News & Notes – February 27, 2020

Celebrate April 24: Federation Day and Arbor Day 

1734 N Street

Exterior of GFWC Headquarters

This year, clubwomen have a special opportunity to celebrate Federation Day and Arbor Day on April 24, 2020. Show your community that GFWC’s roots are 130 years strong!

Help your club’s town plan an event to celebrate Arbor Day! It could be a forward-looking celebration of how planting trees will benefit future generations and it might even include the Arbor Day Proclamation signed by the mayor. If a celebration isn’t already being planned, don’t be shy about having your club take the lead … and make it an opportunity to share the legacy of GFWC with your community.

Start planning now, if you haven’t already! Your club’s participation will help the 2018–2020 Administration leave its mark by planting 20,000 trees at the end of Federation Day 2020.

Cares & Concerns 

It is with great sadness that GFWC announces the passing of GFWC Georgia Past State President (1996-1998) Joanne Dixon’s husband, Jimmy Dixon. Please keep Joanne and her family in your thoughts.

Volunteers in Action

This week’s GFWC Blog features GFWC High Springs New Century Woman’s Club (Florida), GFWC Mississippi, GFWC Women’s Club (New Hampshire), GFWC San Buenaventura Women’s Club (California), and GFWC Oak View Women’s Club (California). Read and comment on their activities celebrating 120 years, supporting their local Domestic Violence Center, hosting a Christmas Tea, and donating blankets to local homeless shelters.

Have a success story to tell? Email

Suffrage at 100: GFWC & The Suffrage Movement 

In 1890, GFWC found its footing as a collection of women’s literary and professional organizations. Marching in step to the movements of the progressive era, clubwomen quickly began to adopt more civic-minded causes. As the twentieth century progressed, clubwomen saw it as their moral imperative to help support progressive causes. Within those causes, support for suffrage grew.

In 1913 a delegation of clubwomen marched in the Woman Suffrage Procession in Washington, D.C. Clubwomen such as Jane Addams and Carrie Chapman Catt helped to organize and lead the historic event. It would prove to be a critical moment for the movement and helped it to develop national support.

By 1914, 17 GFWC State Federations had passed resolutions in support of women’s suffrage. Across the country, clubwomen formed “suffrage clubs,” and organized local rallies, marches, and meetings to help advance their cause. Noted clubwoman Carrie Chapman Catt, who assumed the presidency of the National American Woman Suffrage Association in 1900, also launched a “society plan,” which focused on recruiting women’s club leaders to become vocal advocates for suffrage.

At the 1914 Biennial in Chicago, a resolution to endorse suffrage was raised. Carrie Chapman Catt made an impassioned appeal to the women in favor of the resolution. With WWI looming, voting had become an urgent matter of patriotism. Catt declared that “… it is not a question of right for the women of our land to have the vote, it is a question of duty, it is a question of patriotism, it is a question of women attending to the duties of their motherhood …”

On June 13, GFWC International President Anna Pennybacker called for a vote on the resolution. It stated that “the General Federation of Women’s Clubs give the cause of political equality for men and women its moral support by recording its earnest belief in the principle of political equality regardless of sex.”

The resolution was passed to abundant cheering among the women.

Editor’s Note: In last month’s suffrage article it was implied that Susan B. Anthony attended the Seneca Falls Convention. We would like to clarify that although Anthony dedicated her adult life to the cause of suffrage, she did not organize or attend the Convention.

2020 Convention Registration Opens March 1

It’s the most exciting time of the year: the countdown to Convention! Registration for the 2020 GFWC Annual Convention in Atlanta, GA opens March 1. Bookmark the Annual Convention page, which will have details posted next week. If you register by April 15, you can secure the early bird rate.

Register for the 2020 Women’s History Month Event

Did you know that Abigail Adams became the first First Lady to have been appointed to a federal position? Or that Alice Paul formed the National Woman’s Party when she was only 31 years old? Learn more about these incredible women and others at GFWC’s Women’s History Month celebration on March 5 from 2–4 p.m.!

