Community

Marysville Soroptimist women honored

From left, Julie Raysbrook, Elizabeth Lefstad, Linda Huntley and Alyce Matson are named the Soroptimist International of Marysville award winners for 2010.  - Kirk Boxleitner
From left, Julie Raysbrook, Elizabeth Lefstad, Linda Huntley and Alyce Matson are named the Soroptimist International of Marysville award winners for 2010.
— image credit: Kirk Boxleitner

TULALIP - After their annual "Junktique" sale at the Jennings Park barn raised an estimated $2,600 April 10, the members of Soroptimist International of Marysville honored a number of women, April 13 in the Pacific Rim Supper Club, for their contributions to the community.

Longtime Marysville Soroptimist members Alice Demmig and Mary Jane Miller were named "Women of Distinction" for their service in and commitment to the ideals of the organization.

Demmig helped found the Marysville chapter of Soroptimist International in 1978, and is its only remaining charter member. Miller is a 30-year member of Soroptimist International who was also one of two National Camp Fire Council Women of the Year and named Vocational Education Contributor of the Year.

"If she calls you to do something, you'll do it, because she'll call until you do it," Marysville Mayor Dennis Kendall laughed, as he described Miller's ability to recruit others into her projects.

"You people are the ones who really do all my work," Miller said, in response to the praise she received for her work.

Linda Huntley and Alyce Matson, co-founders of Kloz 4 Kidz, received the "Ruby Award," which exists to honor women who have worked to improve the lives of women and girls through their volunteer work.

The nearly 2-year-old non-profit takes in new and gently used clothing for school children, to help enhance their learning and the quality of their lives. As many as 30 volunteers now work out of a portable building behind the Marysville United Methodist Church, but while the church has provided assistance over the years, Matson noted that faith is not a litmus test for receiving aid from the organization.

"We don't push our beliefs on others," Matson said. "We serve God by serving others. We just want to make these students feel welcome. If we boost their self-esteem, they can do better in school.

Matson and Huntley each received a check for $250, while Marysville-Pilchuck High School senior Elizabeth Lefstad received a check for $500 as part of her "Violet Richardson Award," which goes to young women aged 14-17 who volunteer in their schools and communities to make the world a better place.

Lefstad's meeting with Steve Smith, owner of the Sunnyside Nursery, led her to start the Sunnyside Food Bank Garden, whose crew of high school students and volunteers has grown more than 4,000 pounds of fresh produce over the course of the past two years.

The "Women's Opportunity Award," which includes a $1,000 grant, was presented to Julie Raysbrook, a single mother of 3-year-old triplets, who founded a non-profit organization that guides patients through the Social Security disability benefits system. The award is intended to enable women with primary financial responsibility for their families to obtain the skills training and education necessary to improve their employment status.

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