2014 Women of Distinction Award Winners Announced!

BetteLouYenne©DRehseWatson JacquieBarone©DRehseWatson LorindaHoffman©DRehseWatsonJacquie Barone, Lorinda Hoffman and Bette Lou Yenne have been named as the 2014 winners of the Soroptimist International of Hood River’s Women of Distinction Award.  Each year since 1975, Soroptimist Hood River has worked with community leaders and organizations to honor women whose work in a professional or volunteer capacity has made a significant difference in the quality of our community.

The three women will be introduced by their nominators at an awards luncheon in their honor on Wednesday, May 14, from 11:30- 1:00 pm in the Gorge Room at the Best Western Hood River Inn. Tickets for the luncheon are $18 each and available at Waucoma Bookstore.

In her nomination of Jacquie Barone, Cathy Carter said, “Whatever Jacquie does, she does with her whole being. Her commitment to any cause is immense; she has a huge heart and is always willing to give.” Jacquie Barone started the Hood River Downtown Business Association, has served on the Chamber of Commerce, and organized many community events. She is well known for her beautiful volunteer landscaping work at the Hood River Waterfront Park and the Willow Ponds Residential Neighborhood.

 Bette Lou Yenne has impressed me with her amazing commitment to the community,” says her nominator, Buzzy Nielsen. “Whether through her involvement with FISH Food Bank, Asbury/Our Redeemer Partnership, or the Library, Bette Lou truly has improved the lives of people throughout Hood River County.” The Library credits her as one of the major organizers of the second and successful library campaign. She volunteers weekly at the Cascade Locks food banks and while there, passes out free books to children who come. FISH also commends her for doing the exacting work to get FISH organized as 501(c)(3) Organization. She is now working on fundraising for the new FISH building.

While her children were young, Lorinda Hoffman focused her community volunteer time on projects involving them and their classmates. In 2004, Lorinda added the local Food Bank to her volunteer projects. Lorinda began taking over administrative duties as the health of the long-term coordinator failed. “In the five years I have volunteered regularly at FISH,” says Victoria Kelsey, “I have seen for myself the energy, dedication, and effectiveness that Lorinda shows every day in keeping this very complex operation running smoothly to put much-needed food into the homes of hungry families in Hood River and Mosier.”  In 2009, the FISH Steering Committee recognized the great work Lorinda did and made her a part-time paid employee. “A well-run food bank, efficient, thrifty, organized, supported by dedicated volunteers, is an unfortunate necessity in American towns,” said Kelsey. “Lorinda deserves to be honored as a SIHR Women of Distinction for all that she does for the benefit of so many people.”

(Portraits created by SIHR member, Denise Rehse Watson.)

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LUNAFEST returns to Hood River!

66926_466513180082889_550897_nEstablished in 2000 by LUNA, the makers of the Whole Nutrition Bar for Women, LUNAFEST connects women, their stories and their causes through film. This traveling film festival spotlights the work of a diverse array of talented women filmmakers with intelligent, funny and thought-provoking themes. LUNAFEST was created with two goals: 1) To support and nurture the inspiring and often unsung work of talented women filmmakers. 2) To raise funds and awareness for causes that help, empower and give a voice to women from all walks of life. 100 percent of all LUNAFEST net proceeds are donated to charity, with 15 percent going to our main beneficiary, Breast Cancer Fund, and 85 percent going to directly back to the local community organizations championed by our event hosts. To date, LUNAFEST has raised over $1.9 million dollars for more than 750 worthy causes. When you attend a LUNAFEST, you not only get a night out with great films, but you also get to make a difference in the lives of real women.

Lunafest happens March 12 & 13 with a showtime of 7:00pm at the Columbia Center for the Arts in Hood River. Tickets ($10) are available at the Columbia Center for the Arts and Waucoma Bookstore. You can see a short preview here.

Soroptimist International of Hood River is grateful to our sponsors for this year’s event: Tofurky, a family-owned, local company with nutritious vegetarian products that promote the health of women and Providence Hood River Memorial Hospital, a leading provider of women’s health care in the Columbia Gorge.

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Women’s Opportunity Awards – Applications Now Being Accepted!

Are you a single mom? Or the primary financial provider of your family? Enrolled in school or vocational training to better your life? In need of financial help to reach your goal?

Then you may be eligible for the Soroptimist Women’s Opportunity Award: Three $1,500 cash awards! These awards are jointly sponsored by Soroptimist International of Hood River (SIHR) and Soroptimist International of Mt. Adams. (SIMA)

The Women’s Opportunity Award is NOT a scholarship – it may be used for tuition, babysitters, gas or books. Hard copies of the application are available at the Hood River  County Library or the White Salmon Valley Community Library OR you may download and print the six page application included with this post. (If downloading, please note that you will need to print out TWO of the Reference Forms.)

The deadline to submit applications is December 1, 2011. Send your completed application to SIHR, PO Box 51, Hood River, OR 97031. If you have any questions, please contact Kate Dougherty at kated@gorge.net or call 541-386-3850.WOA_app-p1 WOA_app-p2 WOA_app-p3 WOA_app-p4 WOA_app-p5 WOA_app-p6

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