News & Notes: February 11, 2021

February 11, 2021

View our Important Dates page for upcoming events and milestones.

President’s Pick

By Marian St.Clair, GFWC International President

January’s blog posts highlighted an array of projects with many focused on the holidays. Choosing a winner from these inspiring and benevolent efforts was a challenge, but this month’s “President’s Pick,” the 48th annual Holiday of Trees sponsored by The Heritage League of Lincoln (Nebraska), touched my heart for several reasons.

First, the club decided to make the event remote, noting on their website, “We simply couldn’t imagine abandoning one of Lincoln’s longtime traditions. So our club did what we have been doing every day since last March, we adjusted…and got creative!”

I love a club that faces adversity with a new plan! Plus, they donated their event proceeds to Community Crops, an organization supporting the local food movement through education, advocacy, and experiences. What a wise choice, especially when COVID-19 has made food insecurity a struggle for many families. Even in good times, however, the healthiest foods are also the most costly, yet can be inexpensive to grow.

The Holiday of Trees also received great press. In the Lincoln Journal Star, I discovered the first event in 1973 featured 10 trees and raised $1,000 for the new Burn Center at St. Elizabeth Hospital. Since that time, nearly $300,000 has been donated to local organizations.

The club’s new website, created to host the virtual event, will benefit them for years to come. It’s fresh and creative, and the “What We are Doing” section is pure inspiration. Who wouldn’t want to join a club that provides music camp scholarships for middle school students, supports the local literacy council, and holds a Teddy Bear Luncheon?

Thank goodness The Heritage League of Lincoln didn’t give up on their much-loved holiday event. Congratulations to President Amy Dusenbery and the club’s many devoted members for a job well done!

Women’s History Month: Registration Open for Event With First Croly Award Winner  Sara Hammel

Twenty-five years ago, a young reporter working for a Massachusetts daily newspaper got one of the most exciting calls of her life. On the phone was a representative from GFWC informing Sara Hammel she had become the first-ever recipient of the Jane Cunningham Croly Award for a series of articles she wrote about her experience as a participant in a seven-month Army strength study on women. Sara recently turned the newspaper articles that won the Croly Award into a book.

Sara will now be joining us at 4:00 p.m. EST March 3, to talk about her book, “The Strong Ones,” and her journey since 1996 when she won the award from GFWC. Register by the March 1 deadline, visiting Events in the GFWC Member Portal.

For this Women’s History Month, GFWC is focusing on celebrating victories and accomplishments along the road to equality. Sara’s is the first story to be told this March. Her book, “The Strong Ones,” is the perfect encapsulation of this theme and explains how all the small things, when added up, can change the world.

In her book, Sara writes:

“We have all done our parts to get where we are today; we are all in this together. We are the millions of snowflakes that created an avalanche. The most important, striking thing I learned from this journey from 1995 to 2021 was that what we do to change the world matters—even if we don’t know it at the time.” 

A sneak preview of the first chapter of “The Strong Ones” is available in the GFWC Member Portal for clubwomen, located under the “S” Resources folder in the Digital Library.

Register now.  Sara’s story can be purchased from local bookstores and Amazon.

Volunteers in Action

This week’s GFWC Blog features the GFWC Mesquite Club of Las Vegas (Nevada), GFWC Battle Ground (Washington), GFWC Woman’s Club of South County (Rhode Island), and GFWC Millville Woman’s Club (New Jersey). Read about how clubwomen came together to donate more than 200 pounds of food to a local food bank, provide people in need with warm winter coats, bring fun activities to residents of adult-care facilities, and make colorful blankets for abused and neglected children.

Have a success story to tell? Email to be considered for GFWC’s Blog.

The GFWC Photography Contest

By Shari Carter, GFWC Photography Contests Chairman

Taken by Shari: London Beauty–Hyde Park, London

As Ansel Adams said: “You don’t make a photograph just with a camera. You bring to the act of photography all the pictures you have seen, the books you have read, the music you have heard, the people you have loved.”

I am looking forward to seeing all of your beautiful photographs. I have seen some excellent photos on Facebook and am excited to see your interpretation of this Administration’s contests.

For the 2020-2022 Administration, we are offering two contests: The World in Pictures and GFWC Living the Volunteer Spirit.

