Soroptimists present annual community service awards

Soroptimist International of Indian Rock Inc., (SIIR) an organization dedicated to the empowerment of women and girls, presented its annual community service awards at its March 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 annual Making a Difference for Women Awards are determined by a group of the organization’s past presidents, based on recommendations made by members of this local Soroptimist chapter. Eager to recognize the work of those who are bettering the lives of women and girls, SIIR has been presenting these awards for nearly four decades.

The first award of the evening was presented to Diakon Child, Family and Community Ministries for its Family Reunification/Preservation Program, which encompasses not only Bucks County but also Delaware, Northampton, and Lehigh Counties.

As the recipient of the Organization Advancing the Status of Women Award, Diakon – represented by Fayrouz Azer – was recognized for its work in providing in-home services to maintain youth in their original homes, which complements their mission to assure permanency for all youth who come through their various programs, whether it involves maintaining the youth at home, kinship placement, or adoption.

Fayrouz has held the position of Executive Director of the program since 2021 after serving as supervisor of the program in Bucks County until 2018 when she was promoted to Director of Permanency.

The evening’s second honor – the Women Helping Women Award – was bestowed upon Kristin Chapin, Associate Director of the YWCA of Bucks County.

Kristin, and past recipients of this award, are lauded as those who use their positions, influence and authority to open broader avenues of opportunity for women, working to eliminate economic, legal, social or political discrimination. Specifically, Kristin and the staff of the YWCA were recognized for their dedication to the Haven House program, which provides a safe house for women and children fleeing human trafficking.

During their stay at Haven House, participants are provided with crisis advocacy, trauma-informed counseling and other supportive services. Kristin’s involvement, dedication and collaboration with other agencies played a huge role in the success of the project.

The last award of the evening was presented to Anna Katz, the new president and CEO of Pearl S. Buck International.

As the recipient of the Woman of Distinction Award, Anna was recognized for her current work as well as her long history of serving populations in need, especially women and children both domestically and abroad.

Indeed, she boasts a lifelong reputation for commitment to social justice. Anna also served as a foreign service officer for the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID).

Like Buck, she is dedicated to advocating for the most vulnerable populations, such as children and those facing discrimination due to the circumstances of their birth, and to being a voice and activist against gender, racial, and human rights inequalities.

Each recipient was awarded with a framed citation, a bouquet of flowers, and a standing ovation from the audience, made up of members of SIIR as well as guests of the honorees.

For more information about Soroptimist International of Indian Rock, Inc. and its programs as well as details on becoming a member, visit SIIR’s website at or e-mail them at


  1. SIIR Past-President Patti Cullen (right) with Fayrouz Azer of Diakon Lutheran Ministries, winner of the Organization Advancing the Status of Women Award.
  2. Kristin Chapin (left) of the Bucks County YWCA received her Women Helping Women award from SIIR Past-President Marlene Piasecki.
  3. Anna Katz (right), president and CEO of Pearl S. Buck International, with SIIR Past-President Eileen Conner after receiving the Women of Distinction Award.
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