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Winnipeggers awarded for improving lives
Two south Winnipeggers are among those recognized for their efforts to improve the lives of women and children.
Soroptimist International of Winnipeg recently handed out a total of $3,600 in prizes at its Annual Spring Awards Luncheon.
The mission of the organization — which has existed in Winnipeg since 1943 — is to improve the lives of women and girls through fundraising and service projects both in the local community and globally.
"As we are small, we are unable to donate huge sums of money, but to the award winners we have supported, it has had a great impact on them," said SIW president Kay Stewart, who lives in St. James.
Tuxedo resident Maya Viner won second place — and $1,000 — in the organization’s signature project, the Women’s Opportunity Award — a financial boon for a female head of household with dependents who is attending a post-secondary education institution to provide a better life for herself and her family, Stewart said.
Viner, who has two young children, is pursuing a nursing career.
Southdale resident and J.H. Bruns Collegiate student Megan Dufrat, 17, won the Violet Richardson Award, which is handed out for youth volunteering achievements.
Dufrat, who is about to graduate and has her sights set on studying piano at the University of Manitoba, won the award for her work with her school social justice group and her volunteer work with Winnipeg Harvest — the chosen benefactor of half of her $600 prize.
"It’s a great honour. The organization has done so many great things for the community," Dufrat said, noting she has also volunteered at United Way.
She also spent countless hours researching poverty in the Southdale area, which focused on how improved access to public transportation, including subsidized fares, allowed disadvantaged area residents better access to community programming and support.
Her research led to an April 2011 meeting with Southdale MLA Erin Selby and then-Minister of Family Services and Consumer Affairs Gord Mackintosh. Two months later, the province increased funding for accessible, affordable transportation, Dufrat said.
For more information, visit www.soroptimist.org.
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