Local club women attend GFWC spring convention
FREEPORT — Four women from the GFWC Miosac Club in Dover-Foxcroft attended the General Federation of Women’s Clubs (GFWC) Spring Convention at the Hilton Garden Inn in Freeport May 2-3. Attending were Suzanne Raymond, who is GFWC Miosac club president, GFWC Bylaws Committee member, GFWC New England Region treasurer and GFWC Maine parliamentary advisor; Anne Cress, who is GFWC Miosac Club vice president and GFWC Maine Leadership chairman; Minnie McCormick, who is GFWC Miosac Club publicity chairman; Vicki Moschella, who is GFWC Maine Conservation chairman; and 63 other clubwomen from around the state.
The 2018-2020 GFWC Maine Administration’s theme is “Be the Change.” Nancy Ames, GFWC Maine president stated, “In the spirit of volunteerism, we are the change in the lives of those less fortunate. May we never lose sight of who we are, and what we can accomplish together as a team.”
The President’s Special Project during this term is “Honoring Those Who Serve.” Included are veterans, active duty service personnel, first responders and educators.
Marian St. Clair, GFWC president-elect from Greenville, South Carolina was the special guest, as was GFWC New England Region President Mary Baird from Sandwich, Massachusetts. These two very dedicated and energetic clubwomen have each served over 30 years in numerous positions in their communities, counties, states, regions and internationally. St. Clair delivered a wonderful address “Taking Measure of Clubwork.”
Baird, a retired nurse, is passionate about the plight of children and food insecurities. Her address was “Children First — to Love & Nourish.”
Members were thrilled to have Brandy Cain, executive director of the Travis Mills Foundation, speak about this organization. Mills, a quadruple amputee “Operation Enduring Freedom” veteran, created this non-profit to support recalibrated warriors and their families. To date, the organization has served over 200 veterans and their families from 34 states. The foundation provides an all-inclusive, all-expenses paid retreat for a week in a completely handicap accessible environment nestled in the countryside of Maine with numerous activities for the entire family to enjoy.
GFWC Maine was pleased to present a $1,000 check to the Travis Mills Foundation to fund a female veteran and her family to attend for a week at this retreat during the summer.
The afternoon community service project was the making of 35 “no-sew” pillows to be donated to domestic violence shelters. The 12-inch square pillows were covered with fleece in several different patterns.
The evening banquet May 2 was “The Great Gatsby Banquet,” with members dressed in gala attire of the 1920s. Mike Maurice, a professional pianist and keyboardist from Portland was the entertainer for the evening. He played a variety of genres and styles from Chopin to the current top 40 hits. With no music, he took requests while some members danced and sang. A rousing session of charades followed to close out the evening.
The convention reconvened May 3 with a memorial service “A Time of Remembrance” to celebrate the lives of those clubwomen who have passed away during the last year.
Reports were read and enjoyed from chairmen of the community service programs and standing and special committees such as the arts, conservation, ESO, home life, public issues, international outreach, education, women’s history and resource center, domestic violence awareness and prevention program, fundraising, endowment fund, delegate’s fund, educational loan fund, Maude McKenzie Scholarship Fund and the report on the President’s Special Project.
Many opportunities were available during the convention to purchase raffle tickets for several drawings.
The GFWC Miosac Club received seven awards and certificates including a cash prize for the most outstanding scrapbook in a club with less than 20 members. Moschella is the club’s scrapbook artist.
Kelly Hinkle, event coordinator for Wreaths Across America, was a special speaker and a delight to hear. He and the staff work year around to plan the escort to Arlington National Cemetery in December. Hinkle also assists in coordinating local events in Maine, including the annual Stem to Stone event and any Remembrance Tree ceremonies that take place on the tip land. He spearheads the “Remembrance Tree Program.”
Wreaths Across American continues to grow by 30 percent each year. Ames presented Hinkle with a check for $150 to provide three wreaths for the 2019 season.
Additional information about GFWC may be obtained by going to gfwc.org or gfwcmaine.org. If interested in joining the GFWC Miosac Club, please call Cress, GFWC Maine Leadership chairman, at 717-7576.