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Announcement: Jean McKenzie Award



This award was established in 1993 to honor Jean McKenzie, a Soroptimist Life Member and long-time community leader. Her Soroptimist pin was mounted on a plaque to be given each year to an outstanding Soroptimist.

The Soroptimist member chosen for this award is an outstanding volunteer in Union County, who cares about our area and tries to “Make a Difference” – a member who has demonstrated community involvement and helping others beyond the club requirement for members.

It is my pleasure, as a member of the Scholarship and Awards Committee, under the chairperson  Rebecca Loman, to announce, by majority vote, this year’s esteemed recipient.

She has gone above and beyond this past year with outstanding involvement organizing our 2nd Dream It Be It event, as well as being involved in so many other aspects of the club. She gives from the heart. She welcomes new members, helps us keep track of our past and gives of her time and resources endlessly.

She has willingly stepped in to fill the gaps where members were needed in the last years and then some. Patty was THE reason the Dream It Be It event was able to take place and was successful. She worked tirelessly the make sure the preparation would be worth our while and that we would have participants there and made sure all consent forms were turned in for them (which is Not an easy task!)

She is instrumental in recruitment and installation events for our club over the years. Her authenticity, kindness, and genuine concern for others inspires those around her to be at their best. She give her time freely and makes constant efforts to ensure the success of the club.

She goes beyond her club activities as an ambassador daily in her life, speaking about SILG to anyone that will listen, and including us in many other Union Co. activities, as she is not just a volunteer for us, but a major part of Anthony Lakes ski patrol for decades .  Her desire to help people is obvious, and her passion shows as she truly tries to MAKE A DIFFERENCE.Patty Gooderham sets the example for other club members to emulate, and provides a wonderful representation of our club throughout the community she cares for so deeply.

Congratulations, Patty! We are honored to have you and we appreciate your selfless service!

Jean McKenzie Award Nominations Open

The Jean McKenzie Award was established in 1993 to honor Jean McKenzie, a Soroptimist Life Member and long-time community leader. Her Soroptimist pin was mounted on a plaque to be given each year to an outstanding Soroptimist. (Learn more about Jean McKenzie here: JM Biography info)

In 2001, Soroptimist of La Grande combined the Jean McKenzie Award with the Soroptimist Woman of the Year Award honoring one Soroptimist with the “Jean McKenzie Woman of the Year” traveling plaque.

Please nominate a Soroptimist who is an outstanding volunteer in Union County, who cares about our area and tries to “Make a Difference” – a member who has demonstrated community involvement and helping others beyond the club requirement for members.

Submit your nominations with a brief supporting summary to Rebecca Loman by June 6, 2022.

Scholarship Recipient Announcement

We have some amazing young ladies to present with scholarships at our May 19th awards luncheon!

EOU Senior Scholarship – $5000:  Kara Gooderham

EOU Continuation Scholarships – $2500:  Kate Gekeler, Taryn Miller, Aspyn Wallender

Union County High School Scholarships – $2000:  Allison Stirewalt (Imbler HS), Kendra Counsell (Imbler HS), Corbyn Sexton (La Grande HS), Heidi Moran (La Grande HS)

Come meet these recipients and hear about their goals! RSVP for lunch to Jacque by Monday, May 16th.

Sign Up for May’s 3rd Thursday Social!

Want to add sweet and simple style to your home?  Come to Bud Jackson’s on May 19, 2022 at 6:00 pm and customize your very own 8″ x 36″ sign during our monthly SILG social event!

Our 3rd Thursday social for next month will be a crafty one, so grab a friend and join us!  Since your sign will be designed prior to the party, be sure to RSVP by May 5th to 541-620-1874.  The cost will be $40 per person, and you also need to bring a gently used or new stuffed animal that will be donated for use at our Festival of Trees event in December.

There are only 40 spots available, so hurry and register!  The event has been publicized on Facebook and is open to the public – DON’T WAIT TO SIGN UP!  (Payment is due at booking.)

DIBI Material Prep!

As part of our Dream It Be It workshop to take place on May 14, 2022, the participants will create vision boards, also known as dream boards, to help provide a focus on their goals and aspirations for life.  We have an assortment of magazines from the last go-round, but we’d like to add some current materials to choose from!  We will gladly take any magazines you are ready to pass along and add them to our collection in an effort to provide variety and relevant options!