The World in Pictures has three categories:

  • The first, the World Up Close, takes the viewer into a whole new close-up world.
  • The second, Natural Wonders, showcases mountains, meadows, rivers, oceans, or any other magnificent vistas.
  • The third category, Reflections, features settings or situations that will bring back memories or capture a fleeting image reflected in water, glass, or a mirror.

GFWC Living the Volunteer Spirit captures special moments, projects, and programs in the lives of GFWC clubwomen.

For this year, we will be including photos taken between January 1, 2019, and December 31, 2020, since the 2020 Contest was not held.

As for judging the photographs:

  • State Level–Clubs will send their entries to their State Photography Contest Chairman. The States will determine the deadline.
  • National Level–Each State Photography Contest Chairman will send one winner from each contest and category to GFWC Headquarters in Washington, D.C. postmarked by May 15. The address is GFWC, 1734 N Street NW, Washington D.C., 20036.

There are monetary prizes for these contests: $100 for first prize, $75 for second prize, and $50 for third prize.

If your State Convention is after May 15, please let me and the Second Vice President know.

Visit the Photography Contests section of the 2020-2022 Club Manual in the Member Portal’s Digital Library; there is a “C” Resources folder and then an “Awards and Contests” folder within the “Club Manual” sub-folder. In the “Forms” sub-folder of the Club Manual root folder, you will find GFWC’s Creative Arts Waiver Form.

Announcing the Convention Theme

The theme for the 2021 GFWC Annual Convention is “Celebrating Culture, Cultivating Connections.” Culture reflects a society’s values and customs, and provides a means to relate to and understand one another. Cultural awareness promotes effective communication and profoundly increases the ability to appreciate and enjoy a variety of new people and experiences. Connecting with each other as individuals, or in groups, gives us the opportunity to work together to bridge the cultural divides that hinder our efforts to have a positive impact in our communities and around the world.

Stay tuned for 2021 Convention details and imagine the possibilities as we make plans to come together in friendship and earnest pursuit of improving the lives of others!

Affiliate Organization Webinars Continue with Prevent Child Abuse America on February 17

Follow News & Notes and monitor the Important Dates Calendar at for updates regarding the Webinar Series.

The second Affiliate Organization Webinar will be Prevent Child Abuse America (PCAA) at 4:00 p.m. EST on Wednesday, February 17. PCAA is the nation’s oldest and largest organization committed to preventing child abuse and neglect before it happens.

These webinars are presented live and will include time for Q&A. The webinars will be recorded so that you can watch the webinar at a later date if you’ve already registered. To register, visit Events in the GFWC Member Portal. For ongoing webinar updates, visit the Important Dates Calendar on the GFWC website.

Techie’s Tips: How to Remove Downloads from Your Computer

Have you ever tried to download a document to your computer from the Digital Library, only to realize you don’t have enough space? As you download countless photos and documents from the internet, eventually you may need to delete some of these files to make space for new information. Here’s how you can delete old downloaded files on your computer:

On a PC:

  1. Navigate to the Search Bar next to the Windows Start Menu.
  2. Enter “File Explorer” and select File Explorer.
  3. Select the Downloads folder on the left side of the window.
  4. To select all the files in the Downloads folder, press Ctrl+A. You can also select individual files to delete, but this may take longer.
  5. Right-click the selected file(s) and select Delete.
  6. Select Yes to confirm the deletion of the files.
  7. Right-click the Recycle Bin in the top left corner of your Desktop.
  8. Select Empty Recycle Bin if you wish to delete the downloads from your PC permanently.

On a Mac:

  1. Open the Finder app.
  2. Click on Downloads in the left-hand side menu of the Finder box. It should have an icon with a dark gray circle and an arrow in it.
  3. To select all the files in the Downloads folder, press Command+A. You can also select individual files to delete, but this may take longer.
  4. Right-click on the file(s), and then click Move to Trash from the pop-up menu. You can also click File and then Move to Trash in the top menu bar, or open the gray gear icon at the top of the Finder window and select Move to Trash.
  5. Once the files are in your Trash, right click on the Trash icon in your dock and select Empty Trash from the pop-up menu.

Follow those simple steps to make sure you have space for new downloads!

South Central Region: Cathie Ryan, President

What does one do when, after weeks of planning a remote Region Conference, Hurricane Delta has its eye on Louisiana – the very spot where the Region President is planning to preside? Well, they find a Plan B! Fortunately for the South Central Region, another spot was available two weeks after the scheduled conference, and the meeting was held the afternoon of October 24.

