Soroptimist Celebrate Making a Difference for Women Luncheon

By Susan A. Neufeld

Soroptimist International of Rim of the World had a luncheon on Saturday April 23, 2017 to honor women who are Making a Difference for Women. The luncheon was held at Pali Mountain Retreat Center.

The Soroptimist’s Honored 3 women making a difference with The Violet Richardson Award, Love Your Own Dream Award and the Ruby Award.


Mollie Kortsen was the winner of the Violet Richardson Award. This award honors young women, between the ages of 14-17, engaged in volunteer action within their communities or schools.  Mollie attends Rim High School and has a long list of achievements. She has fed people, volunteered in her church’s children ministry, and raised money for pediatric cancer, just to name a few. She is very active in clubs at Rim High and is a member of the National Honor Society, which she is currently serving as president of.  Mollie chose the Blue Ribbon Foundation, that assists children who are victims of child abuse and neglect, to be the recipient of a $250 check she received for winning the award.

Haley Watkins was the winner of the Live Your Dream Award. This award assists women who provide the primary source of financial support for their families by giving them the resources they need to improve their education, skills and employment aspects. Haley found herself hanging out with a much older darker crowd, while in high school.  She soon learned she was pregnant and in the worse predicament of her life. Haley made the decision to take control of her life and change the direction for her baby.  Haley reconnected with her family that lived on the mountain and lived with them for 4 months, until Bella was born. Bella was born with a disease called Hirschsprungs Disease. This disease causes the cells in the large intestine to not function properly. Bella has had 10 surgeries in her first three years.  Haley takes Bella to Children’s Hospital of Orange County to receive care on a regular basis, and to see her specialist.  Haley is attending Chaffey College in Ranch Cucamonga to earn an accounting degree.  She works at The Grill, 25 – 30 hours a week.  Haley hopes to be able to save enough money so that, one day, Bella can go to College without financial burdens.

Noriene Giacopuzzi was the winner of the Ruby Award. This award is given to a woman who is working to improve the lives of women and girls. This award is given someone that gives of themselves through volunteering or through professional avenues.

Noriene and her husband founded the Mountain Pregnancy Center, their vision has provided services, free of charge, at pregnancy centers from Crestline to Big Bear, staffed by caring team of trained professionals and client advocates. The center serves women facing pregnancy, and other related women’s issues, with life affirming options in an environment that promotes physical, emotional and spiritual well-being.  They provide essentials to the clients that they will be needing after birth.  Each client earns points for the specific classes they take and then purchase these items with the points.  They have just recently opened and Ultrasound Center at 29099 Hospital Rd Suite 210 Lake Arrowhead, CA. The Pregnancy Center is located at 461 Dart Canyon Rd Crestline. They are open Tuesday – Thursday, please call for an appointment 338-0848.