News & Notes – March 14, 2019

Women’s History Month Event Recap

GFWC celebrated Women’s History Month and the environmental accomplishments of clubwomen with our annual Women’s History Month talk and reception on March 7. The event featured Dr. Marci Reaven, Vice President of History Exhibitions at the New-York Historical Society. Dr. Reaven detailed parts of the New-York Historical Society’s newest exhibit Hudson Rising: 1825-2025, and focused on the essential role clubwomen have played in preserving the ecology of the Hudson River.

In the 1890s, extensive quarrying of the Palisades, densely forested land located along the banks of the Hudson in both New York and New Jersey, caused a panic. Alarmed at the prospect of losing the Palisades, New Jersey clubwomen leapt into action, prompting the creation of the Palisades Interstate Park Commission. Dr. Reaven discussed the efforts of New Jersey clubwomen Cecilia Gaines and Elizabeth Vermilye who launched a massive public education campaign in an effort to teach the local population about the importance of the region and maintaining public park space.

Clubwomen from D.C., Virginia, Maryland, Delaware, and New York, the Executive Committee, and members of the local D.C. community enjoyed the talk, punch and desserts, and good conversation. Plan to join us next year!

Shot@Life Champions Make A Difference 

Last month, twelve GFWC members attended the 8th Annual Shot@Life Summit in Washington D.C. to advocate for continued funding of global vaccines for children in developing nations. After a day of learning and training, the Shot@Life Champions spent a full day on Capitol Hill visiting Congressional members to educate them about the importance of global vaccines and to ask for continued funding. Champions ranged from first time attendees to seasoned advocates. In total they made 46 visits with staff and 12 visits to members of Congress. As one Champion said, “We were like a well-oiled machine. No nerves, just determination and passion for the cause.”

One attendee said the Summit highlight was her “total fangirl moment” when Senator Patty Murray walked into the room. Attendees also witnessed a heartfelt exchange between Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and the Paralympian athlete Dennis Ogbe as they discussed their personal experiences with polio. Champions valued their interactions with Congressional members who came together to reach the same goal.

Attendees are already gearing up for Shot@Life’s April campaign, Advocate2Vaccinate. The Champions were thankful to GFWC for the opportunity, and we’re thankful for the their support of the cause. Become a Champion next year and put your voice to work!

A Message from Brock, a Canine Companion for Independence

Brock is named after International President Mary Ellen Brock.

Hello GFWC. It was nice meeting many of you at Convention in St. Louis last summer. I’m now 17 months old. Not only have I grown bigger and learned more commands, but I also I flew on a plane for the first time. My puppy raiser, Betsy, told me I was a very good traveler. I curled up under the seat in front of her and slept for the entire flight. We also made a big move from Ohio to Florida, and I have settled in quite well to my new environment. I love playing in my new backyard with my canine siblings and friends. I am very good on leash as I get lots of practice going on walks in the milder winter climate in Florida compared to Ohio’s cold and snow! While I miss my Ohio friends, I am making new friends at the weekly training classes I attend. It’s fun learning new commands that will be the basis of the advanced commands that the Canine Companions trainers will teach me. Speaking of which, my time with my puppy raiser is coming to a close as I will be matriculating in May. This means that nearly 200 puppies like me will be returning to one of six Canine Companions training centers for professional training with the staff trainers. They will work with us for six to nine months, teaching us 40+ commands and everything we need to know to become assistance dogs. I know Betsy will miss me, but she is crossing her fingers and I am crossing my paws that I graduate as an assistance dog and change lives. Well, I need to go since my puppy raiser is telling me it’s time for puppy class. Thank you for supporting Canine Companions and for helping to Give a Dog a Job®…like me!

State President Project: New York, Candace Edwards

As an educator for more than forty years, GFWC New York’s State President, Candace Edwards, is passionate about leaving a legacy by living the volunteer spirit. In doing so, her President’s Project, Leave a Legacy, supports preventing child abuse through Pinwheels for Prevention!

Pinwheels for Prevention was established in 2008 when Prevent Child Abuse America adopted the pinwheel as the new national symbol for child abuse prevention. The whimsical pinwheel represents childhood memories of fun for all children. Children’s healthy development requires a loving and supporting environment. Because children are the future, GFWC New York is investing in healthy child development so that children are more academically and financially successful. By helping children reach their fullest potential, they become productive, contributing adults who in turn help their communities. When GFWC New York invests in healthy child development, it is investing in community and economic development.

GFWC New York President’s Project aims to raise public awareness of preventing child abuse happening right in the very communities in which clubwomen live. Unfortunately, children are sometimes exposed to abuse and neglect, which can undermine their development and not allow them to reach their fullest potential. By supporting Prevent Child Abuse America and Pinwheels for Prevention, research shows taxpayers can save $80 billion per year. By not doing this, skyrocketing costs arise for foster care services, hospitalization, mental health treatment, and law enforcement.

Legislative Action Corner

Reauthorize the Violence Against Women Act

With your help, The Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) could be renewed and improved! With the introduction of a bipartisan bill that would reauthorize VAWA, GFWC has a chance to show our support for survivors of sexual assault and domestic abuse. Make a difference by contacting your members of Congress and urging them to support and sponsor H.R. 1585, The Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act of 2019, as well as introduce companion legislation in the US Senate.

Contact your members of Congress today!

Cares & Condolences

Our condolences to Laurie O’Kelly, 2018-2020 Southern Region Treasurer and Budget and Finance Committee Member, on the passing of her mother-in-law this week.

Volunteers in Action

GFWC of Tennessee is featured on GFWC’s Blog for their success with the Soles4Souls Grand Initiative.

Have a success story to tell? Email

Tree Tidbits: Sound Barriers

Create serenity in a local community situated near a highway or in the regular path of noise. Plant a sequoia, cypress, or cedar tree on National Arbor Day, April 26. Help GFWC leave its mark with 1,000 additional trees!

Join the GFWC Legacy Woman’s Club

The GFWC Legacy Woman’s Club is a club that celebrates clubwomen with generational ties to the organization. Was your mother, grandmother, or even great-grandmother a GFWC clubwoman too? Join the club and honor your legacy.

Buy a Convention Program Ad

Now that registration is officially open, we’re excited about all things Convention, including our Convention Program. You have less than a month to send in your own ad or choose from ours! Check out our Convention Program Ad form to see your options. Order and pay for your ad by March 29.

GFWC Marketplace: WHRC Collections Book

GFWC’s history is women’s history. Celebrate Women’s History Month by supporting the WHRC with a purchase of our second edition of the Collections Book. Get yours for $15 in the GFWC Marketplace.

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