Soroptimists provide funding for local organizations

May 19, 2019

SCOTTSBLUFF — The Soroptimist International of Scotts Bluff County awarded $8,000 to local organizations that aim to improve the lives of women and girls during their annual service award luncheon at the Scotts Bluff Country Club on Thursday.

Each year, the Soroptimists host several fundraisers to raise money for organizations that help women in the community. Their largest fundraiser, Dancing with the Stars, is held each January. Other events include fun events such as the new chair-ity event at the West Nebraska Arts Center.

In addition to the money awarded on Thursday, Soroptimists also awarded more than $7,000 to high school seniors and women going back to school during their April meeting.

All money raised by Soroptimists is used toward the betterment of women and girls. Soroptimist Sandy Gutwein said there were 15 organizations that applied for grants this year with requests totaling more than $16,000. The budget this year was $8,000 and was awarded to 12 organizations.

“If we could have funded everyone 100%, we would have because they are all good organizations,” Gutwein said.

This year’s recipients were Buckboard Riding Academy, Camp Scott, CAPstone, CAPWN Family Stabilization, ESU #13/LifeLink, Firefighter Ministry, Friends of the Midwest Theater, the Lied Scottsbluff Public Library, Theta Chapter of Delta Kappa Gamma and the West Nebraska Arts Center.

Reenie Berry said the money Camp Scott received would be used to help pay for campers who attend the five-week day camp of 40 special needs children ages 7 to 21.

“Without Camp Scott, a lot of them would sit at home and be couch potatoes,” Berry said. “We appreciate this and that our community is so awesome and giving.”

Monica Schambaugh said the award would be used at CAPstone to help fund counseling for non-offending caregivers.

“Last year, we referred 53 adults to counseling and 23 took us up on our offer,” Schambaugh said. “We paid $9,901.92 in providing 19 women with counseling.”

Soroptimists have been long-time supporters of the DOVES program, which assists victims of domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault and stalking. Lisa Peden said the money will be used to assist with the basic needs of clients, such as legal fees and transportation.

“Oftentimes, the funding we have has certain limitations,” Peden said. “When we receive local funding, we can meet those other needs.”

First-time recipient Carissa Smith, of the Firefighter Ministry, was elated to have been chosen to receive an award. The Firefighter Ministry assists those who have suffered from a fire or disaster.

“We can put them in a hotel, provide vouchers for food and clothing, and help with insurance claims,” Smith said.

This month, Firefighter Ministry has helped three families, two of which were single-mother families.

Soroptimist International is a service organization that works to improve the lives of women and girls by awareness, advocacy and action. Members are actively engaged in professional or management positions in the Panhandle. The local club was chartered in 1958, and meetings are held at the Scotts Bluff Country Club at noon on the first and third Thursdays of every month. Further information may be obtained on Facebook by going to Soroptimist International of Scotts Bluff County.

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