Volunteers in Action: Lexington Woman’s Club, Rotonda West Woman’s Club, and GFWC Mira Mesa Women’s Club
June 15, 2021
Lexington Woman’s Club
The Civic Engagement and Outreach Community Service Program of the Lexington Woman’s Club (South Carolina) designed, funded, printed, and displayed “Thin Blue Line” banners in coordination with and support of local law enforcement. The Woman’s Club of Cayce and Saxe Gotha Woman’s Club (both of South Carolina) were included in this project.
During May, in recognition of National Police Officers Week, the “Thin Blue Line” banners were hung on poles throughout the town of Lexington, South Carolina, and on the Marc H. Westbrook Lexington County Judicial Center complex surrounding the Law Enforcement Memorial Monument. These banners replaced the annual blue ribbons tied to the aforementioned poles in prior years. These 18 banners represent the first phase of a three-year expansion project to include hanging banners near the sheriff’s complex, police department, and Ice House Amphitheatre.
On May 12, the names of 17 Lexington County law enforcement officers were read in remembrance and recognition of their ultimate sacrifice in service to Lexington County. State and local officials attended the remembrance ceremony.
Lexington County Sheriff Jay Koon and Police Chief Terrance Green met with some members of the Lexington Woman’s Club to thank them for leading the way. On May 18th, the club was presented with a town of Lexington Proclamation. Photos were also taken of the banners in close proximity to the memorial monument.
The club expressed its sincere appreciation of support from the town of Lexington, Lexington Police Department and the Lexington County Sheriff’s Foundation.
Rotonda West Woman’s Club
The Rotonda West Woman’s Club (Florida) has been dedicated to community service throughout the club’s 47 years, with a primary focus on education and scholarship within Charlotte County. Each year, the Rotonda West Woman’s Club offers several college, technical school, and continuing education scholarships at Lemon Bay High School and to members of the community.
During the 2020-2021 club year, Education and Libraries Committee Chairman Debra Sigismondo, a junior high school teacher in New York City for 40 years, researched and assembled Diversity and Kindness Library collections of more than 50 titles designed to foster empathy, understanding, and compassion in elementary school children. Two identical collections were delivered to Myakka River Elementary School and Vineland Elementary School on April 26.
During the second year of the project, Debra and co-chairs, including Norma Wood, will continue fundraising for the Diversity and Kindness Libraries to add an additional 50 titles to each collection.
GFWC Mira Mesa Women’s Club
For the past four years, the GFWC Mira Mesa Women’s Club (California) has been donating fleece blankets to survivors of sexual assault. The blankets are given to the Palomar Hospital in San Diego County and are then given out to people after the collection of rape kits so that the survivors have something warm and comfortable to go home with since their clothes are taken into evidence at the hospital. The fleece blanket donation project was originally started by the North County Inland Quilters.
In just this last year, clubwomen have donated 72 blankets, which is almost three times more than usual thanks to the help of the club’s newest member Kate Maruszak and her family. Members can help participate in this project by donating fleece in all colors except black. Club members said the hospital needs about 60 blankets per month.
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Sharon Oliphant is filled with positive energy and gratitude for all of the opportunities she has to give back because of GFWC. In 2018 she will begin her time as Florida State President, and Sharon is assume the role and work with her enthusiastic Florida clubwomen to make a difference.
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.
The Rochester Junior Women's Club
The Rochester Junior Women’s Club (Michigan) was established in 1956 with 16 members, and today has over 70 members that always come together to support one another. The club chooses three or four major charities to support and several smaller ones, donating approximately $30,000 each year. In total since its inception, the club has provided more than 1 million hours of community service, and raised more than $928,000 to support their community!