What We Do

Local Programs

Learn about our community investments via scholarships, awards, gifts, and grants.

Global Programs

Get details about the Soroptimist International programs designed to help women and girls be their best.


Read about Breakfast in the Park and Festival of Trees, and see what events we have coming up soon.

Local Programs

Learn about our community investments via scholarships, awards, gifts, and grants.

Global Programs

Get details about the Soroptimist International programs designed to help women and girls be their best.


Read about Breakfast in the Park and Festival of Trees, and see what events we have coming up soon.

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Local Programs

As part of Soroptimist’s commitment to investing in programs leading to social and economic empowerment, the La Grande chapter also funds local grants and scholarships. These local programs support members of our community in their effort to raise stronger, healthier families and improve the quality of life through education and opportunity.

If you currently live in Union County, you might already be familiar with some of our larger programs: The Festival of Trees, June Breakfast in the Park, or the Boots & Socks program. The Community Grants program distributes more than $25,000 (?) annually in funding to approximately a dozen local organizations that support women and girls in our area.

Women in Business Award twenty twenty three

Scholarship & Awards

EOU Senior Education Funding

Status: OPEN

Academic Year: 2024 – 2025

Submission Deadline: April 5, 2024

Eligibility Info & Application:

• Must be credited for Senior status at Eastern Oregon University for the three terms of the scholarship during the 2024-2025 academic year.

• Must be a graduate of a Union County high school and/or have been a Union County resident for the past five years.


    Continuing Education Funding

    Status: OPEN

    Academic Year: 2024-2025

    Submission Deadline:  April 5, 2024

    Eligibility info & Application:

    • Must be credited for Sophomore, Junior, or Senior enrollment at a post-secondary educational institution during the 2024-2025 academic year.

    • Must have graduated from a Union County high school or a resident of Union County for more than five years. GPA 2.5 or better

      Union County High School Graduate Education Funding

      Status: OPEN

      Academic year: 2024-2025

      Submission Deadline: April 5. 2024

      Eligibility info & Application:

      • Must be a graduating from a Union County high school in Spring 2024 and have permanent residence in Union County.

      • Must be attending a four-year institution, Fall 2024

        Pro/Tech Award

        Status:  OPEN

        Academic year: 2024-2025

        Submission Deadline: April 5, 2024

        For students looking at technical, vocational or a trade school. These schools focus on career preparation, giving you all of the skills you need to enter careers like electrician, carpentry, auto mechanic, or certain technology and medical fields, etc. Will consider certification up to two year degree.

        Eligibility info & application:

          Live Your Dream Award - opens July 1

          Status: Closed

          Application timeline: July 1 to November 15.

          The Soroptimist Live Your Dream: Education and Training Awards for Women provides women who serve as the primary wage earners for their families with the financial resources to offset costs associated with their efforts to attain higher education or additional skills and training. Recipients can use the award for tuition, books, childcare, carfare or any other education-related expense.

          Eligibility info & application:

          Jean McKenzie Woman of the Year

          Nominations are accepted from Soroptimist members near the end of each club year.

          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.

          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.

          Once this award is open for nominations, Soroptimist members are encouraged to nominate another member 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.  Refer to the list below for all of the amazing past recipients we have had the honor of working with!

          Past Recipients

          Patricia Cutright     2001-2002

          Peggy Delaney     2002-2003

          Judy Rygg   2003-2004

          Marlene Perkins   2004-2005

          Gwenn Houtz     2005-2006

          Patty Gooderham     2006-2007

          Kristi Puckett    2007-2008

          Pat Wood    2008-2009

          Gerry Palmer    2009-2010

          Shirley Roberts    2010-2011

          Di Lyn Larsen-Hill     2011-2012

          Julie Hickerson     2012-2013

          Rebecca Loman     2013-2014

          Melinda Wells    2014-2015

          Jacque Harvey 2015-2016

          Tressa Seydel 2016-2017

          Shannon Willmarth 2017-2018

          Fam Moulton 2018-2019

          Andrea Waldrop 2020-2021

          Patty Gooderham 2021-2022


          Boots & Socks

          Each year, we work with DHS to identify families in need of winter footwear.

          We typically give out 300 pairs of boots to women and children in need.

          We partner with the La Grande Lions Club as they give away coats.

          Community Grants

          Community Grants funding application link: Community Benefits Grant Application 2024

          Applications are accepted throughout the calendar year and reviewed for funding consideration when received.

          Programs funded in 2022-2023 totaled $55,000 in grants!

          CASA – $4500

          Friday Backpack Program – $2700

          GED Program – $3770

          LHS Girl’s Wrestling Program – $4870

          La Grande Swim Club – $2500

          Union Friday Backpack Program – $2000

          Investigators of Science (formerly known as Girls in Science) – $3500

          Michelle Willson – $5000

          Erin Doty – $165

          Jaydne Charlton – $2000

          EOU Food Bank Drive – $5000

          EOU Women’s Trapshooting Team – $3000

          LHS FBLA Program – $1500

          La Grande Middle School State Testing Snacks – $1000

          Imbler FFA State Finalists – $400

          La Grande Little League – $1500

          Grande Ronde Symphony – $4000

          Women In Business group – $3500

          Armed Women of America – $1000

          Next Step Pregnancy – $500

          Imbler/Elgin Girls Softball – $1000

          Meals on Wheels – $500

          Tanya Amorosino – $420

          Family Career Community Leaders – $3000

          EOU Learning Center – $3000



          breakfast in the park

          Breakfast in the Park

          Each year, we serve a pancake breakfast at Riverside Park in La Grande in partnership with La Grande Parks and Rec. Traditionally held in June, proceeds are designated to fund an EOU scholarship. We have a long history with Riverside Pavilion. When it burned in 2011, we designed and funded a large portion of the new commercial kitchen.

          festival of trees committee

          Festival of Trees

          An annual fundraiser held the first weekend in December, this gala is our major fundraiser that allows us to support scholarships, and grants to community organizations that support and further our mission. Over the years, our Christmas Tree Auction has afforded us the ability to return over one million dollars to the community.

          Coming Events

          Global Programs

          Soroptimist International is a global women’s organization whose members volunteer to improve the lives of women and girls through programs leading to social and economic empowerment. The Soroptimist Dream Programs ensure women and girls have access to the education and training they need to reach their full potential and live their dreams. Soroptimists are committed to investing in programs that promote sustainable, measurable, change for women and girls.

          dream it be it logo
          No workshops scheduled.

          Dream It, Be It

          Dream It, Be It: Career Support for Girls gives girls the tools they need to achieve their education and career goals, empowering them to break cycles of poverty, violence, and abuse. Although all girls face barriers because of their gender, we prioritize working with girls who have additional obstacles including poverty, unstable home lives, living in foster care, or teen motherhood.

          Soroptimist clubs work in partnership with girls in small groups or a conference setting to provide them with the information and resources they want and need to be successful. By reaching girls while they are still young, we not only can help them stay healthy and safe in the short term, but we can reduce the number of women in crisis in the future. Putting them on a path will help them realize their dreams. Far too many girls face barriers on the pathway to achieving their dreams. Obstacles such as poverty, teen dating violence, and teen pregnancy can get in the way of a girl’s ability to make her dreams a reality.

          Dream It, Be It equips girls to overcome their obstacles, set goals, and head towards success.  Soroptimist launched the Dream It, Be It curriculum in 2015. Since then, more than 35,000 girls around the world have participated.

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          Live Your Dream

          Soroptimist’s Live Your Dream Awards program is a unique education award for women who provide the primary financial support for their families. The Live Your Dream Awards give women the resources they need to improve their education, skills and employment prospects.