News & Notes – March 7, 2019

The Cam Kwoki Woman’s Club had a special ceremony
where they were presented with
International pins
donated by International President Mary Ellen Brock.

Tomorrow Is International Women’s Day


The first National Woman’s Day was observed in the U.S. on February 28, 1909. The Socialist Party of America designated the day to honor participants of the 1908 garment workers strike in New York City. In 1910, Women’s Day was established by international charter in Copenhagen to honor those participating in the women’s rights movement around the world. Throughout WWI, International Women’s Day was used by women as a vehicle for advocating for peace and to express solidarity with other activists. It wasn’t until 1975 that the observance officially began to be celebrated on March 8.

GFWC International Affiliates

Celebrate by sharing the recent work of the International Affiliates who joined GFWC’s family last year. Projects include:

GFWC Belmopan Women’s Club (Belize)

  • Monthly “Bingo and Art” fundraiser and art appreciation night where the community gathers to hear local artists and musicians.
  • Bottle cap collection to fund chemotherapy sessions for hospitalized children.
  • Breakfast for hungry school children.
  • A community garden for local residents to plant vegetables, herbs, and flowers for both personal consumption and for sale to the community.

GFWC Belmopan Juniorettes (Belize)

  • Donation of books and clothing to a local group foster home where they spent an afternoon reading and playing games with the children.

The Cam Kwoki Woman’s Club (Uganda)

  • Work towards a loan plan for women.
  • Chicken and pig raising.
  • Beaded handbags, candles, and body jelly production.
  • Support of orphans.

Cam Kwoki members recently expressed thanks to GFWC Maine for donating over 760 reusable sanitary pads, cloth bags, and underwear. Prior to receiving the pads, young girls missed up to 55 days of school each year. Since the donation, school attendance for girls has dramatically increased, and their academic achievement and self-confidence has grown.

GFWC is proud of all of our International Affiliates and everything they do!

Tour Austin with Us

Every year during GFWC’s Annual Convention, wonderful events and meetings happen inside the hotel walls. But there’s a whole city outside to explore with your Federation sisters too! Register for a tour so you can let us take care of everything while you experience all Austin has to offer.

  • Prepare to shop ‘til you drop on our Day in Waco. HGTV’s “Fixer Upper” couple, Chip and Joanna Gaines, offer a little something for everyone in their Magnolia Market.
  • With stops at the Texas Capitol, LBJ Presidential Library, GFWC Texas Headquarters, and Bullock Texas State History Museum, the Texas History Tour is great for history buffs and lovers of learning.
  • Our thrill seekers should take advantage of the Zip Lining opportunity. Take in the Texas scenery from the skies!

Book your tours when you register for Convention to see the sights in style. After you register, use our official Convention hashtag: #GFWCinAustin19 on your social media accounts to share your excitement and join the conversation about an event everyone will be talking about for the rest of the year!

Celebrating Read Across America Day

Last week, International President Mary Ellen Brock and President-elect Marian St.Clair delivered 400 books to a local elementary school in Washington, D.C. There were enough books to give every child one, as well as stock the school library. All books were donated by clubwomen across the country for the Dr. Seuss Grand Initiative, and the children certainly appreciated their generosity.

State President Project: Delaware, S. Carla Pyle

Past State President’s Club collected art supplies for the local Very Special Arts Program in Delaware to support President Pyle’s special project.

GFWC Delaware’s 2018–2020 State President Project is Helping Individuals With Special Needs – From Youth Through the Elderly. The six GFWC community service programmatic areas provide a variety of opportunities for clubs to do at least one service project for people with special needs over two years.

Whichever focus a club takes, Carla Pyle hopes that this State President Project inspires clubwomen throughout Delaware to have a heightened awareness of the daily limitations and challenges that people with special needs have. Carla herself has experienced firsthand how people with disabilities can live a more productive life with love and support. She has survived short-term paralysis from Guillain-Barre Syndrome, and she has a relative diagnosed with a learning disability and another who was born with water on the brain and terribly twisted legs. She also now walks with a cane.

To raise ongoing awareness of this project, there will be speakers from organizations serving people with special needs and fundraisers throughout 2018–2020. The state clubs support the annual Fall Fling for young people with developmental disabilities. Several clubs have established their own partnerships with Best Buddies International and others with various veterans groups. One club has sponsored a book signing with an author writing about parenting a child with autism, arranged free rent for a parental support group for autism, and provided space (rent free) for a monthly art program for special needs children to use. At the end of Carla’s term in office, she will select the recipients of the funds raised during Delaware’s two Federation Day events for the State President’s Project.

