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Annual Soroptimist Awards Banquet set for March 31

The Annual Soroptimist Awards Banquet will be held this year at the Moose Lodge, Vandalia, at 6:00 p.m. on Friday, March 31, 2023

The Awards Banquet dates back to the early days of the Vandalia Club. Although the awards have changed some over the years, our local club currently gives out approximately 10 awards each year. These are the Women of Distinction Awards, the Ruby Award, the Advancing the Status of Women Award, The Woman of the Year Award, the Community Improvement Award,  the Live Your Dream Award and this year the Memorial Scholarship Award.

The Women of Distinction Awards are the longest running awards and given to women who have made outstanding achievements in their professional, business or volunteer activities, for a significant amount of time. Currently the following fields of service are being awarded: Economic Development – Tina Kingery, Social Development – Kim Warner, Education – Terri Sutton, Health – Deidre Langston, Human Development – Lisa LaMar, and Environment – Jodi Smith.

The Ruby Award (Women helping Women) awardee is Katelyn Ennen.

The Woman of the Year is a fairly new award adopted by our local club, honoring a lady who doesn’t fall into a particular category, but has spent many years in serving her community in many different ways. This year’s awardee is Kim Lake.

Our newest award is The Community Improvement Award, honoring a lady who through their professional or personal efforts, have made extraordinary contributions to their community. This year’s awardee is Haley Boley Thompson’s.

These ladies are all honored at our banquet and a book is donated to the Evans Public Library in each of their names.

In addition, we have two monetary awards. The Soroptimist Memorial Scholarship Award was started a few years back by donations from the estates of two members, Harriett Low and Hazel Jones. By contributing to the fund each year we have been able to give an award every other year. That award given to a young woman who has completed one year of college, within Illinois, is a resident of Fayette Co. IL, and is currently enrolled in college, vocational or technical school in Illinois and must maintain at least 6 credit hours of study. This Award will be $500. This year’s awardee will be announced at the banquet!

Finally the Soroptimist International of the Americas’ signature award the “Live Your Dream Award” is given to a young lady who is the financial head of her household, has been accepted to or is enrolled in a college or vocational training program and shows financial need.

Since 1972 the Soroptimist LYDA programs has disbursed more that $30 million to tens of thousands of women who have overcome poverty, domestic and sexual violence, divorce, death of a spouse or other life challenges. Currently our club gives an award of $1,000. That winner is sent forward to be judged at District, Region and International levels. We have been fortunate to have several ladies win at District and Region levels. This year’s awardee is Tara Geiger.

We are very proud to host this Banquet each year and consider it one of our highlights in service to the community. We hope you can come and celebrate these special ladies with us. Tickets are $20 and reservations can be made by calling Judy Wasmuth at 618-267-7637 no later than March 24.


— Submitted by Mary Schulze