Contact Rebecca or Patty if you need to arrange pick-up of materials, or bring them to the next club meeting!  Thank you!

Scholarship Application Process Now Open!

Due to the success of this year’s scholarship fundraising efforts at the 2021 Festival of Trees event, we are able to open our application process for funding scholarships for 2022-2023 academic year.

Please help us spread the word by referring qualified applicants to the Scholarship & Awards page under the Applications tab on our website at

Questions? Contact Rebecca at 541-786-1655 or email us at

Thank You to Special Donors

The 2021 Festival of Trees was a great success!  While we certainly appreciate all donors who contributed, we wanted to recognize two special donors who went out of their way to make a donation, even though they weren’t in attendance at our event.

David Dean made a generous $500 donation in memory of our very special former life member, Mary Lou Dean.  If you see David around town, please be sure to thank him and let him know how much we miss Mary Lou’s presence and personal contributions to our club!

We also received a letter from Tom & Emily Insko, along with a $500 donation:

“Dear La Grande Soroptimists,                                                                                                                       Tom and I regret being unable to attend the Festival of Trees this year as family will be in town for his father’s memorial the following day.  We want to be sure to donate but, most especially, thank each of your members for your tremendous support of our community!  Your generosity of your time and talents is inspiring and I marvel to see your members doing other good work in addition to their role with Soroptimists.                                                                      Thank you,  Emily Insko”

Thank you to all members and donors who helped make this Festival successful!  Merry Christmas!

Live Your Dream Awards are now available!

Spread the word about The Live Your Dream Award, as the application portal is now open!

Two $1000 awards will be offered by SILG.  There is also the opportunity to be awarded additional funds at the Region level. Please help us advertise this award opportunity by using this poster: LYDA poster 2021

To qualify, the applicant must be a woman who has primary financial responsibility for herself and her dependents, is attending an undergraduate degree program or vocational skills training program, and demonstrates financial need.

Direct potential applicants to find out more about the Live Your Dream awards on the SIA website to learn more about this program.  The application deadline is November 15, 2021.

The application portal is accessible through the link on our website – > Applications > Scholarships & Awards – or directly at

Contact Rebecca Loman, or a member of the Scholarship & Awards Committee, if you have any questions.

Jean McKenzie Woman of the Year Award Nominations

Jean McKenzie was a former Life Member of Soroptimist International of La Grande and a long-time community leader.  She loved SILG, promoting education and scholarships, and especially the club’s social events. Born and raised in the La Grande area, she strived to have an impact locally by becoming a teacher, then immersing herself in civic life.  McKenzie Theatre was named after Jean and her husband, Glen. Read more about Jean:  JM Biography info

The Jean McKenzie Award was established in 1993 to honor her memory and recognize an SILG member who makes a difference in Union County, cares about our area and our local club contributions, while helping others beyond the club and demonstrating community involvement.

Although this club year has looked considerably different for us, we are asking club members to consider recognizing a fellow member described by the above statements.  Please submit nominations by May 21st to Rebecca Loman using this form: Jean McKenzie nomination form 2021

SILG Scholarship Winner Announced

Please join me in congratulating Alaina (Carson) Wright as our 2021-2022 EOU Scholarship awardee!

Alaina is approaching her senior year at EOU, majoring in Health & Human Performance with a concentration in Community Health.  She has an impressive cumulative 3.97 GPA, while maintaining a full course load, working part-time, and being an athlete on the EOU Softball team, along with a long list of volunteer activities AND graduating early!

Alaina Carson may sound like a familiar name to you, as she has received two SI scholarships previously.  We are happy to provide the continued support for Alaina to reach her goals that parallel with the SI mission.  She strives to be a role model to young women whom she counsels in her volunteer path, encouraging and uplifting them to continue their education and empower themselves.  Alaina enjoys the opportunity to help young women improve their self-confidence, striving to have a meaningful impact on their lives.

As stated by one of her references, “She has consistently been a leader among her peers and her teammates and is one of the most dedicated, kind, and service-oriented individuals I know.  She is an excellent student, and as her resume, I’m sure shows, does not hesitate to act in roles of leadership where she gives back to her community.”

We hope to have Alaina join a virtual meeting with us in the near future, so stay tuned for the opportunity to meet and congratulate her!