The Soroptimist Ruby Award annually acknowledges women who are working to improve the lives of women and girls through their personal or professional activities. Four Rogue Valley Soroptimist International clubs have selected their Ruby Award winner for 2012.
Malinda Wood is the Ruby Award winner from SI/Ashland. The office manager at Helman Elementary School for the past five years, Wood helps manage the Soroptimist Strong Girls Strong Women program, which includes giving books to primary grade girls; managing a Lunch Buddy Program with 34 volunteers who mentor 44 girls; and scheduling the fourth and fifth grade girls after-school enrichment program. Malinda has been volunteering in the Ashland community for more than 30 years.
Debbie Williams has worked with United Way in many capacities. In 2006, she established WiLL, Women Living Leadership, to improve women and children's lives by mobilizing the caring power of women. WiLL has raised almost $400,000 for programs to support women and children in transition. Debbie and her husband are interested in anything that helps children. She is the Ruby Award winner for SI/Medford.
Victoria Mountain Snow, the SI/North Valley Ruby Award winner, was the founding member and Artistic Director of a dance troupe formed in 1992. Victoria's passion has resulted in Ballet Folklorico which attracts young girls and supports their growth into "strong, creative, assertive women who are sure of who they are, moving ahead with their education and being active in the community." She has received two community recognition awards.
In 2003, Kerrie Davis and her daughter ran into a young lady who happened to go to school with Kerrie's daughter. She was sitting on a bench at the mall crying. Left by her family with nowhere to go, Kerrie and her daughter provided her a home. Since that time, Kerrie has had more than 20 young women stay at her home. Kerrie is now the board chairwoman of Hearts with A Mission and the Ruby Award winner for SI/Rogue Valley Sunrise.
These women's efforts promote the issues that are important to Soroptimists. They have identified and focused on a need in their communities which has significantly contributed to improving the lives of women and girls. Their award includes monetary support to the charity of their choice.
If you know of a woman who deserves to be honored for her work to better the lives of women and girls in our community, whether professionally or as a volunteer, please contact Kathy Garrett Canape at 541-482-6288 for an application, or visit www.soroptimistrv.org.