I’m a Clubwoman: Debbie Hall
July 15, 2019
A clubwoman from Arkansas, Debbie Hall has been a member of GFWC for 35 years, a fact that she finds hard to believe. Currently serving as the Credentials Committee Chairman on the 2018–2020 Board of Directors, she reflects fondly on the rewarding journey of becoming increasingly involved with GFWC.
How did you get involved with GFWC and your club?
I joined the GFWC Junior Civic League of Fort Smith in 1984. Their big fundraiser was the Red Stocking Revue, which always needed more volunteers. Some of my good friends worked on the show and so I got involved. I joined the club afterwards and have been a member ever since.
When I first joined, I had four young daughters so I focused mainly on local club work. But as my children grew up, I had more time to get involved at the District level, then the state level, and finally the national level.
Which club project has been the most important to you?
I loved doing our Red Stocking Revue, but eventually it ran its course. For a number of years, we sponsored a Night at the Races and I enjoyed that. Our big fundraiser has always been to raise funds for Bost, Inc. It’s a wonderful agency for people with disabilities. It started out as a school for kids with special needs, but as our public school enlarged and the special education program grew, Bost, Inc. started helping families until their little one went to kindergarten. Then they provide more training and apartments and homes for when they become adults. Our club now helps Bost, Inc. with their huge fundraiser, Grape Escapes.
Has working in a school system influenced your experience as a volunteer or vice versa?
I’m now the financial secretary for Southside High School. I spent so much time doing PTA work when my children grew up that I knew everyone in our school. I subbed for our school system for five years and then the Principal of Southside offered me a half day job in attendance. My current job grew from there. Working with children of all ages is a joy to me, so I seek out those opportunities. I’ve taught Sunday school at Church, and worked with both Girls Scouts and our Youth Tennis Program.
You’re the Credentials Committee Chairman. What was your journey to that leadership position?
Since I love greeting and talking to our members and I love working with numbers and money, doing credentials is the right job for me. I have done it for years for our district and state, our regional meeting when it is our time to host, and have served on the Credentials Committee three times. This year, I am Chairman of the Committee.
What was your favorite part of the 2019 GFWC Annual Convention?
I always love Convention. I’ve enjoyed it even more working on Credentials because I love having something to do and somewhere to be at Convention. I like that the Credentials Committee gets to see and catch up with all the ladies as they register.
Since I love hearing an author speak about their work and getting a chance to meet them, I also loved having Joe Starita as a speaker this year.
What is the best lesson you’ve learned during your time with GFWC?
If you have something in your community that you don’t like, help to change it! Or, at least learn why it has to be that way.
What has been the most rewarding part about being a clubwoman?
I’ve loved being a clubwoman because I get to make friends with our members, both longtime members and new ones alike, while working to help our community. Through GFWC, my friends have expanded to include ladies across my state and now across the nation.
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Sharon Oliphant is filled with positive energy and gratitude for all of the opportunities she has to give back because of GFWC. In 2018 she will begin her time as Florida State President, and Sharon is assume the role and work with her enthusiastic Florida clubwomen to make a difference.
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