During the past six years, Darby Frankfurth has risen from club chairmanships and officer roles, all the way to GFWC Florida state office. This would be a successful Federation career by any standard, but Darby is only 17 years old. As the newly-elected GFWC Florida Juniorette Director, Darby is charged with enriching the state’s 19 Juniorette clubs and 558 members—while balancing friends, academics, college applications, competing on the varsity golf team, and volunteering at the Florida Aquarium.
What are your responsibilities as GFWC Florida Juniorette Director?
I’m a mentor to all Juniorette clubs, and in charge of the JASM—Juniorette Annual Summer Meeting. I work with the Juniorette board on planning the events and activities. JASM is where all the GFWC Florida Juniorettes get together in one location, and we have activities and service projects and fashion shows, and then we also have the awards ceremony at the end. I run all that.
Being a Juniorette definitely widens that spectrum of people you interact with.
What do you think is the hardest part of being a Juniorette?
Trying to balance everything—school and academics and volunteering and sports and being a part of the club. I’m on the girls’ golf team, but I only golf the first semester of school. Everything gets a little backed up, but I usually have time for both. Another girl in our club is on the swim team. She comes to club meetings with her hair still wet, sometimes still in her bathing suit, but she really wants to be there, so she comes straight from practice.
What’s the best part about being a Juniorette?
When you’re growing up, I think you should always be in a summer camp, because it helps you be more socialized. When you get to middle and high school, being a part of Juniorettes just further helps the socialization of all of us. We get to meet people from different ethnic groups, races, and religions. It doesn’t even matter, you just meet with everybody. Being a Juniorette definitely widens that spectrum of people you interact with.
What are your interactions like with your sponsoring club?
Our advisor is part of the GFWC New Tampa Juniors, so we do a lot with that club. A lot of our moms are in that club as well; my mom is too. Sometimes they come out to our meetings and teach us about safety, or texting while driving. One member who has an autistic child came and talked with us about her life and autism awareness.
What advice do you have for a general or junior club interested in forming a Juniorette club?
All they have to do is make it fun! Get our attention. make us want to be there, to work beside them and be a part of everything. They have to make it interesting to us. Reach out to daughters, daughters’ friends, school programs, granddaughters.
What should they do for a first activity?
Something hands-on or something fun. Something where you can move around. We did a self-defense class where we learned a few protection moves in case somebody was trying to assault us, to learn how to get their hands off you.
What’s your favorite memory of being a GFWC member with your mom?
My mom and I work together a lot. We did a Pinwheels for Prevention project together, and planted 1,000 pinwheels outside of the GFWC Florida headquarters. Having her right there with me is a lot of fun. I love having her be a part of the stuff I do. I love my mom.
Volunteers in Action: GFWC du Midi Woman’s Club (Alabama), GFWC Valamont Woman’s Club (Tennessee), GFWC Viera Woman’s Club (Florida), GFWC Woman’s Club of Plant City (Florida), and GFWC Junior Women’s Club of Walpole (Massachusetts)
Minnie Bell Johnson
Minnie Bell Johnson is described by her fellow clubwomen as the happiest person they know, with a smile that brightens the whole room. Having just celebrated her 100th birthday, she has many reasons to smile. During her time with the Portland Woman’s Club (Oregon), she has served as both the club treasurer and club president. She’s still an active member to this day, voting on issues and club elections, and participating in projects like handing out personal care products to homeless women at the Rose Haven Women and Children’s Day Shelter.
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 Lawrence Classics Club
The GFWC Lawrence Classics Club (Kansas) has 19 members, and it’s an incredible mixture: one charter member has been involved since 1997; one member has been part of GFWC since 1960; there are a mother and daughter pair who are 2nd and 3rd generation clubwomen; four members are Boosters; and their youngest member only graduated from college last year. This assorted group shares the same values about volunteerism and puts them into action.