News & Notes – July 12, 2018

2018 GFWC Annual Convention in Review

The 2018 GFWC Annual Convention in St. Louis was one for the books. Here are some of the highlights! At the Opening Ceremony, GFWC Secretary Suellen Brazil read dignitary letters, and there was a welcome video from Missouri Representative Ann Wagner. It got Convention started off on a wonderful note.

Nearly 200 women pre-registered for the convention event that was the talk of the town— the National Association of Parliamentarians (NAP) workshop led by NAP President Jim Jones, PRP. More than 50 clubwomen took the exam to become official members of the National Association of Parliamentarians!

GFWC partners exhibited Friday and Saturday, and the highlight was the Canine Companions for Independence table where attendees could visit (and get kisses from) Puppy Brock IV! Workshops on Sunday morning gave partners the chance to expose a broader audience of clubwomen to what they do and what they need from volunteers in hopes that they will bring the information back to their states and get started.

Thirty-eight states entered the Conservation Challenge and strutted their stuff on the runway. The quality of every outfit would have you thinking they were fresh off the racks rather than made from reusable tote bags! One of the judges was Nancy Witter. She was the speaker for the Education and Epsilon Sigma Omicron Awards Brunch, where she had everyone laughing and brought a surprise: a GFWC Theme Song!

The helping hands at the GFWC Annual Convention Service Project were a testament to how clubwomen are always Living the Volunteer Spirit. More than four hundred GFWC volunteers packaged 40,176 meals for Rise Against Hunger! Please enjoy and share this time lapse video of the event!

Congratulations to GFWC International President Mary Ellen Brock, President-Elect Marian St.Clair, First Vice President Deb Strahanoski, Second Vice President Suellen Brazil, Secretary Wendy Carriker, Treasurer Jolie Frankfurth, and Director of Junior Clubs Trisha Schafer, who were installed at this year’s convention. We can’t wait to see what’s in store!

We hope those of you who connected with us in St. Louis enjoyed your time, and to those of you who couldn’t make it, we hope to see you in Austin for next year’s convention! Keep an eye out for a full Convention Recap in the Fall Clubwoman Magazine. In the meantime, enjoy some photos from Convention on our Pinterest.

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MLK Day of Service Ideas

One of the grand initiatives for the 2018-2020 Administration is to have 1,000 clubs participate in the Martin Luther King, Jr. Day of Service on January 21, 2019 and January 20, 2020. Each week in News & Notes we will share a new project idea for how you can contribute to your community that day. Take notes on the ideas you like and present them at your club meeting!

Organize a Blood Donor Drive

Celebrate Martin Luther King, Jr. Day and National Blood Donor Month at the same time! Due to bad weather and illness, January is one of the hardest months for recruiting blood donors. You can work with organizations like American Red Cross to host a blood drive event in your area.

Want to Buy Convention Photos?

Josh Triggs of 3MI Photography has beautiful photos from the 2018 GFWC Annual Convention for purchase on his website. Make sure to check out the album to find photos of you and your friends!

Congratulations to Community Improvement Program Award Winners

The Community Improvement Program Awards showcase the cream of the GFWC volunteering crop. This year’s winners, awarded at the GFWC Annual Convention, and their outstanding projects were no exception.

1st Place – GFWC Women’s Civic League of Cheyenne (Wyoming)

2nd Place – The Woman’s Club of Raleigh (North Carolina)

3rd Place – Lawrenceville Woman’s Club (Georgia)

4th Place – Paradise Valley Junior Woman’s Club (Arizona)

5th Place – GFWC Mill City Woman’s Club (Oregon)

International Affiliate- The American Women’s Club of Toronto (Canada)

Congratulations to these clubs for the incredible ways they’ve served their communities and shown what it means to truly live the volunteer spirit!

Congratulations to the 2018 LEADS Class

The Leadership, Education, and Development Seminar, better known as LEADS, is one of GFWC’s most successful training tools. Started in 2002, LEADS has provided GFWC with hundreds of well-trained and enthusiastic leaders. Congratulations to the 47 graduates of the 2018 LEADS class who learned about protocol, body language, and more at the GFWC Annual Convention! To learn more about LEADS, visit

Reminder: Search Engines Make Security Even Stricter in July

Don’t get caught off guard by Google’s plans to discourage traffic to your club’s website in July! We recommend contacting your technology provider as soon as possible to install an SSL certificate to prevent website visitors from receiving security warnings. Google already ranks websites without an SSL certificate lower in Internet searches, so it may become even harder for prospective members to find your club website online. You can read more here.

Legislative Action Corner

Congratulations to the state federations that received GFWC’s Legislative Action Center Increase Award. These states had the largest percentage increase in subscribers over a one year period and were awarded at GFWC’s 2018 Annual Convention in St. Louis, MO. Unified Solutions, LLC also sponsored a $50 monetary award for each winning state federation. The winning state federations were GFWC Utah, GFWC Louisiana, GFWC Iowa, GFWC Connecticut, GFWC North Carolina, and GFWC Florida.  If you haven’t already, we encourage you to subscribe to the Legislative Action Center for updates on legislation that GFWC is supporting, opposing, or monitoring. Our LAC is a one-stop shop to communicating with your legislators on the issues that are important to our federation.

Subscribe now and you may also help your state win an award at the 2019 Annual Convention in Austin, TX.

Picture of the Week

The GFWC Women’s Club of Milton (Delaware) had the opportunity to tour the Governor’s Mansion recently in Dover, DE. They were greeted by Governor John Carney. Chairwoman Leah Betts organized the tour as part of the club’s legislative program.

GFWC Marketplace Sale

Interested in learning more about GFWC history and museum collection? The second edition of Rising to Light by Higher Things is now available in Marketplace for $15! The new edition details 128 years’ worth of GFWC History and introduces salient pieces of the Women’s History and Resource Center collection. 100% of the proceeds from book sales will go to support the WHRC.