Woodinville resident Becky Bishop, owner of Puppy Manners dog training, was one of three finalists for the Soroptimist International Bellevue Metropolitan (SIBM) Ruby Award for 2019.
The award is designed to honor the “unsung heroine” who contributes to her community and works to empower women and girls without expecting recognition. Bishop was nominated for her creation of and work with the Reading with Rover program which is designed to help children who are hesitant readers to read aloud to dogs.
The program was started in 1999 and has grown to include more than 150 therapy dog teams that not only help with reading at all King County libraries, but also help out with community crisis and events such as the Oso mudslides and the Marysville School shootings.
Other finalists included Nikki Gane of Bellevue who started a nonprofit organization, Dignity for Divas, to help women rebuild after experiencing domestic violence; and top winner, the Rev. Dr. Linda Smith of Renton who created a women’s shelter in Renton, and is active in assisting in programs to feed and clothe the homeless.
All nominees were recognized at a recent event at Robinswood House in Bellevue, with the top three finalists receiving flowers, a certificate and a gift card. The winner also received a $250 check for the nonprofit organization of her choice.
Soroptimist is an international organization dedicated to educating women and girls, gender equality, opportunity and community support.