News & Notes: March 4, 2021


March 4, 2021

View our Important Dates page for upcoming events and milestones.

Women’s History Month: Influential Nurses Throughout History

While many have heard of Florence Nightingale, the famous “Lady with the Lamp,” who is revered as the founder of both modern-day nursing traditions and nursing education, there are many other women who influenced this profession in their own ways. In recognition of Women’s History Month, GFWC is shining a light on their incredible contributions.

Mary Walker (1832-1919) was an assistant surgeon during the Civil War who was captured by the Confederate Army and later became the first, and only, woman to receive the Congressional Medal of Honor.

Mary Ann Bickerdyke (1817-1901) established more than 300 field hospitals for sick and wounded soldiers during the Civil War. She became known for risking her own life to retrieve injured soldiers on the battlefield.

Clara Barton (1821-1912) may be most famous for founding the American Red Cross in 1881. She also became known as the “Angel of the Battlefield” for her work as a nurse during the Civil War distributing supplies to soldiers and helping reunite missing soldiers with their families after the war ended.

Mary Ezra Mahoney (1845-1926) was the first African American woman to become a registered nurse. She was one of only four graduates (out of 42 candidates) from her class at the New England Hospital for Women and Children, and she later opened her own private practice. Though she faced discrimination throughout her career, her success encouraged her alma mater to adopt more accepting policies toward African American nursing candidates.

In 1908, Mahoney also cofounded the National Association of Colored Graduate Nurses when the National Nurses Association refused to accept Black members, pioneering the way for future African American nurses.

Lillian Wald (1867-1940) founded a visiting nurse service in 1893 for the poor after seeing the unsanitary conditions in Manhattan’s tenement buildings, and the lack of medical care available to the immigrant population. She also opened Henry Street Settlement in New York City, a community center that provides social services, arts, and healthcare programs to families and children.

Promote STEM Activities Encouraging Cultural Diversity

By Tina Daniel, Ed.D., GFWC Education and Libraries Chairman

The Education and Libraries Challenge Project promotes STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) education, especially for students with special needs. Women make up 28% of the STEM workforce, and the gender gap is highest among the higher-paying jobs.

Organize projects that teach about various cultures and backgrounds. Here are some ideas:

    1. Incorporate the Stone Ages or Ancient Mesopotamia, Egypt, Israel, or India into student activities.
      1. Complete a hunter-gatherer challenge by designing a basket that holds as much weight as possible.
      2. Build an archaeologist’s toolkit.
      3. Design a Ziggurat structure that contains a marble run track. The goal would be to design the longest functioning track.
      4. Select cuneiform symbols to represent each letter of the alphabet, creating an answer key. Students can carve their message for others to decode.
      5. Make mummified apples in Canopic jars.
      6. Engineer a model Masada or a pyramid out of toothpicks.
      7. Design a model of an ancient irrigation system or learn to protect a stupa from flooding.
      8. Build a catapult or model Great Wall of China.
    2. Partner with your local Girl Scout troops to sponsor STEM camps.

After your successful project, submit your story to to be considered for GFWC’s Blog.

Cares & Concerns

In fond memory of Virginia Zanetich, New Jersey State President (1976-1978), we mourn her passing on February 13.

With great sadness, we announce the passing of Scott Trimmer, GFWC Legislation/Public Policy Chairman Vicky Ann Trimmer’s brother, on February 26, from cancer. Condolences can be sent to Vicky Ann Trimmer at 600 E. Winding Hill Rd. Mechanicsburg, Pennsylvania 17055.

Known by many GFWC members for her kindness and leadership, we remember Kathy Flock, Nebraska State President (2006-2008) and Mississippi Valley Region President (2018-2020), with thankful and loving hearts. Kathy passed away on February 28. Condolences can be sent to Kathy’s husband and GFWC Boosters President, Ron Flock, at 710 Bailey Drive, Papillion, Nebraska 68046.

Volunteers in Action

This week’s GFWC Blog features GFWC North Myrtle Beach Woman’s Club (South Carolina), GFWC du Midi Woman’s Club (Alabama), GFWC Ossoli Circle (Tennessee), and GFWC Woman’s Club of Winter Haven (Florida). Over the past few weeks, these clubs have supported and stocked local Little Free Libraries, turned hundreds of plastic bags that would’ve gone into landfills into sleeping mats for people without homes, donated items for survivors of domestic violence, created gifts for GFWC Affiliate Organization Operation Smile, and made Valentine’s Day cards for Meals on Wheels recipients.

