News & Notes – April 18, 2019

It’s Almost Federation Day

Volunteerism is the heart of GFWC’s mission and our volunteers are the heart of this enduring organization. Celebrate 129 years of GFWC’s history by doing what clubwomen do best: serving their communities.

Leave your mark by completing projects for GFWC’s Seven Grand Initiatives this Federation Day. When you donate used shoes to Soles4Souls, donate Dr. Seuss books to kids in need, or plant a tree for Arbor Day, you are showing the collective strength of clubwomen supporting causes that matter. What better way to show that strength than on the day GFWC was founded?

This Federation Day, email with a synopsis and photo of your service to honor GFWC. We can’t wait to see what another year has in store for us!

Back by Popular Demand: Understanding the Rules of Meetings

When you register for Convention, register to attend a special GFWC/National Association of Parliamentarians special event on Monday, July 1 from 8:00 a.m.–10:15 a.m. This interactive workshop will be conducted by Former National Association of Parliamentarians (NAP) Bylaws Chairman Kirk Overby, PRP.

After the workshop, GFWC members will be given the opportunity to take the “In Brief” Exam to join the NAP. Membership in NAP opens many opportunities, including ongoing professional parliamentary development opportunities, as well as the ability to advance one of GFWC’s strategic goals by seeking parliamentary credentials. More than 90% of the GFWC members who took the exam last year were successful!

GFWC members taking the exam must register directly with NAP and pay the required $42 NAP membership fees plus applicable state dues. To apply:

  1. Start the membership application.
  2. Select Member At Large (MAL) on the registration form.
  3. Select the 40-question exam and choose between the paper or online exam.
  4. List Kirk Overby, PRP as the instructor and Deen Meloro, RP as the monitor.
  5. Use promotional Code GFWC to identify yourself as a GFWC member.
  6. Consider purchasing Robert’s Rules of Order Revised In Brief, 2nd Edition. Order it when you submit your application to have it mailed directly to your address.
  7. Either mail the application to NAP HQ (213 South Main Street, Independence, Missouri, 64050) with a check or fax/email it to NAP HQ with a credit card.

This is a Convention event you don’t want to miss, so register by June 1. If you’ve already registered for Convention but would like to add the NAP Workshop, tou can update your registration. And here’s a quick announcement: we’ve added an extra hour of onsite Convention registration on Thursday, July 27 from 6:00 p.m.–7:00 p.m. to accommodate tour-goers who might miss their chance to register earlier that day!

Pinwheel Garden at GFWC Headquarters

This is the third year that the Pierce Arrows and GFWC District of Columbia have collaborated to plant pinwheels on the lawn of GFWC Headquarters in observance of Child Abuse Prevention Month. Now anyone who walks down the bustling D.C. block will take notice. Plant pinwheels in your community to spread awareness. Thank you to the clubwomen who took time out of their weekend to make the lovely garden display at Headquarters!

State President Project: Illinois, Shelli R. Fehr

Shelli R. Fehr, GFWC Illinois President, has lived in Hampton, Illinois, a small village located on the Mississippi River banks, for 28 years. She has come to respect and love the river and knows that it and other waterways are the lifeblood of the United States. Unfortunately, rivers have been used as dumping grounds for centuries, either due to human misuse or natural disasters. No one deemed it necessary to clean Illinois’ waterways until Living Lands and Waters was formed in East Moline, Illinois by one man whose goal was to clean the Mississippi River. Today it is the only “industrial strength” river cleanup organization like it in the world.

What motivated Shelli to select Living Lands and Waters as the GFWC Illinois Special Project for the 2018–2020 Administration? She wanted to introduce this phenomenal organization to the rest of the state, since it not only works on the Mississippi but also along 21 other rivers around the country. Shelli said: “It’s time our membership embraced this organization that is making our world a better place for this generation and the next.”

Shelli’s goals are for Illinois clubwomen to raise awareness of the plight of waterways, to fundraise for Living Lands and Waters programs, and to volunteer cleaning up their own rivers, removing invasive species, and planting trees. She added: “It is especially important now that there has been so much catastrophic flooding in the midsection of the United States in the past months. Recent flooding of a magnitude rarely seen in history has dumped tons of debris into our nation’s waterways which could jeopardize our drinking water, economic livelihood, and recreational enjoyment. Now is the time to marshal our forces and begin the cleanup in earnest.”

Cares & Concerns

We send our condolences to Past Wisconsin State President (1994-1996) Lois Stanton on the passing of her husband, Tom.

Volunteers in Action

GFWC Utah, GFWC Park City Athenaeum Club (Utah), GFWC West Side (Pennsylvania), and Henry Clay Woman’s Club of GFWC (Virginia) are featured on GFWC’s Blog.

Have a success story to tell? Email

Tree Tidbits: Create a Gathering Space

Trees make an excellent space where the community can gather and relax! Plant a tree like an oak, maple, or sycamore for families to take picnics underneath. Leave your mark on April 26!

Alleviate Hunger and Poverty

Provide students in the southern highlands of Tanzania with nutritious, packaged milk. Or give livestock to families around the world, a gift that will create ongoing sustainable farming opportunities. Learn more about how you and your club can support GFWC Partner Heifer International.

April is School Library Month

School Library Month is a celebration of school libraries and library programs. Every April, librarians are encouraged to host events and activities that highlight the importance that school libraries play in the development of young students. Reading makes a difference in lives of children and you can too! Give back to your school libraries by donating Dr. Seuss books to keep the momentum of the Dr. Seuss Grand Initiative going.

Parliamentary Pointers: The Parliamentarian

by GFWC Parliamentarian Deen J. Meloro, RP

A parliamentarian serves an important role in running a smooth and fair meeting. If she does her job well, you may not even notice she’s there. She is also a resource for other officers, committees, and other members on parliamentary procedure matters and may be asked to do other duties, such as teaching classes or holding office hours.

The president should be allowed to choose the parliamentarian. While the choice may need the ratification of a board, the choice should still be the president’s so that she is comfortable.

The parliamentarian should always be seated next to the president so that she can pass a note to the president with a suggestion or a point of information. A parliamentarian is a consultant, and it is up to the president whether or not she wants to follow that advice.

The parliamentarian should be aware of all upcoming business and should try to identify what parts of that business may be points of contention. She should have reviewed Robert’s Rules of Order in relation to those points. She should have a numbers chart, purchased or homemade, that shows how many votes are needed for a majority vote and for a two-thirds vote. She will need to know the number of members present to determine that number. When a parliamentarian attends a meeting, she needs a copy of Robert’s Rules of Order, the organization’s bylaws and standing rules, and the agenda.

The parliamentarian may not vote in any way during a business session unless it is a ballot vote and she is a member of the organization. She may then fill out a ballot vote when all the other members vote. She may not make motions, participate in debate, or in any way speak to a question. Unlike the president, the parliamentarian cannot temporarily relinquish her position to exercise her rights as a member. In extremely rare circumstances, the presiding officer may ask the parliamentarian to address the assembly to explain a point of parliamentary procedure.

GFWC Marketplace: Graduation Honor Cords

Graduation season is almost upon us. Do you know Juniorettes about to receive their high school diplomas? GFWC’s honor cord will be a bright pop of color and a symbol of their time with GFWC. Get one for $10 in the GFWC Marketplace.

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