Winslow Women's Club keeping busy

Oscar House of Alice's Place; Commander Joan McFarland; Mary Heldt and her Vimple; Eloise DeSpain and her quilting.

Oscar House of Alice's Place; Commander Joan McFarland; Mary Heldt and her Vimple; Eloise DeSpain and her quilting.

Many around town identify the GFWC Winslow Women's Club with its long-standing home tour, but we want to share a fuller picture of our activities. First, the "GFWC" in our name stands for General Federation of Women's Clubs, an association of women's volunteer service organizations with roots into the late 1800's, which the WWC joined in 1923.

The club meets the second Saturday of each month from September to May at the Adobe Inn. We congregate around 9 a.m. for a breakfast buffet with a meeting immediately following, and we usually adjourn by 11a.m.

Programs have been interesting each month; September's being a talk given about the art of listening by GFWC District President Sue Baxter. Subsequent months have all featured local speakers, each bringing a new insight into their topic.

Oscar House, director of Alice's Place, took the floor in October, enlightening those in attendance as to assistance available locally for victims of domestic violence. He also spoke of the victim's advocate, who accompanies officers on many domestic-violence related calls, and the plans for additional housing and a thrift store in the community.

In November, Lt. Commander Joan McFarland of the Public Health Service, spoke about her deployment to the Gulf Coast where she assisted survivors of Hurricane Katrina in five different locations in Mississippi. Some details and photographs were not pretty as one would expect. Dressed in the uniform worn on duty, she explained that the PHS is a uniformed branch of service. Joan holds a Master's degree in nursing, and is a past president of WWC.

Mary Heldt, long-time resident of Winslow, gave a delightful presentation in December on her trip to Denmark, sharing many momentos, photos, history, customs, gifts and a "vimpel," a 9-ft. long banner that is seen flying "everywhere" against the Danish landscape in a variety of sizes. Mary so enjoyed her trip that she plans a return visit.

January is customarily designated as the month HOBY scholars speak at the general meeting, and this year was no exception. These students are high school sophomores who demonstrate leadership potential, and are selected by the school to attend the Hugh O'Brian Youth Leadership Seminar. The WWC's involvement is in providing the scholarship to attend the Arizona program held each June at ASU in Tempe. Started in 1958 by actor Hugh O'Brian, annual conferences are held in each state, some foreign countries, and are endorsed by corporate, national and international leaders. This year, Winslow's Alicia Flores shared details of her experience, and what it meant for her to attend. The club also sponsored a student from Holbrook High School, who could not be present.

Eloise DeSpain hosted the WWC at her quilt studio for its February meeting. Members were edified by a brief lecture given by DeSpain as a part of her Block of the Month class, a part of the "The Quilter's Workshop," which she founded. Eloise said that the 2006 theme titled "Miss Behaving," is dedicated to remarkable women from the pages of American history. She ended her narrative with the hope that we all could come to appreciate our differences and talents, and perhaps discover someone, maybe down the street or next door, who is remarkable in her own way. Some of the techniques covered at the workshop included: the quilt block in detail; fabric selection; cutting tips; measurement of a seam; and the importance of trying to sew it right the first time.

The next WWC general meeting is March 11, at which Warden Mary Hennessey of the Winslow Complex of Arizona Department of Corrections is scheduled to speak.

In other matters, net proceeds from the club's bake sale at the annual Christmas Parade helped send the remainder of Katrina relief packages to their destinations -- thanks to Bert Cole's clothes drive, which the citizens of Winslow supported overwhelmingly.

WWC recently issued the second of six $1000 checks to fund its nursing scholarship established at Northern Pioneer Community College. This will help those awarded students achieve registered nurse status on completion of the course.

Again this year, the club is able to sponsor two more students to HOBY. One will be from Winslow High School, the other from an accredited and registered school in Navajo County. Only one student per school can be chosen and selections have not yet been made.

WWC hosted a Council Candidate's Forum last October, and plans another in April. Club members are proud to be a part of this community service where voters can query candidates on issues of concern in open session. Specific details will be forthcoming in the near future.

And finally, the club is hosting its Second Annual Women's Gathering March 25 at La Posada. There will be live entertainment, a silent auction with at least 15 quality items, and tables manned by businesses and guilds that are of special interest to women. In addition, Sarah J. Holcomb, attorney-at-law, will be on site again this year to answer questions in her fields of Elder Law, Estate Planning and Directives. She is just one of the returning professionals and we've added some new ones, too! A complete list of entertainers, tables and auction items will appear in advertisements in a few weeks. There is no admission to attend.

The WWC is an exciting place to be for ladies who want to improve their community, make good friends, and have fun along the way. Please join us at our next meeting. For more information, call Lila Atkins 289-8202; Susan Lawler 289-5404; or Pat Murphy 289-4271.


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