Durant Fortnightly Club placed fifth in “signature project fundraising achievement” at the 2014 General Federation of Women’s Clubs Annual Convention in Chandler, Ariz.
GFWC-Oklahoma Southeast District President Charlene C. Ridgway, also a Durant resident, made the announcement.
GFWC boasts 100,000 members in affiliated clubs in every state and more than a dozen countries. These community leaders work locally to create global change by supporting the arts, preserving natural resources, advancing education, promoting healthy lifestyles, encouraging civic involvement, and working toward world peace and understanding.
All the work GFWC does on a daily and annual basis was on display in Arizona, according to Ridgway. More than 400 awards were handed out during a celebration of club and member achievement in communities across the country and the world.
In the 2012-14 term, the GFWC international president’s signature project was domestic violence awareness and prevention. The local Fortnightly Club was recognized at the international convention for its efforts toward that cause. The federation’s fund focus was Success for Survivors scholarships, which were intended to “provide domestic violence survivors with a means to achieve financial and personal independence by helping them pursue their education and career dreams.”
According to the 2012-13 GFWC Annual Report distributed February 2014, GFWC awarded $20,000 in scholarships to eight survivors.
“These individuals came from all corners of the country and are studying to become nurses, scientists, educators, social workers and police officers,” Ridgway said. “Each of the 53 applicants bravely shared their personal stories and expressed their hope and determination to move forward with their lives.”
Durant Fortnightly member Liz McCraw planned and organized the fundraising event, and submitted the report to GFWC-Oklahoma, where it earned the state Partnership Award for Public Issues Program.
At the Fortnightly Club ‘s President’s Day Luncheon in May 2013, funds were raised through a silent auction of floral artwork donated by club members who are artists and served on the luncheon committee with McCraw.
According to Ridgway, $965 was sent to support raising awareness and preventing domestic violence, and close to $500 was donated to Durant’s Crisis Control Center.
“From large gifts to small gestures, GFWC club women across the nation have a significant history of generosity and compassion for those whose voices go unheard,” Ridgway said. “Club women have made a great impact in domestic violence prevention efforts. Together, we are making a difference, helping the all-too-frequent victims of domestic violence rebuild their lives and move toward a constructive and positive goal of personal achievement and worth. Nothing can replace a broken past, but with contributions, we step closer to providing survivors with brighter futures.”
Ridgway has said the Oklahoma Southeast District’s signature project for 2014-16 will be domestic violence awareness and prevention.
McAlester’s Fortnightly Club, also in the GFWC-Oklahoma Southeast District, was given the Pinwheel Creativity Award at the international convention for its work related to the GFWC partner Prevent Child Abuse America’s national campaign.
The Waurika Sorosis Club (in the GFWC-Oklahoma South Central District) won first place at the international convention in the Community Improvement Program category. The club worked with other community volunteers and its library to start providing free lunches for children participating in the summer reading program. In its third year, the project reportedly is feeding as many as 80 young people daily while increasing the number of books the children check out on their own.
More information about the federation is available online at www.gfwc.org.