Shana Folk is a fundraising guru. Whether coordinating club projects or working with her husband to host events and parties, Shana knows how to rally people together toward a cause. Drawing from her own personal experiences, she has turned tragedy to beauty through her work with March of Dimes, and created incredible relationships with the members of her club along the way.
How did you get involved with your club?
My husband and I had been living overseas, so when we moved to Leesburg, Va., I was looking for somewhere to get involved, volunteer, and meet new people. I found JWCL, and the club has been amazing. The women in our club are phenomenal, and have become my best friends. They have the best hearts; they’re so giving; they care about one another; they care about the community. It’s a really fabulous organization to be a part of.
What is the best part about being a clubwoman?
We had two children who passed away as infants: our daughter was three months old, and our son lived just one day. The loss of my son happened after I joined JWCL. My fellow members had such an outpouring of love for me. Before he was born, I was on bed rest, and my doctors felt it was not safe for me to be left at home alone. Club members would come and just sit with me, so that my mom and my husband had time to go grocery shopping, run errands, and to just be out of the house for a little bit. These women looked after me and my family in a very dear way.
How did you get involved with March of Dimes?
The loss of our children is a terrible personal tragedy my husband and I share. One of the things we take a lot of pride in is that we can share our story to do some good. March of Dimes is one of the ways we can do that. After our son’s death, we realized that not everyone is as blessed as we are to have the resources to help them through the pain and tragedy of premature birth. We got involved with March of Dimes. The best part is that my club supports me in this passion. Every year, we participate in the March for Babies walk, and last year, our group had more than 45 people participate. In the last five years, we’ve raised about $75,000! It’s been a phenomenal way to remember my children, and celebrate the good they brought to the world.
The women in our club are phenomenal, and have become my best friends. They have the best hearts; they’re so giving; they care about one another; they care about the community. It’s a really fabulous organization to be a part of.
What is your secret for fundraising success?
We try to be creative and host a lot of events. We invited all of our friends to a happy hour and asked them to donate; we had a picnic and provided all the food, and asked them to contribute what they would normally spend on a Saturday evening out. Thankfully, our friends so supportive and generously contribute. We also try to make our cause relevant by sharing what March of Dimes does not just for premature babies, but for all babies. For example, pregnant women are usually advised to increase their intake of folic acid, which helps develop healthier, full-term babies. All of the information regarding folic acid is the result of research done by March of Dimes.
Share your good news.
My husband and I have known from beginning we were meant to be parents. For the last year, we’ve been praying that God would bring us the right child. We found a birth mother in Texas who was interested in meeting with us. On the day we flew to meet her, she was already in labor, and gave birth to a little girl. We named her Aibhilin Joy, which is a Gaelic name that means “longed-for child.” After wanting to be parents for so many years, we felt it was the perfect name. We’re head over heels for her! It’s been the happiest time of our lives.
Annette Bortone is a wife, mother, grandmother, clubwoman, community leader, and much more. Since joining GFWC in 1974, she has evolved into a true leader, serving her club, district, and State Federation, as well as her community at large.
Success For Survivors Scholarship
Each year, GFWC awards scholarships to help intimate partner abuse survivors obtain a post-secondary education that offers a chance to reshape their future by securing employment and gaining personal independence.
GFWC Marlton Woman’s Club
Because of its active involvement in the community, The GFWC Marlton Woman’s Club of Marlton, New Jersey recruited 17 new members in 2015.