NEW HAVEN — A very active group of ladies, a spokeswoman from the local chapters of the General Federation of Women’s Clubs (GFWC) shared more about the clubs’ community involvement at Tuesday’s Mason County Chamber of Commerce Luncheon.
Representing the local chapters was Roselyn Roush, who began by saying members of Women’s Clubs are active in their local community, working to support the arts, preserve natural resources, advance education, promote healthy lifestyles, and encourage civil involvement. Roush added that on April 24, the GFWC will turn 123 years old, making it the oldest volunteer organization in the county.
“Sometimes I think the women’s club is the best kept secret in town,” Roush said.
Roush continued, describing how the national federation is divided into districts with West Virginia being in the southeastern district, and Mason County is in the southwestern district of the state. Roush also mentioned there are four local chapters in Mason County, including the GFWC Tu-Endie-Wei, which was organized in 2009 and joined the federation in 2010, the Point Pleasant Junior Women’s Club, organized in 1924 and joined the federation in 1943, the GFWC New Haven Women’s Club, organized and joining the federation in 1955, and the GFWC Women’s Club of Point Pleasant, organized in 1916 and joining the federation in 1924.
Following this brief history, Roush described some of the local projects the clubs have been involved with over the years, saying they have supported local libraries, school programs, the maintenance of city parks, as well as sponsoring youth centers, a youth dental clinic and community clean-up programs.
Roush also mentioned many of the Dogwood trees around Mason County are from a past community beautification project. Recently, the local women’s clubs have also donated to Pleasant Valley Hospital, contributed to the replacement of the log enclosure at Fort Randolph, made bookmarks for various organizations, donated candy canes for children at the Fantasy Light Display at Krodel Park, as well as helping with local food banks, scholarships, and various other community fundraisers.
Roush highlighted two recent projects in particular, which were the Hoops Family Children’s Hospital in Huntington and Pinwheels for Prevention. According to Roush, the Hoops hospital, located on the fifth floor of Cabell Huntington Hospital, has a 26 bed pediatric medical surgical unit and a 10 bed pediatric ICU, and specialists from more than a dozen fields. Roush said the hospital features its own lobby and elevator, which goes straight to the fifth floor, providing the children with their own area of the hospital that creates an environment that specifically focuses on their treatment. Roush said this hospital has been taken up as a district project and local clubs have donated to the hospital.
Regarding Pinwheels for Prevention, Roush said during the month of April they have partnered with Prevent Child Abuse America to help celebrate National Child Abuse Prevention Month. Roush said the clubs are selling pinwheels and all the proceeds will benefit the West Virginia Chapter of Prevent Child Abuse America in Huntington. Roush added the pinwheel is used nationally as a symbol of child abuse and neglect prevention.
In other chamber news, President Eddie Lanham said the next luncheon will be on May 28 at the Marshall University Mid-Ohio Valley Center. Another approaching chamber event is the Annual Golf Tournament on June 13 at Riverside Golf Course.