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Soroptimist Club awards scholarships
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Soroptimist club representative Kim Vink presents Great Bend High School student Bonnie Boultinghouse with an award plaque and a check for $500 as the 2011 recipient of the Violet Richardson Award for volunteering and community service. - photo by COURTESY PHOTO

The Soroptimist Club of Great Bend recently awarded two local women with scholarships in recognition of their efforts to better their lives and give back to the community, said club president Dee Bleeker.
“There are two different types of scholarships that Soroptimists award each year,” Bleeker said. “In addition to the many charitable activities our club takes part in each year, this is one of the ways we support local women.”
The Violet Richardson Award Program was launched in 2000, and is designed to recognize young women between the ages of 14 and 17 whose volunteer efforts help other disadvantaged girls. Bonnie Boultinghouse, a junior at Great Bend High School, was chosen as this year’s Violet Richardson award winner. Boultinghouse is active in multiple extracurricular activities including National Honor Society, Kayettes and the GBHS Madrigal Pop Singers, but her favorite activity is 4H. As the 2012 scholarship recipient, Boultinghouse received a $500 scholarship.
The other scholarship awarded annually is the Women’s Opportunity Award. This program was launched in 1972, and since then over $25 million has been disbursed worldwide. This year’s local winner was Elle Slater, a student at Barton Community College. After much personal adversity, Sawyer is working to turn her life around by receiving a nursing degree. Slater has four children.
Soroptimist is an international organization for business and professional women who work to improve the lives of women and girls, in local communities and throughout the world.
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