Katherine White: A Born Leader
August 30, 2016
The Jennie Award is named after Jane Cunningham Croly, the founder of GFWC who worked as a journalist using the pen name “Jennie June.” The women honored with this award are a true reflection of the spirit of GFWC’s founder, whose independence and courage led her to form the General Federation of Women’s Clubs in 1890. As the only award at the Federation level that recognizes individuals for their service, it is truly the highest honor a clubwoman can receive. Much like Jennie June, these women are committed to improving the lives of those around them. They live and breathe volunteer service, and are completely devoted to their clubs, communities, and families.
We hope you have enjoyed reading about this year’s Jennie Award Winners. To learn more about the award, please visit http://bit.ly/2bv6KTK.
Katherine (Kathy) White, a member of the Winterport Woman’s Club in Winterport, Maine, is this year’s New England Region Recipient of the Jennie Award. GFWC was honored to present Kathy with this award in front of her friends, family, and fellow clubwomen at the Wonderful, Wacky Women Luncheon during the 2016 GFWC Annual Convention.
“Living the Volunteer Spirit is not just a tagline when used in reference to Katherine White. Kathy has been a volunteer her entire life.” This sentence opens the narrative included in Kathy’s Jennie Award Nomination Form, and perfectly captures her dedication to community service.
For over 30 years, Kathy has served the Winterport Woman’s Club as a board member, leading the club in numerous successful projects. Within GFWC Maine, Kathy has held the office of State President, Executive Committee Member, District President, and Chairman of various committees. As GFWC Maine President, Kathy’s Special Project, Family Well-being, raising over $40,000 for Maine Partnership for Healthy Communities.
Kathy led the club in renovating the Union Meeting House, a 175-year-old building on the National Register of Historic Places, raising $200,000 to save the house’s steeple. She has dedicated herself to raising awareness of domestic violence, organizing the collection of 482 pairs of socks to be donated to local domestic violence shelters. As co-chair of the Winterport Community Fund Drive, she helped raise $30,000 over the course of six months, surpassing the original $25,000 goal. The proceeds from this drive were donated to the Lafayette Cancer Center. Through the club’s Community Calendar Fundraiser, Kathy has helped raise money for scholarships, town beautification projects, and the local food pantry.
“Kathy is a well-rounded lady who will do any job asked of her to the very best of her ability, and in an impeccable way,” said Jane Le Vie, 2014-2016 GFWC Maine District Three President.
On the national level, Kathy has served as New England Region President and on several GFWC Committees, including International Liaisons, Signature Program, Communications and Public Relations, and Membership.
“Kathy’s dedication and love for GFWC is evident in all the many ways she has served this wonderful organization. She will be the first to tell you that GFWC is a wonderful opportunity to enrich your life. She is also living proof of that statement,” Jane said.
In addition to her work with GFWC, Kathy has served multiple positions for the Winterport Health Council and the National Council of Alcoholism and Drug Dependency for Maine. She has been a member of the American Legion Auxiliary, Maine Partnership for Healthy Communities, and the Bangor Junior League.
Congratulations, Kathy, and thank you for Living the Volunteer Spirit in all that you do.
Debra 'Deb' Strahanoski
GFWC Second Vice-President Debra "Deb" Strahanoski has been a dedicated GFWC Illinois clubwoman for 28 years and is highly regarded as a mentor to many.
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 Junior Women's Club of Lake Murray
The GFWC Junior Women's Club of Lake Murray (South Carolina) aims to improve the Lake Murray area through various hands-on projects. Each month holds new and exciting volunteer opportunities, such as helping at a local children's shelter, packing Snack Packs for area schools, and adopting a family for Christmas.