Local philanthropic group honours women in Calgary

April 8, 2015
Press Release

Calgary, AB The Calgary chapter of an international volunteer service organization, Soroptimist International, announced awards to local women last night at a banquet at the Delta Bow Valley.

Members of Soroptimist International of Calgary and their guests heard from keynote speaker, Anna Murray. Ms. Murray is the winner of the Making a Difference for Women Award (formerly the Ruby Award). This award recognizes a woman who, through her professional or personal efforts, is making an extraordinary difference in the lives of women or girls.

Anna Murray’s career in corporate social responsibility has included positions in China, the United States, Switzerland, the Dominican Republic, Tanzania, Peru, and Canada. In 2007, she went to New York and Switzerland to serve as a consultant to the United Nations ‘Global Compact’. A case study she wrote for the United Nations in 2007 has been promoted around the world as a best-practice example on business and human rights.

Her expertise includes stakeholder engagement, community relations, human rights and security, risk management and governance activities. She has worked at Talisman as senior advisor in the Corporate Affairs Group since 2011. Ms. Murray is the recipient of the Canada’s Most Powerful Women: Top 100 Award (WXN), Top 40 under 40 (Avenue Magazine), Top 20 under 40 (Oil and Gas Investor), Rising Star Class of 2014 (Oil Week) and was named by the Canadian Business Magazine as “set to transform the face of business in Canada.”

Ms. Murray recently founded Young Woman in Energy, (YWE) an organization for young women under 40 to address the need to increase female leadership in the energy industry. This organization has grown to include over 1,000 women working to champion the interest of young women in the energy industry.

Soroptimists also issued its Live Your Dream: Education and Training Awards for Women, monetary awards granted to women who are the sole financial support for their family and are enrolled in post-­‐ secondary education. Three women received Live Your Dream awards, one in the amount of $3,000 and two in the amount of $1,500, to help them further their educations. Unlike most scholarships and bursaries, the grants are not tied to specific expenses such as tuition – the women can use their discretion to spend the money where needed, whether books, tuition, child care or household expenses.

“Soroptimists strongly believe that education is the key to ensuring women’s financial independence, self-esteem, health and equality,” said Katherine Reiffenstein, president of SI Calgary. “The Live Your Dream Awards is Soroptimist’s signature program because the awards lead directly to women’s social and economic empowerment, our overarching goals. When single mothers receive the training they need to start their careers, they not only gain the ability to support their families, they become role models for their children, and leaders in the community.”

SI Calgary also announced the winner of its Violet Richardson Award, granted to a high school student who makes the world a better place through volunteer service. This year’s winner, Angela En Chi Chen, received $250 plus a $500 donation for her chosen charity, People for Progress Foundation.

In addition to issuing its awards, SI Calgary works to improve the lives of girls and women by funding local and international agencies that share its objectives. In the last few months, SI Calgary donated over $94,000 to agencies, including the YWCA, the Women’s Centre of Calgary, and the Calgary Immigrant Women’s Association.

SI Calgary was established in Calgary in 1934 and is part of an international network of similar clubs, comprised of almost 80,000 women in over 120 countries and territories.

Contact: Soroptimist International of Calgary
Katherine Reiffenstein, President
sicalgary@soroptimist.net
403-830-6640

 

Local philanthropic group donates $94,000 to support women and girls in Calgary

March 31, 2015
Press Release

Calgary, AB — The Calgary chapter of an international volunteer service organization, Soroptimist International, today announced over $94,000 in donations to local and international organizations that deliver programs to women and girls in Calgary.

Members of Soroptimist International of Calgary concluded their deliveries of the donations at the Women’s Centre of Calgary with a $20,000 cheque to support four, five-day summer camps for girls aged 10 to 12. These Girl Power Camps provide opportunities for girls to connect with each other in a community environment and learn about empowerment, gender roles, self-esteem, healthy relationships and body image. The camps were developed by the Women’s Centre of Calgary in response to research showing that girls begin to lose self-confidence and become vulnerable to negative influences around the time they enter puberty.

Sarah Winstanley, Community Engagement Coordinator with the Women’s Centre, said, “Because of Soroptimist’s generous donation to our Girl Power program, the Women’s Centre will be able to support even more girls to become confident, critically-minded citizens. Girls have told us that attending the camps have helped them with their confidence, their ability to make friends, their awareness of social issues, and their belief in the strength of girls. We couldn’t do this with out you! Thank you!”

Soroptimist’s goal is to improve the lives of girls and women through programs that lead to social and economic empowerment. After several years of successful fundraising efforts, the club selected a number of local and international groups to receive its donations.

  Agency Program   Amount
  YWCA Calgary Parent Link Corridor, a spectrum of programs including early childhood development and care; parenting workshops and groups such as the Positive Parenting Program (Triple P), Ages and Stages children’s development check-ups, family wellness and community referrals.   $20,000
Highbanks Society Support for 11 single moms who attend school and their children. $20,000
Women’s Centre of Calgary Funding for four five-day Girl Power Summer Camps for girls $20,000
Centre for Affordable Water
and Sanitation Technology*
Community health promotion workshops in developing countries $10,000
Canadian Immigrant
Women’s Association
Literacy program for women and girls $10,000
Youville Recovery Residence
for Women
Eating disorder clinic for women with addictions $8,047
Pathfinders Full funding for one year of a Pathfinder program at the Calgary Young Offenders’ Centre $3,525
It’s About Time!
Cancer Awareness Project
Breast cancer awareness project in Guatemala $1,300
Soroptimist International
of the Americas
Support for international programs $1,500

*CAWST received its funds in December 2014, and the donation was tripled through a government matching program. All other donations were made in the past week.

“Soroptimists strongly believe that education is the key to ensuring women’s financial independence, self-esteem, health and equality,” said Katherine Reiffenstein, president of SI Calgary. “The funding recipients we selected help women and girls obtain the skills and knowledge necessary to overcome obstacles they are currently facing and ultimately to reach their full potential and live their dream.”

In addition to its support of local and international agencies, SI Calgary directly supports women through the Live Your Dream: Education and Training Awards. These are monetary grants to women who are the sole financial support for their family and are enrolled in post-secondary education. This year’s grants will be presented at an awards dinner on Tuesday, April 7.

Soroptimist of Calgary has long been funding local and international groups that work to improve the lives of girls and women. Soroptimist of Calgary was established in Calgary in 1934 and is part of an international network of similar clubs, comprised of almost 80,000 women in over 120 countries and territories.

Contact: Soroptimist International of Calgary
Katherine Reiffenstein, President
sicalgary@soroptimist.net
403-830-6640