GFWC South Central Region President Cathie Ryan chose “Bee the One” as her theme for the Administration. Every member can strive to “Bee the One” who makes a difference as she buzzes around her community. Bee-inspired headgear was even worn during the Zoom Happy Hour the night before the conference! Cathie encourages all members to be educated about the plight of the bee population.

Cathie introduced her special project, the National Organization for Rare Diseases (NORD), with a short video during the conference. She explained she was drawn to this group when her great-grandson, Jameson, was born with the rare disorder known as PKU (Phenylketonuria), which causes his body to be unable to metabolize protein. A special formula will keep his brain developing normally, but it is expensive and insurance frequently does not cover it as children get older. This is the type of issue NORD uses its lobbying power to fight for, as well as encouraging research on many other rare conditions.

The conference also had special guest speaker, Dima Ghawi, author of “Breaking Vases.” Dima is a Middle-Eastern woman who has broken away from a patriarchal society to become an independent woman. She encouraged her listeners, especially women, to “break through your fears to reach your goals.”

Until it is time to meet again next October, South Central Region members are encouraged to support the Capital Campaign by saving their “Quarters for Headquarters!”

State President’s Project: Cindy Simmons, Texas

GFWC Texas State President Cindy Simmons’ special project is: Domestic and Sexual Violence Awareness and Prevention–Helping our Children and Women in the Military. This project coincides with her theme: Volunteerism–For Home and Country, which she hopes will further clubs’ abilities to help military families abroad and at home. Club members will receive information about a statewide project during the spring convention.

Cindy said GFWC Texas club members will not let anything hold them back from doing what Federation women have done for the last 130 years, even learning to use Zoom or becoming more familiar with the world of technology.

“I am so proud that our women have stepped up and still continue to help make the world a better place,” she said.

Although the future may be different than what people once imagined, Cindy said she believes everyone will be stronger and better for it, and all communities will know that nothing stops GFWC Texas members from helping their neighbors.

Cindy pledged to visit every club in the state of Texas, and despite being slowed down by COVID-19, she said she will work hard to keep that promise by attending meetings and getting to know as many Texas clubwomen as possible. She added she is looking forward to a time when everyone can get together and work hard to make a difference.

“We must continue to make membership our number one priority. If every member would ask one person to join their club, we would double our membership,” Cindy said, noting she would love to see more growth in Juniorette and Junior Clubs in particular. “Ladies, the youth is our future.”

As the 61st GFWC Texas State President, Cindy said she has enjoyed her Federation journey and intends to continue for many years to come.

Club Anniversaries & Gold Pin Recipients



GFWC Chapin Woman’s Club (South Carolina)

GFWC Woman’s Club of Hendersonville (Tennessee)


GFWC Crystal River Woman’s Club (Florida)

GFWC Nevis Woman’s Club (Minnesota)

GFWC Torrance Woman’s Club (California).


Gold Pin Recipients

Linda Butcher

GFWC Sokico Woman’s Club (Washington)

Ann Gehres

GFWC Southern Sarasota County Woman’s Club (New York)

Eleanor Haverly

GFWC Delmar Progress Club (New York)

Nancy Jones

GFWC Sokico Woman’s Club (Washington)

Barbara Murray

GFWC Sokico Woman’s Club (Washington)

Joan Pavolis

GFWC Westborough Woman’s Club (Massachusetts)

Sharon Roberts

GFWC Sokico Woman’s Club (Washington)

Kay Villines

GFWC Durant Fortnightly Club (Oklahoma)

GFWC Marketplace: Shoe Bag 

Whether you are heading to the gym or taking a socially distanced vacation, there’s no better travel accessory than the GFWC shoe bag. This stylish and secure bag is a convenient way to safely carry your shoes or other belongings, and the soft pink color and GFWC emblem will make a statement wherever you go. Order yours today.

There have been reports of mail service delays in many communities throughout the United States. GFWC staff is processing Marketplace orders as quickly as possible, but Headquarters is still operating with limited staff onsite daily. In order to speed up processing of your order, we request that you pay for your order at time of purchase in the Member Portal.  For details on mail service in your area, visit the USPS Service Alerts page.