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Soroptimists honor five

Five Rogue Valley Soroptimist International clubs honored winners of the Ruby Award at a March 17 reception. The award is presented to women whose efforts have contributed to the improvement of women's and girls' lives.

Award winners at the club level are eligible for additional awards at other levels of the organization. The finalist at the top level receives a $5,000 donation to the charitable organization of her choice.

Winners were:

  • Deltra Ferguson, coordinator of the Women's Resource Center of Southern Oregon University, who has led the Women's Resource Center to financial solvency, generating more than $10,000 through the SOU Foundation in support of the center's programs focused on safety, health, creativity, social change and coalition building.
  • Janie Stewart, program manager for the Lithia Springs Girls Program of Community Works. Stewart was honored for making a difference in the lives of hundreds of girl clients and dozens of young staff members in her 19 years at Lithia Springs.
  • Teri DeSilva, a former Ashland police officer and the first female defensive tactics instructor for the Ashland Police Department. DeSilva had a law enforcement career for 25 years, and the last 16 years shared her story with women and girls, teaching, mentoring and empowering them to be aware of their personal safety.
  • Lisa Meadow, a certified drug and alcohol counselor with OnTrack. She has been employed at OnTrack for five years and has designed and implemented specialized programming for women involved with the child welfare system and facilitates OnTrack's Day Treatment Program.
  • Kate Newgard, a nurse navigator for the Leila J. Eisenstein Breast Cancer Center at Providence Medford Medical Center, has helped more than 375 women in the last three years. She helps local cancer patients and their families access medical care and advice, community resources, support groups and other needs.

— Staff reports