The Soroptimist Ruby Award recognizes and honors the first Soroptimist Federation President, Ruby Lee Minar. A ruby is a deep red gemstone associated with wisdom, importance, vitality, strength, vivacity, power and love: all words embodying the strong and compassionate women who are our award recipients. The Soroptimist Ruby Award honors women who have worked to improve the lives of women and girls through their professional and/or volunteer work.
Ruby Award Winner for 2018/19 is Carol Jones-Giannini
Keeping a secret is a challenge! But, up until a short time before the presentation, our awardee, seemed to be really surprised to be our chosen recipient. Her words, “There are so many others more deserving than I.” That’s not what presenters Stacy Joyner and Paulette Stelte learned about Carol. Moving to Calaveras County in 1978 or 1979, Carol worked many jobs and owned several businesses. She was part of the original Christian Family Learning Center group as well a leader in the Arnold Soroptimist Club. She later joined the larger SICC group in Angels Camp.
Serving as Chair of SICC’s Teddy Bear Tea for many years, she has shared her time, treasures and artistic talent to make certain that Teddy Bear Tea was a “child at heart” experience for young and old attending the Tea. Carol has, also, chaired our Chili Cookoffs at the Historic Murphys Hotel often. Her organizational skills and talent for decorating/designing is hard to beat –the lovely centerpieces on the tables for this Awards Ceremony (April 10, 2019, was testament to that skill. In our most recent fundraiser, Wine & Whimsey, Carol’s talents came into play once more with displaying the many raffle prizes. More often than not, Carol is called upon to provide decorations & displays at many of our parties, celebrations and events. She is a skilled artist, floral arranger, jewelry creator and so much more.
Carol has not only taken on leadership roles in SICC, but is being recognized for her long-standing work in the Murphys community and with the senior population specifically. According to Murphys Senior Center Executive Director, Steve Shetzline, Carol was instrumental in getting that started. Followed closely behind that Carol established the Food Pantry. A thrift store soon followed – and now there are two.
It goes without saying that Carol Jones-Giannini is a special woman, mother, sister, grandmother and friend — and truly deserves to be SICC’s Ruby Award winner for 2018/19. A large crowd of well-wishers joined the fun at this event – as well as Carol’s son, Tim and his family. Congratulations, Carol.
(See several more photos of this Awards Ceremony – under the heading of FUN on this website)
Ruby Award Winner for 2017/18 is Ginger Duffy
Our Ruby Awardee is living proof of the vitality, strength and love. Ginger took her passion even further — she paid it forward. That is, she shared her passion with her entire community! She was a fabulous role model for her children & for many local children and for many Soroptimists over the years.
Moving to Calaveras County in 1980 with her husband, Chuck, from the south Bay area, they purchased a local small business, raised their 6 children and spent much of their free time volunteering in our community. They were Santa & Mrs. Claus in the annual Christmas Parades, they worked as volunteers at the Calaveras County State Fair Booth every year, they worked with Santa’s Express, they worked & supported the annual Independence Hall Quilter’s Fair and our Ruby Awardee even had time to give sewing demonstrations at our local Frog Jump Jubilee year after year!
She was also an active member of Soroptimist International of Calaveras County for over 20 years; we sincerely thank Ginger Duffy for all her outstanding community service!
Ginger was called to the podium to share her experiences about owning her Country Cloth Shop and the hub of friendship created there for all of us to enjoy over the years. Daughter, Kathy, joined Ginger as they reflected on the hard work but so much fun also. There were many, many in the audience who were there to attest to Ginger’s special love of sewing & her passion for sharing what she knew. It was obvious that Ginger is adored, well loved and respected by those she has interacted with over the years. With 13 grandchildren, she has had ample time to teach them to sew too.
Not only were there hundreds of sewing classes but scores of quilts and quilted projects were lovingly displayed on the walls of Country Cloth for all to enjoy. Ginger made all her daughter’s wedding dresses and made and altered scores of dance costumes over the years for the students of Jan Mitchel’s Dance Studio. Many ladies from her Tuesday night sewing group were there to honor & attest to Ginger’s community service years and fun-loving spirit.
Members of Soroptimist International of Calaveras County thank you, Ginger, for your years of community service and are honored to call you our Soroptimist Ruby Awardee for 2017/18.
Ruby Award Winner for 2015 is Sissy Hedrick
Sissy Hedrick’s passion for helping women started a long time ago. Nineteen years ago, to be exact. Sissy was leading a high school youth group. She held the meetings at her home in Arnold. “Joanie” (anonymous name – age 15) was one of those children. Joanie’s biological mother signed guardianship over to Sissy and she lived with her for a year. She did well in school and was straightening out her life. Sissy was also caring for her own toddler at time. However Joanie’s mother decided she needed to move her back with her and Sissy lost contact with her. About 5 years ago Joanie got back in touch with Sissy & has kept in touch. In the last year, Joanie found herself in a controlling, threatening abusive relationship and Sissy has been there for her and her 4 children with emotional and financial support and helping them move to a new location. Sissy sees potential and refuses to give up on them.
Sissy has also supported and encouraged girls by volunteering and donating her services by doing the hair for all the Miss Calaveras Contestants for the past 21 years.
