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Soroptimists of Indian Rock present annual community service awards


The past presidents of Soroptimist International of Indian Rock Inc. (SIIR), an organization dedicated to the empowerment of women and girls, presented its annual Making a Difference for Women Awards at its March 6 dinner meeting at Spring Mill Country Club, recognizing local individuals and organizations that have made extraordinary contributions to the well-being of women and girls.

The evening’s program began with the presentation of the Violet Richardson Award to Emily Grace Sueta, who received this honor because of her dedication and contributions at Ivy Hill Therapeutic Equestrian Center. Sueta participates in the center’s program that helps foster wellness, advocacy, and purpose throughout the community.

The Organization Advancing the Status of Women award was presented to Kristina Valdez, chief executive officer of the nonprofit Along The Way, which provides reliable, high-quality in-home child care services to children of single mothers working or attending school/training during nights and weekends.

The evening’s next award – the Women Helping Women Award – was presented to Dawn H. Haaz, a licensed psychologist and founder of Girls Empowered, a program for girls – fourth through 12th grades – that empowers girls by providing them with the knowledge, skills, confidence and resources to stand up for oneself, make positive choices, and be in control of one’s future.

The final award of the evening – the Woman of Distinction Award – honored Mae Krier, an original “Rosie the Riveter.” The award pays tribute to women leaders who have made extraordinary accomplishments in their professions or their communities.

As the recipient of this award, Krier, 98, was recognized for advocating for formal recognition of the role women played in supporting the war effort during World War II. She was instrumental in Congress’ 2017 decision to annually recognize March 21 as National Rosie the Riveter Day, and to pass the 2020 Rosie the Riveter Congressional Gold Medal Act which recognizes the more than 16 million women who built aircraft, vehicles, weaponry, and ammunition during the war. In 2022, Krier accepted the Lt. Gen. Michael E. Zettler Lifetime Achievement Award.

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