March is National Reading Month. If you have a success story to tell about how your club is working to promote libraries, literacy, and the love of a good book, email to be considered for GFWC’s Blog.

Are You a Candidate?

By Linda Crish, GFWC Elections Chairman

Are you considering becoming a candidate for GFWC office? There are three steps involved in the process: determining your eligibility for office, securing an endorsement, and submitting the required documentation to this chairman, postmarked no later than August 2, 2021. These steps are outlined in the GFWC Bylaws and Standing Rules, which are available in the Member Portal’s Digital Library under Resources, B and S respectively (if you don’t already have a Member Portal Profile, please allow 12-24 hours to receive access).


Eligibility requirements are set forth in the GFWC Bylaws, Article VI, Section 6.2, and Eligibility for the office of International President, President-elect, First Vice President, Second Vice President, Secretary, and Treasurer shall include membership in an active GFWC club and service as President of a State Federation or current or past service as GFWC Director of Junior Clubs. Eligibility for the office of Director-elect of Junior Clubs shall include membership in a Junior Club with active membership in GFWC and service as Director of Junior Clubs for a State Federation. The GFWC Director of Junior Clubs shall maintain membership in a Junior Club with active membership in GFWC throughout her term.


All candidates must be nominated by their State Federation. This nomination requires that the candidate obtain the endorsement of the state where she served as State President or State Director of Junior Clubs, the state which endorsed her for GFWC Director of Junior Clubs, or her current state of residence.


State Presidents were issued a letter and a copy of the GFWC Declaration of Candidate Form. If your State Federation endorses a candidate for GFWC office; complete the form and send to the GFWC Elections Chairman with the documentation referenced in GFWC Bylaws Article VII, Section 7.2. Request the GFWC Endorsement Polling form from Headquarters, if applicable.

If you have questions regarding the nomination and election process, please do not hesitate to contact this chairman.

Affiliate Organization Webinars Continue with UN Foundation Shot@Life Campaign

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

The fourth Affiliate Organization Webinar will be UN Foundation Shot@Life Campaign at 4:00 p.m. EST on Wednesday, March 10. Shot@Life aims to ensure that children around the world have access to lifesaving vaccines. Through public education, grassroots advocacy, and fundraising, the organization strives to decrease vaccine-preventable childhood deaths and give every child a shot at a healthy life no matter where they live.

These webinars are presented live and will include time for Q&A. To register, visit Events in the GFWC Member Portal. For ongoing webinar updates, visit the Important Dates Calendar on the GFWC website.

Last Call for the 2021 Convention Pin

Support the 2021 GFWC Annual Convention, “Celebrating Culture, Cultivating Connections,” with a convention pin and wear it to the Celebration Banquet “Gateway to the World,” on Friday, August 27, and it will be your pass to an after-dinner reception in the GFWC President’s Suite. More importantly, you will also honor The Woman’s Club of Toronto and all of our wonderful and diverse global connections.

The stunning white crystal and rhinestone brooches are available for purchase by sending your order form and payment to the GFWC Southern Region (attention: Julie Walters); your name will be listed in the GFWC 2021 Toronto State Night Program.

Headquarters Staffing Update

We are sorry to announce that Stephanie Potell, Executive Coordinator, is leaving GFWC. Her last day with us will be March 5. Please join us in thanking her for all she’s done during her time at GFWC and wishing her success in her next position!

Celebrating the Victories by Thinking Outside the Box

By Karen Crandall, GFWC Membership Committee Member

Club members are important and need to be acknowledged by celebrating their dedication and volunteer work. Celebrating club victories is crucial for retaining our membership and getting new members.

When it is time to plan these celebrations, take your creativity hat out of its box.

You will come up with new, creative ways to celebrate, and be able to shift from a “what we have always done” routine.

There are many reasons to celebrate; here are a just a few:

  1. Years of Membership
  2. Club’s Anniversary
  3. New Members
  4. Club Achievements

There are endless ways to celebrate:

  1. Have a surprise party at a club meeting
  2. Host a catered picnic
  3. Acknowledge volunteers of the month
  4. Write a thank you note.