She is also in charge of Women’s Ministries at Mt Christian Fellowship – she oversees 2 women’s bible studies, sets up and arranges for women Christian conferences and leads one of the bible studies.
Sissy has been the Executive Director of Calaveras Door of Hope for 4 years. As Director, her plate is full yet she finds time to take on more and more duties spending many extra hours without pay. Sissy makes presentations to groups like the Rotary, White Pines Park Committee, various churches and other potential supporters and speaks about the purpose and work of Door of Hope.
Ruby Award Committee Co-chair for 2015, Karen Varni states:
“The magnitude of Sissy’s accomplishments is largely due to the heart she has for the women of Calaveras County. Her work at Door of Hope is a fulfillment of her own determination to help women in their time of distress – and she does all this while running her own business in Murphys – Sissy’s Bella Eden, an organic salon!! “
2014 Ruby Award Winner, Nicki Stevens
Nicki Stevens is a lifelong resident of Calaveras county, and San Andreas in particular.
In her professional life, Nicki has been a part of Mark Twain Medical Center since 1997. Currently Nicki is the Manager, Marketing, Business Development and Volunteer Services. When asking Nicki about the many things she does and is involved in, she seemed perplexed about how her activities were so special. Nicki states “it is my job to be an active community member; it is my responsibility to make my community healthier and hopefully happier”.
Currently Nicki serves the community as: San Andreas Parks and Recreation Board Member; Leadership Team, Calaveras County Public Health, Safer Routes to School; Vice President, Calaveras County Chamber of Commerce; Member, Calaveras High School Quarterback Club; Co-chairs annual Breast Cancer Awareness program in the County, “Pink in the Night”; Health Fair Leader. Leads and expanded community participation with number of Health Fairs and types of services offered. These Fairs are sponsored by Mark Twain Medical Center. During the course of every year approximately 1600 county residents have received free and low cost medical tests.
Friends and colleagues describe Nicki as optimistic; always believing there is a way to make any situation better. Nicki is known to have a giving heart, and is a sensitive and compassionate person. Friends speak of how Nicki goes out of her way to help others. Because of Nicki’s connections to the community it is often the case Nicki is called when a family needs food or fire wood. Nicki never says “No”.
Nicki is one of those community members that many groups turn to for expertise and active participation. Frequently her peers describe her as “the one who follows through; Nicki gets things done”.
Joanne Jeffords and Debbie Peterson, 2014’s Ruby Award Committee Members, took pride in nominating Nicki for this award. Congratulations, Nicki!
Gloria Correy Selected as 2013’s Ruby Award Winner
Gloria is a past member of SI of Calaveras for 15 years and held many positions, including president, served on many committees, chaired the Youth Parade for at least 6 years, co-chaired the Teddy Bear Tea for 10 years, and was a Soroptimist of the Year Award recipient.
Due to Gloria’s concern for young girls in our community, she brought to our club, and passionately drove, the “Baby Think it Over” Program where life-like baby dolls were donated to the local high schools, Calaveras and Bret Harte. Bret Harte is in possession of 8 of these computerized dolls. The “babies” were introduced into school curriculum, creating awareness of the obligations, responsibilities and reality of becoming a parent.
After leaving our club, Gloria’s passion to help others continued, still with a strong focus on women and girls. She became involved with Murphys Friends and has worked on the community Christmas Dinner for over 5 years. Over the past four years, she has been involved with The Door of Hope where she has served on the board, and is serving as the Board President this year. As if that is not enough, Gloria is currently volunteering as a Mentor Mom for MOPS (Mothers of Pre-Schoolers) and volunteers as a facilitator for Grief Share.
In her personal life, Gloria is constantly seeking ways to improve herself, whether it be health-wise, emotionally or spiritually. And as she continues to learn she eagerly shares what she has learned with others.
Congratulations, Gloria — we salute you & all that you do to improve the lives of women and girls on a local level!
Ruby Award for 2012
The Soroptimist Ruby Award for Women Helping Women recognizes the first federation president Ruby Lee Minar, and honors women who have worked to improve the lives of women and girls through their professional and/or volunteer work. A Ruby is also a deep red gemstone associated with wisdom, importance, vitality, strength, power and love: all words that describe the strong and compassionate women who are our award recipients.
The Ruby Award winner for 2012 is Kellie Fraguero, Program Director of Prevention and Intervention for the Resource Connection. Soroptimists have a great history with Kellie’s group and for several years made donations to the Women’s Center. In the not so distant past, SICC has been known to dedicate our Saturday of Service day to sorting clothes at the OATS thrift shop. SICC also spent an earlier Saturday of Service doing yard clean-up and maintenance at the Center.
Kellie is a very dedicated young woman who is so very passionate about keeping women and children in safe environments. Thank you, Kellie, for all that you do and have done!
The Ruby Award for 2010
Ruby Award recipients Gay Callen, owner of Chatom Winery and Evelyn Reyes-Umana, owner of Bodega del Sur Winery in Murphys received $100 for the charity of their choice, and were both honored for their years of service through their professional and personal efforts, working to improve the lives of women and girls in the Calaveras community.
Gay’s $50 was earmarked for Mark Twain St. Josephs Hospital new health center in A/Camp; Evelyn earmarked her $50 to go to: the Resource Connection.