ERV Soroptimists to honor three for community work

Soroptimist International of Eel River Valley will spotlight two women and one girl at its annual awards dinner, to be held April 23 at the River Lodge in Fortuna.

Wendy Choate of Eureka will be presented with the Women's Opportunity Award, which assists women with primary financial responsibility for their families to obtain the education necessary to improve their employment status. Choate is a student at College of the Redwoods and mother to a young child, according to a Soroptimist International of Eel River Valley press release. Choate credits the college's Extended Opportunity Programs and Services with helping her to develop important connections which would benefit her in the future. Her goal is to obtain a masters degree in social work and to help others realize their potential, overcome their obstacles, and achieve their dreams.

Bonnie Griffiths of Ferndale will be presented with the Ruby Award for her work with the Girls Scouts of America and for her dedication to helping young people volunteer in their schools and community. Twenty-three years ago in Portsmouth, Va., a young Coast Guardsman's wife and mother of five became a scout leader for her oldest daughter's troop, according to the release. Serving as a scout leader in Huntington Beach and later in Ferndale, she has worked with hundreds of girls and believes that scouting provides a framework for girls to have pride and joy in what they are doing.

Ferndale High School senior Anna Gomes is the recipient of both the Violet Richardson Award of Soroptimist International and the Kathleen McVey Memorial Youth Citizenship Award sponsored by SI of Eel River Valley. Anna will be competing with five other students from Northern Coastal California, Hawaii, Guam and the Northern Marianna Islands for the Founder Region level award. VRA recognizes girls between the ages 14-17 for their volunteer activities within their communities and schools. As a recipient of the McVey Memorial, Anna is being recognized for her work on Teen Court as well as her many activities in school and the community.

The annual awards dinner is being held at the River Lodge in Fortuna on April 23 at 6 p.m. Tickets are $25 per person. Call 845-6460 for reservations.

Photo captions:

1. Wendy Choate

2. Bonnie Griffiths

3. Anna Gomes