Celebrating GFWC Mothers and Daughters: Part Four
May 24, 2016
This blog is part four of a series about mothers and daughters who share GFWC membership. Click here to read the first three posts!
Sharing membership in GFWC has allowed mothers and daughters to strengthen their bond and share a love of volunteering. In addition to supporting each other as family, these women grow together as friends and clubwomen.
Becca Wagman is grateful that she can share her GFWC experience with her mother, Tricia Wagman, and is inspired by her mother’s positive attitude. Tricia makes every project, even the tiring ones, a lot of fun, Becca said.
“It is reassuring to know that my mom will always have my back and be there for me. But even more special is she understands the way GFWC works and knows how to best support me to be successful in the service of others,” Becca said.
Becca could not wait until the summer of fifth grade, when she would finally be able to join the local GFWC STARS Juniorette club. Tricia began volunteering with the STARS club so that she and Becca could volunteer together.
Tricia has enjoyed watching Becca in action as a volunteer and seeing her grow into leadership positions.
“It has been great to have my daughter share the love for GFWC and the passion for volunteering and living the volunteer spirit. It has been wonderful to serve together this administration as Special Assistant and Becca as an honorary assistant to the GFWC International President. We have made wonderful memories attending and working at the GFWC International Conventions together and being roommates,” Tricia said.
This year, Ellen Owens received a pin for 20 years of service as a member of the GFWC Women’s Club of Manassas, Virginia. This achievement was made even more special by the fact that Ellen’s daughter, Robin Grubbs, just celebrated her 10 year anniversary with the club.
The family’s GFWC legacy continued when Robin’s 20-year-old daughter, Kaitlyn Jones, joined the club this year.
“She has been helping at events for many years and has grown up with the volunteer spirit! We are all very proud to be GFWC clubwomen,” Robin said.
Janet Ordway Atwater’s grandmother, Catherine Schilling Ordway, was one of the twelve founders of the Book and Needle Woman’s Club of Oradell, New Jersey, which was founded in 1915.
Janet’s mother served as president from 1959 to 1961. Janet is now 85 and serves as the club’s historian, parliamentarian, and bylaws chairman. She also served on the Credentials and Registration Committee for the GFWC New Jersey Convention.
“Though many changes have been made in our club to interest the membership of the younger generation, we are a healthy club; our vine is planted deep and we are vibrant in today’s world,” Janet said.
Patti Kwashnak’s mother belonged to GFWC in New Jersey during the 1950s. The women met at a local bowling alley, wearing their hats and gloves. Patti’s mother passed away in 1965, and Patti joined the Red Bank Junior Woman’s Club in 1966. She moved to Connecticut, and is still a GFWC member 50 years later.
Sue Walker has enjoyed teaching her daughter, Kendra Patty, about GFWC. She was especially proud when Kendra was installed as the GFWC Tennessee Director of Junior Clubs.
“It sure has made life more interesting seeing GFWC through the eyes of someone much younger. She has made the meetings fun, sometimes challenging, and so very meaningful. I have been very blessed to have my side kick with me. I dream that my granddaughter will join GFWC and we all can attend the conventions together,” Sue said.
Kendra has found that her mom is a huge source of information for all things GFWC. She has enjoyed attending conventions with Sue and learning about GFWC’s history.
“Having my mother being with me as a GFWC member has made me a better person. I have learned to care and create solutions to problems for the community and I have learned to work with volunteers from across the Unites States,” Kendra said.
If you’re a clubwoman with a legacy in GFWC, please consider joining the GFWC Legacy Club. Learn more by visiting the club’s Facebook page.
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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.
Oregon City Woman's Club
The Oregon City Woman's Club (Oregon) participated at the National Night Out on August 7 with a booth advertising their club.