This year, GFWC will celebrate the 100th anniversary of the 19th Amendment with a performance by Kate Campbell Stevenson. Kate’s one-woman show, Amending America: How Women Won the Vote, will illuminate forgotten stories of the suffrage movement. She will highlight women such as Abigail Adams, First Lady and advocate for women’s rights, Rose Crabtree, a member of the 1920 all-female town council of Jackson Hole, and Alice Paul, co-founder of the National Woman’s Party. Kate’s performance also encourages women to become more active participants in the political process.

To register, please visit the Member Portal!

March 27: Convention Program Ad Deadline 

The 2020 Annual Convention is coming up fast! Are you excited for Atlanta? Get ready by purchasing an ad in the 2020 Convention Program to recognize your club or fellow Federation sisters. Use our Convention Program Ad form to order and pay for your ad by March 27!

Participate in Resolutions Business Discussions at Convention
by Judi Stankowich, GFWC Resolutions Chairman 

A goal of the 2018–2020 Administration is for GFWC members to use legislative action to unite as grassroots advocates to improve the lives of club members, communities, our nation, and the global community. A resolution is the beginning of the legislative action process. Without a resolution adopted by your club, state, or GFWC, members cannot take action in the name of their club or our organization.

The current GFWC Resolutions can be found under the letter “R” by accessing “My Digital Library” after logging into the GFWC Member Portal, or by visiting the Resources Page of GFWC’s website. Annually, GFWC Resolutions are reviewed by committee and new resolutions are considered. New resolutions and those to be amended, rescinded, or remain unchanged are printed in the Call to the GFWC Annual Convention. This enables every member to review the proposed actions. Debate is encouraged—it is the only way that GFWC knows it is representing the will of its membership.

GFWC members should take time to read the information that is provided. If you cannot attend the Convention, ask someone who is to present your opinion. If you have any questions about the proposed actions or the process, contact me, Judi Stankowich.

Curator’s Corner 

What makes the WHRC’s Collection of State Poetry special is the rarity of its contents. A majority of its books were published from 1900–1940 and most are regionally-specific with very few printed. Therefore, the WHRC pays special care and attention to storing and handling the collection. View the latest additions to the WHRC Online Collections database.

Here are some tips on how to care for and preserve your old books:

1. Be gentle. How we handle our books is the most important factor in their preservation. As with any old or delicate document, wash your hands thoroughly before touching the book and ensure they are free of all oils and liquids. If the book is very old, wear a pair of clean white cotton gloves while handling.

Once the book is open, do not let it lay flat. Any action that places extra or unnecessary stress on the book’s binding and spine should be avoided. Items such as rolled up hand or paper towels can be placed on either side of the book to prop it open.

2. Be cool. Books should be stored in an area with low humidity and limited temperature fluctuation. Ideally, books should be in a room that is between 64–72 degrees Fahrenheit. If this is not possible, make sure that they are not in the basement or the attic! Very old or valuable books should also have limited exposure to direct sunlight from a window.

3. Be cautious. Store your books in the upright position, and avoid them tilting or leaning against each other. Try to keep books of the same size stored together to help equalize pressure and prevent indentations on the cover. Books can also be protected by placing them in acid-free artifact boxes or polyethylene bags.

If you have further questions about how to handle your old books, contact WHRC Manager Alyssa Constad.

GFWC Mississippi Valley Region: Kathy Flock  

The Mississippi Valley Region (MVR) has been “Working in Harmony” by being harmonious, active, relevant in its communities, membership-minded, open to new ideas, necessary to its communities, and youthful in attitude. Every Region Conference includes a service project, such as donating preschool games, toys, and Dr. Seuss books in Nebraska in 2018 and making peanut butter and jelly sandwiches for homeless veterans in Kansas in 2019. MVR has been focusing on improving communications among its member states, including adding a quarterly newsletter, establishing a Region Facebook group, and using email to keep our members up-to-date on Region activities.

