Volunteers in Action: GFWC Oconomowoc Junior Woman’s Club, GFWC Clifton Community Woman’s Club, and Riverside Woman’s Club
April 6, 2021
GFWC Oconomowoc Junior Woman’s Club (Wisconsin)
Every March, the GFWC Oconomowoc Junior Woman’s Club (Wisconsin) looks forward to celebrating Youth Art Month in a unique and special way. Through the GFWC Community Service Program, the club, along with several others throughout Wisconsin, sponsors and organizes the annual Helen Farnsworth Mears Art Contest for seventh and eighth grade public, private, and homeschool students each spring.
This unique art contest begins at the local club level when teachers from area schools select student artwork to be a part of the art exhibition and contest. Clubwomen said they are thankful to have such wonderful school teachers who go above and beyond to support their students and this art contest each year. There are two class distinctions for the contest: Class A – schools with an art instructor, and Class B – schools without an art instructor. These two classes do not compete against each other, but their artwork is combined as a whole for the exhibition at the local library. The contest is judged at the beginning of the exhibition, and community interaction is encouraged as well, with the People’s Choice Award, which is voted on by the public. The entire body of artwork remains on exhibit at the library for a duration of one to two weeks. Each year, club members and the community marvels at the talents of the young artists that participate in this event.
Despite the challenges of remote/hybrid teaching and learning this school year, clubwomen were delighted to have four schools and 42 students participate in the local contest. The GFWC Oconomowoc Junior Woman’s Club believed that it was important to put forward this annual contest despite COVID-19, for the sake of our young artists who have had to face such uncertainty, sacrifice, and hardship this past year.
GFWC Clifton Community Woman’s Club (Virginia)
For 47 years, the GFWC Clifton Community Woman’s Club (Virginia) has hosted a Homes Tour to benefit the club’s Charitable Trust. Annually, the club gives approximately $20,000 to scholarships, food banks, veterans, women and children in need, and others. Although the COVID-19 pandemic cancelled two of the tours, it did not cancel their desire to give, and the CCWC C.A.R.E.S. Competition was born. C.A.R.E.S. is an acronym for Creative, Arts, Recording, Education, and Service.
People of all ages could submit their art to participate in the competition from February 1 through March 31. The submissions were sorted into the various categories and then sent for judging. Winners from each category will be recognized on Zoom in April and will receive a donated prize. Clubwomen said they thought it was important to get friends and the community involved in the project this year.
Riverside Woman’s Club (California)
For the second year, members of the Riverside Woman’s Club (California) supplied families living at Home Front at Camp Anza with soil, vegetable plants, and mulch to replant individual garden boxes. Home Front at Camp Anza is an affordable housing community for veterans in Riverside, California, that is located on the former site of Camp Anza, a WWII Army training camp. The community can house more than 400 guests and part of the club is a museum. Clubwomen said the residents were excited to have family garden boxes again this year after a successful yield the previous year, which helped significantly due to the economic impact of COVID-19.
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Preshus Howard is about to celebrate her 10th anniversary as a clubwoman, and her time with GFWC has been a journey of discovering her own strengths and how she can use them to help others. As GFWC Kentucky’s Director of Junior Clubs for the 2016-2018 Administration, Preshus has been proud to use her position to rally clubwomen around causes that matter to her.
Success For Survivors Scholarship
Each year, GFWC awards scholarships to help intimate partner abuse survivors obtain a post-secondary education that offers a chance to reshape their future by securing employment and gaining personal independence.
Junior Woman's Club of State College
When Robbin Zirkle moved back to the area after grad school, she addressed the challenge many people face as adults—making new friends— by joining the Junior Woman’s Club of State College (Pennsylvania). GFWC provided her a place to connect with like-minded women who shared her passion for community service.