Algona Soroptimists take applications for two awards

ALGONA – Soroptimist International of Algona is now taking applications for two different awards.

The Women’s Opportunity Awards are for women who serve as the primary wage earners for their families and seek financial assistance to go back to school. The Violet Richardson Award is for a woman between ages 14 and 17 who makes the community a better place through leadership and volunteer efforts.

Since 1972 the Women’s Opportunity Awards program has provided women who serve as primary wage earners with the financial resources to offset costs associated with their efforts to attain higher education or additional skills and training. The award can be used for tuition, books, childcare, car fare or any other education-related expense.

Applications for the Opportunity Award are available at the Algona Public Library, Iowa Lakes Community College sites, Iowa Central Community College sites, Iowa Lakes Community College sites, North Iowa Area Community College, or online at Completed applications must be returned to Soroptimist International of Algona by Dec. 16.

The Algona club will provide a $500 cash grant to its award recipient, who will then advance to the Soroptimist North Central Region level, where one winner will receive $5,000. That winner goes on to the international level where three women will receive $10,000 awards.

This is the Algona club’s major service project.

The Violet Richardson Award is for a woman who volunteers in efforts such as fighting drugs, crime and violence, cleaning up the environment, and working to end discrimination and poverty. Volunteer actions that benefit women and girls are particularly valued.

Applicants must be women from 14 to 17 years of age and engaged in volunteer activity. The ideal candidate has demonstrated initiative in both identifying a problem and trying to solve it, and has had significant or noteworthy accomplishments as a volunteer.

The winner will receive a $300 award, and $100 for her volunteer group. Local winners become eligible for one of 28 $1,000 awards; one finalist will be chosen from those 28 for an additional award.

Applications are due Dec. 1, and are available from area schools, churches, YMCA and the Algona Public Library. Send completed applications to Tania Wilgen, 603 S. Thorington St., Algona, IA 50511; or Becky Shellabarger, 1902 Lucas St., Algona, IA 50511.

Soroptimist International of Algona is a volunteer service organization for business and professional women dedicated to improving the lives of women and girls in local communities and throughout the world. Algona members join with almost 100,000 Soroptimists in about 120 countries and territories to contribute financial support to community-based projects benefiting women.

For more information on the opportunity award call Vickie Roeber at 295-9445 or Joan Fitzgerald at 320-3698; or for the Richardson award call Tania Wiltgen at 320-3023 or Becky Shellabarger at (927) 743-9495.