The Soroptimist mission is to improve the lives of women and children in local communities and throughout the world. In order to accomplish this goal, the organization administers the following programs. Not all programs are offered by every club. Please see the Forms Page for Applications and Instructions.

Tanvi Das friends

Live Your Dream Award

The organization’s major project, this program assists women by giving them the resources they need to improve their education, skills and job prospects. It is a grant program that provides cash to women who have made the commitment to improve their lives and the lives of their families through training and education, but who lack the financial resources to do so.

Currently, Soroptimist International of the American River awards between $1,000 and $3,000 to one or more deserving woman in our community.  Are you or do you know a woman who is working toward a better life?  Application period open August 1 through November 15 is a movement fiercely dedicated to ensuring every woman and girl has the opportunity to reach her full potential, be free from violence, and live her dreams. Live Your Dream Brochure

  • Elizabeth Golden, 2024 Live Your Dream winner
  • Emmy Ainsworth, 2024 Live Your Dream winner
  • Alyson Espinoza, 2024 Live Your Dream winner

The Laurel Society 

The Laurel Society is our way of recognizing those members who choose to make on-going personal gifts or donations in support of the Soroptimist Mission.

The Laurel Society was established in 1994 as a permanent recognition program to honor individuals dedicated to the Soroptimist organization and its mission. Soroptimist had just completed the Five in Five campaign, which exceeded the goal of reaching $5 million in five years to establish a reserve fund to secure the long-term financial health of the organization. Many members wished to continue their financial support for Soroptimist after the close of the campaign. The Laurel Society was created to  show appreciation to donors for gifts that would ensure continued funding for Soroptimist programs.

The Laurel Legacy program allows members to make planned giving via their estate through a bequest, an IRA or 401(k), gift of life insurance, a charitable gift annuity or a charitable remainder trust.

Our Laurel Society Members:  Lisa Bloom, Laurine Johnson, Merrill Kagan Weston, Norma Rash,  Cheryl Foley

The Annabell McCord Award

In recognition of their efforts to support the mission of Soroptimist and our Club in a way that goes above and beyond.  

“If not you, who?” These words were the call to action of life-long community advocate Annabell McCord.  A two-time Mayor, city council member, planning commissioner, teacher, parliamentarian, business owner, parent, foster parent, and Soroptimist for decades, Annabell embodied community involvement and community service.  Annabell was a force to be reckoned with.  She gave generously of her time and talents throughout her 93 years, more than 50 spent here in Auburn, inspiring many other women to do more than they ever thought they could.

This award, named in honor of this indomitable spirit of Auburn, is given to one of our own, recognizing her contributions–for Soroptimist, for community and for business. Previous award winners: Merrill Kagan-Weston, Lisa Bloom, Ann Bryant, Kathy Dunbar, Pat Ferguson, Norma Rash, Esther Greenhalgh, Audrey Wade, Pamela Bliss, Ineke Van Der Linden, Diane Cone, Christina Wilson.

Christina Wilson, 2024 Annabell McCord winner

Violet Richardson Award

The Violet Richardson Award honors young women between the ages of 14 and 18 for volunteer action such as fighting drugs, crime and violence, cleaning up the environment and working to end discrimination and poverty.  The award is named after Violet Richardson, the president of the first Soroptimist club in Alameda County in 1921.  Richardson believed in personal responsibility and the motto, “It’s what you do that counts.”  She lived her life accordingly, as an active member in her community who was committed to creating opportunities for girls and young women. Soroptimist established this award to honor the memory of this unique woman and her dedication to volunteer action.

  • Tanvi Das, 2024 Violet Richardson winner
  • Chelsey Flores, 2024 Violet Richardson winner
  • Annabel Easton, 2024 Violet Richardson winner

Ruby Award for Women Helping Women

This award acknowledges women who, through their personal or professional efforts, work to improve the lives of women and girls. Formerly the Making a Difference for Women Award, this new name honors Soroptimist International of the America’s first federation president, Ruby Lee Minar.  

Honorees are ordinary women who have worked in extra-ordinary ways to benefit women and girls. Nominate yourself or another extraordinary woman you know for her achievements!  

Julie Nakayama, 2024 Ruby winner


Dream It, Be It

Career Support for Girls will help girls grow up to be strong, successful, happy adults. Dream It, Be It targets girls in secondary school who face obstacles to their future success. It provides girls with access to professional role models, career education and the resources to live their dreams. We do not currently have an active program, but we hope to soon.