Put on that fancy, creative hat and celebrate your club’s victories and achievements. Share your club’s ideas on Facebook this month.

Western States Region: Kate LeMere, President

“I think a hero is any person really intent on making this a better place for all people.” – Maya Angelou

The theme for GFWC Western States Region President Kate LeMere’s Administration is: Everyday Heroes. Kate said people always praise the overachievers, record breakers, and celebrities, but often take for granted the people who help their communities every day without any praise or attention. Teachers, garbage collectors, firefighters, nurses, mail carriers, and frontline workers are a few of the folks that keep the world running. To honor their work and to try to make their lives a little easier, Kate had planned different ways to show these “Everyday Heroes” support. However, the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic had other plans.

Since clubs were not able to meet in person, the Region hosted its first meeting of the new Administration via BigMarker with the help of GFWC Communications and Public Relations Chairman Karyn Charvat and GFWC Juniorette Chairman Trina Behbahani. Despite a steep learning curve due to inexperience and poor internet connections, Kate said the wise words of GFWC International President Marian St.Clair and GFWC President-elect Deb Strahanoski helped ensure a good time was had by all.

Kate added although being at home has forced clubwomen to learn more technology than they may have wanted to, this new knowledge will allow people to connect instantly and across great distances – which will come in handy when working with a Region that consists of 10 states from the Rockies to the Pacific.

“We are lighting the way to the future and it couldn’t have been accomplished without the work of the GFWC Western States Region Officers and State Presidents,” she said. “Thank you for all you do to make us a success!”

State President’s Project: Sandy Hauenstein, Pennsylvania

GFWC Pennsylvania clubwomen have embraced State President Sandy Hauenstein’s project: Vision Impairment Awareness. This project came about through an introduction to the Public Relations Director at Vision Resources of Central Pennsylvania (VROCP). She immediately thought it would be an excellent project for 2020 – vision and 2020! The project evolved through communications with VROCP and learning that the four major eye diseases could double by 2050.

The goals of the project are education and awareness of vision impairment, volunteering at local agencies for the Pennsylvania Association for the Blind, and collection of 2020 eyeglasses.

Education and awareness is implemented through communications via the District Chairmen, the state’s website, and Zoom meetings. Members received a general information sheet, project ideas, and a survey of their current knowledge about vision impairment. Articles about eye conditions and testing appeared in the Pennsylvania Clubwoman newsletter sent to members quarterly. Club Chairmen provided information about eye health to members and members shared their personal stories about vision impairment. Local agencies also provide speakers for meetings.

Volunteering at local agencies is limited due to the COVID-19 protocols; however, one club helped with mailings by taking the work home. Another club received a $250 grant and raised $750 to support needs of a local agency. One club also assisted with vision screenings for kindergartens. Sandy currently hosts a two-hour weekly live radio broadcast including news and interesting articles available to the vision impaired and anyone interested. Information is available on VROCP’s website.

The eyeglass collection project totals 2,045 pairs of eyeglasses, 298 cases, and 22 lens wipes to be  donated to local agencies and distributed to those in need.

GFWC Pennsylvania clubwomen will continue to enthusiastically support the project by assisting their local agencies, participating in eyeglass collections, and educating themselves and their communities about vision impairment.

GFWC Marketplace: WHRC Heritage Pin 

In 1892, the Committee on the Federation Badge Pin was created to design an image that would reflect the aim of GFWC. Appointees included GFWC’s founder, Jane Cunningham Croly, and its first president, Charlotte Emmerson Brown. The Committee chose the sun’s rays and the color blue as elements to symbolize the Federation. The resulting pin, GFWC’s original emblem, featured an image of the rising sun in a blue sky above snow-capped mountains with its rays illuminating “GFWC” in block lettering. An upturned, russet-colored banner displayed the motto, “Unity in Diversity.”

The WHRC Heritage Pin offers a faithful facsimile of the original emblem on an updated lapel pin with a magnetic back. Proceeds from the Heritage Pin will be used to repair or replace the picture frames that display GFWC’s historic collection of International Past President Portraits. 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.