While all State Federations engage in all Region projects, they also each have their own focus. State Projects for GFWC Kansas are veteran/military support and GFWC Partner Heifer International. GFWC Nebraska’s theme was “GFWC Volunteers Leave Footprints.” That President’s special projects were with GFWC Partner Canine Companions for Independence and Make a Wish Nebraska. GFWC Missouri has two State Projects for this Administration: raising awareness and funds for Canine Companions for Independence and for state scholarships. They created a cookbook with recipes from members and those proceeds, along with additional club donations, resulted in four $1,000 scholarships in 2019 with a projected four more $1,000 scholarships in 2020.

South Dakota chose Heifer International as part of the President’s Projects. GFWC Iowa has completed and distributed almost 2000 “Basic Bags.” The toiletry bags have been given to Hope Lodge, domestic violence shelters, and homeless shelters. Minnesota’s theme for 2018–2020 is “GFWC Supports Our Stars” to serve our veterans, their families, and its communities. North Dakota has focused on human trafficking, and its last State Convention featured information on this topic.

The Mississippi Valley Region will continue “Working in Harmony.”

State Director’s Project: Ohio, Esther Gartland 

The focus for Ohio’s Director of Junior Clubs, Esther Gartland, has been supporting our active military and veterans, as well as their families. Having a strong family history of military service, which dates back to the Revolutionary War and continues through to current generations—including two Gold Star Mothers—this is a cause near and dear to her heart.

The objectives for this Director’s focus are multifaceted. She requested that each club become more involved in recognizing active military and veterans; clubs across the state have already demonstrated a wide array of opportunities for activities. Members have participated in military deployment send-offs, packing boxes and donating supplies at local USO Distribution Centers, making scarves for care packages and deployments, and assisting with “welcome home” celebrations. Food drives were conducted, and large gift baskets were made for the families of the deployed at the holidays. Clubwomen also assisted in helping with “Project Baby Brigade,” baby showers for military moms and for those whose spouses are deployed. Through Trees for Troops, clubwomen assisted local facilities with giving soldiers free freshly-cut trees before the holidays. Holiday stockings were filled with supplies and good wishes as they were boxed and mailed to the deployed military.

From making time to celebrate the 97th birthday of a WWII veteran to adopting local shelters for homeless veterans, each project has been completed with respect and appreciation for their service. Many clubs have provided holiday meals for veterans, supplied libraries and comfort pillows at veterans’ hospitals, and delivered special holiday remembrances to veterans’ facilities throughout the year. Clubwomen participated in Wreaths Across America, and assisted with Honor Flights for our veterans. These projects have each successfully made a difference to others and touched the hearts and lives of many.

Parliamentary Pointers
by GFWC Parliamentarian Deen J. Meloro

Amending bylaws, special rules of order, or a constitution are all forms of amending something previously adopted and is a fairly common practice. Amendment needs previous notice as well as a 2/3 vote in the affirmative.

However, there are other cases when a group may want to amend something previously adopted. If there was action taken that has continuing force and effect and that was the result of the adoption of a main motion, it can be amended or rescinded. There is no time limit to amend something previously adopted and anyone can make the motion, regardless of how they voted on the original motion.

This motion is not used when something has been done as a result of the original motion and can’t be undone. Also, if a member resigns, is elected to an office, or is dropped from membership and that member was present at the time of the action or was officially notified of the action, these actions cannot be undone.

According to Robert’s Rules of Order Newly Revised, “the effect of Rescind is to strike out an entire main motion, resolution, order, or rule that has been adopted at some previous time. Amend Something Previously Adopted is the motion that can be used if it is desired to change only a part of the text or to substitute a different version.”

If previous notice has been sent to the members that a motion to Rescind or Amend Something Previously Adopted will be brought up at the next meeting, along with what the motion will concern, then a majority vote will carry the motion. If there has not been notice, a 2/3 vote in the affirmative will be needed.

Marketplace: Informational Book Bundle 

Read Across America Day is Monday, March 2. The Informational Book Bundle is the perfect way to brush up on your reading. This bundle includes The New Recruit by Sarah Sladek and Learning Through Living … Some Assembly Required by Dr. Suzanne Metzger. Detailing the history on how generations have sustained membership associations, this is a great read for Read Across America Day. Get your copies for $15 in the GFWC Marketplace.