As of 2014 the Violet Richardson Award has been replaced by the Dream It, Be It: Career Support for Girls Award.
Are you a young woman between the ages of 14 and 17 who volunteers in your community or school? Who sees challenges instead of obstacles? Hope instead of despair? If you are a young woman who believes in the power of volunteer action, then you may be eligible to win a Soroptimist Violet Richardson Award.
The Violet Richardson Award recognizes young women who make the community and world a better place through volunteer efforts such as: fighting drugs, crime and violence; cleaning up the environment; and working to end discrimination and poverty. Volunteer actions that benefit women or girls are of particular interest.
Soroptimist is an organization of women whose members volunteer in their communities, often working on the same problems that you do. Although we realize that volunteering is its own reward, we also know it feels good to be recognized for your actions. And that’s why we sponsor this award.
The Violet Richardson Award program begins at the local Soroptimist club level, Club level winners then become eligible for one of 28 $1,000 awards. In addition, $1,000 will be contributed in honor of these winners to their volunteer organizations. One finalist will be chosen from among the 28 winners for an additional award, including a contribution of $2,500 to the finalist’s volunteer organization.
Honoring Violet Richardson Award Recipients
2012 – 2013
First Place: Amanda Gatz, Hands and Words are Not for Hurting.
Co-Second Place Winner: Lydia Mendez, Relay for Life.
Co-Second Place Winner: Nicole McNermy, Sky Lakes Cancer Treatment Center.
2011 – 2012
First Place Winner Kaitlin Gruenber. An $800 donation was split between Kaitlin and her volunteer organization IFEED, Inc.
Second Place Winner Caylia McDaniel. Her volunteer organization is Citizens Review Board which will receive $250 and Caylia also receives $250.
2010 – 2011
First Place Winner Amanda Krueger. An $800 donation was split between Amanada and her volunteer organization, Mazama High School Future Business Leaders of America (FBLA).
Second Place Winner is Kelsie Quick. Her volunteer organization is Lost River High School Future Farmers of America (FFA) which will receive $250 and Kelsie will also receive $250.
2009 – 2010
This year’s winner is Shannon Houston, representing the Future Business Leaders of America.
2008 – 2009
Kayla Gordon from Bonanza
Lisa Haskins from Klamath Falls
2007 – 2008
Reprinted with permission, Herald and News, Klamath Falls. By Steve Kadel
Kendra Walker got her first dog, a border collie, when she was 5 years old and it jumpstarted what would become a lifelong love of animals.
Now 15, the Klamath Union High School freshman has raised several thousand dollars for the Klamath Human Society’s new building through a variety of fundraising events the past few years.
She was honored Wednesday by Soroptimist International of Klamath Falls for her volunteer efforts. The group named Walker the winner of the Violet Richardson Award, and celebrated her accomplishments during a luncheon at Reames Golf and Country Club.
“Your volunteer activity is exemplary and we applaud your efforts,” Kathy King of Soroptimist wrote to Walker in letter announcing the award.
The selection includes a $400 gift for Walker and an equal amount given to the Klamath Humane Society.
Walker described her attraction to man’s best friend with a simple explanation. “They can help people in many ways,” she said of the reason she wants to help homeless dogs. Walker says having dogs, including her current sheltie, Skye, has taught her patience and responsibility.
Walker, who also helps Double C Dog Training with its Humane Society program for homeless pets, began volunteering at age 10. that’s when she spent long hours cleaning the Humane Society barn for incoming horses and cows.
Fundraising for the new shelter began is spring 2005 and walker planned a yard sale to benefit the effort. She collected donations from Double-C employees and raised $1,100 in two days. She spent the summer selling donation coupons and helped organize a Halloween costume contest.
“We took pictures and it brought in about $250,” she said. “By the end of 2005, I had raised almost $2,500 for homeless pets.”
A three-day rummage sale in 2006 brought in $2,277 for the venture, and she also helped organize two other events for the Humane Society
In June, Walker set a goal of $2,500 for her third rummage sale. Again, she topped her expectation by raising $3,700. Organizing a Dog Walk at Moore Park added $1,200 and photos taken at Pet Expo earned another $1,000 for the building fund.
Walker, the daughter of Double-C employee Terry Walker, wants to see a new Humane Society shelter constructed so animals housed there will have better living conditions than they do now. It will also provide an opportunity for other girls and women to volunteer, she said.
Her attitudes about animals were stated succinctly in her application for the Violet Richardson Award: “The unconditional love of pets changes lives,” Walker wrote.