Check out GFWC’s Pinterest for more photos.

Parliamentary Pointers: Electronic Meetings

By GFWC Parliamentarian Deen J. Meloro

There is an increasing preference to transact business in an electronic format. If your club bylaws allow it, small meetings, such as a committee or other small group, may communicate through electronic means, such as the internet and telephone conference calls. At a minimum, those meetings must provide the opportunity for simultaneous aural communication. If you are using a tool that allows for visual, as well as aural, communication, then everyone has to be able to see each other. Since the minimum requirement of an electronic meeting is that everyone has to be able to hear everyone else, using email, fax, or a chat room is not allowed to substitute for a meeting.

Your bylaws should indicate whether or not members who are not present at a meeting in person have the right to “join” the meeting by electronic means. What about those members who do not want to conduct the meeting electronically but would prefer the usual face to face meeting? How will you handle that?

If you are going to have an electronic meeting, then the call to the meeting must include adequate instructions on how to participate. Other considerations that should be covered in Standing Rules, committee instructions, and other places:

  • What type of equipment is needed for participation. Will the club pay for this needed equipment or are those without it just excluded? What if there is a malfunction of some kind?
  • How will you determine the presence of a quorum? How will you determine if the quorum continues to exist throughout the meeting?
  • How do members get the immediate attention of the chair?
  • How do members obtain the floor?
  • How are motions submitted?
  • How are you going to take votes?
  • How are you going to ensure that non-members are not part of the meeting unless they have been invited?

These questions and others that may apply to your group should be answered before an amendment to the Bylaws on electronic meetings is considered.

Cares & Concerns

Our condolences to the family and friends of Kay Faucher, Past Massachusetts State President (1974-1976), Past New England Region President (1982-1984), and Special Assistant to GFWC International President Ann Holland (1992-1994), on her passing.

Our thoughts are with Mary Pat Marcello, Past New Jersey State President (2006-2008) and 2018-2020 Convention and Meetings Chairman, on the passing of her husband, Patrick, last weekend. Contributions may be made in his memory to The Century for the Cure.

Volunteers in Action

The Reed City GFWC (Michigan), GFWC North Pinellas Woman’s Club (Florida), GFWC Polk County Service Club (Oregon), GFWC Ossoli Circle (Tennessee), GFWC District of Columbia, and the Henry Clay Woman’s Club of GFWC (Virginia) are featured on GFWC’s Blog for their Read Across America Day projects.

Have a success story to tell? Email

Celebrate Women’s History Month

Today is GFWC’s Annual Women’s History Month Event, but that’s not the only way you can celebrate. Here are a few ideas for how you can observe the month:

  • Read GFWC’s new publication about the women currently serving in Congress.
  • Host a Women’s History Month Movie Night to watch a film or documentary about important women in history.
  • Host a Women’s History Month party to recognize the women in your life. Have guests bring items to donate to a local women’s shelter.
  • Volunteer at a women’s organization in your community.

Thank You Tuesday

March’s #ThankYouTuesday theme is “March in New Members.” Do you remember what it felt like to be new member of GFWC? Share your positive experiences on our #ThankYouTuesday post!

Tree Tidbits: Tight Spaces

Has your club found what you thought was the perfect place to plant a tree for National Arbor Day, only to realize there is limited room for it to grow? Consider a juniper, crimson spire, sky pencil holly, or the many other narrow tree options when planning to leave your mark on April 26!

Become a National Parks Volunteer

GFWC’s history of conservation efforts, which will be highlighted in our Women’s History Month Event, are a source of pride. Carry on that history by volunteering at a national park near you! You can even get a free Volunteer Pass for entrance to all national parks and federal recreation lands by logging more than 250 service hours. Challenge accepted!

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!

Seeking 2019 Croly Award Applications

Spread the word that the call for 2019 Croly Award is now open! Encourage all journalists who have advanced the rights of women to apply by April 30, 2019 using this application form, and consider sharing on your or your club’s Facebook page. A deserving journalist in your community could win!

GFWC Marketplace: WHRC Collections Book

It’s Women’s History Month, so what better way to celebrate than to learn about GFWC’s history? This book traces important pieces in the Women’s History and Resource Center, with all proceeds supporting it! Get yours for $15 in the GFWC Marketplace.

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