation 501(3)(C). You’ll notice today that awards are being allocated in the foundation’s name. The desire of the club is that with this designation fund-raising efforts will produce even greater results in years to come, so that we can provide even greater benefits to the people of this community,” Swallow said.

“Our recipients are as diverse as the community in which they live. So, the awards granted are in keeping with that diversity. For instance, this community’s dollars have provided for needed replacement equipment for a softball team, helped the local women’s shelter continue to provide services and education to abused women and their children, funded a program to provide ice sleds for the disabled and have given a hand to the local Special Olympics team. In addition to these awards, we also are able to fund more than $24,000 in local scholarships.”

“In a time of economic uncertainty and “belt-tightening” Soroptimists challenged this community to dig deeply in supporting people and programs, which I believe are at the core of what South Lake Tahoe is all about. Well, the community understood the challenge, and you put down your hard-earned $60, and some cases much more, to attend our annual food and wine tasting event. Vintners and local restaurants stepped up to the plate and provided staff and exceptional food for more than 1,000 people — all at little or no cost to Soroptimists. This is community. People joining together for a common purpose — in this case, to provide its citizens opportunities toward fulfillment of life dreams, of better health and well-being, in a town that shows it cares,” Swallow said.

Earlene Miller, chair of the allocations committee, along with the other committee members, Barbara Klein, Karen Kurtzman, Nancy Hayden and Norma Smith, introduced the recipients and presented grants to representatives from the 30 organizations. As each recipient was announced a Presentation Points display prepared by Peg Kortes was projected on a large screen behind the podium.

The funding allocation process was instituted during the 1996-97 fiscal year to ensure the club’s limited funds would be channeled to areas of most need, while conforming to the mission statement. “Soroptimist International of South Lake Tahoe is an organization for business and professional women dedicated to improving the quality of life in our community and throughout the world by providing service.”

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