Patsy Troell of Pleasanton, president of Alamo District of Texas Federation of Women’s Clubs traveled to Mason on November 16 to bring the message of Federated Women Making an Impact Through Volunteerism to Bluebonnet Study Club members.
Mrs. Troell began her remarks with the statement that Texas Federation of Women’s Clubs is a part of a much bigger organization, The General Federation of Women’s Clubs, that has a world wide reach. The organization began in a time when women had few rights and were expected to stay at home and were not allowed in what was thought to be men’s professions. By banding together, through education and force of numbers, women began in the 1800’s to gain rights such as the right to vote and to participate in occupations previously not open to them. They pushed for child labor laws, safe drugs, an eight hour work day, worker’s compensation, and to reduce infant mortality. General Federation of Women’s Club members got behind a movement to establish national parks, helped build libraries, and encouraged establishing museums to save history for generations to come.
Mrs. Troell also reminded her audience that during World War 1, 100 volunteer club women went overseas to help take care of our wounded GI’s, During World War 11, Federated Women purchased 431 airplanes for the war effort. After 9-11, clubwomen collected enough funds to purchase a new fire truck for New York Fire Department to replace one that was lost. After Hurricane Katrina, relief supplies were gathered and delivered to the area affected.
Other organized efforts of General Federation of Women’s Clubs members have included support of CARE, CIP(Community Improvement Projects), a push for more street lights to inhibit crime, a push for required seatbelt usage, and wildlife protection measures. A recent program has been established to meet the need of society’s domestic violence and abuse victims. Clubs have helped to establish shelters as well as lend support to those already operating by having shelter showers collecting items needed to serve victims. Other volunteer projects were also listed by the speaker who told the group that wherever a need is located, Federated clubwomen will meet that need through volunteerism and sheer numbers.
Summing up, Mrs. Troell said "We are about service to our communities by combining our individual efforts into a network of women worldwide bent on improving life for everyone on our planet. We are women of action not just talk!"
A business session was conducted by club president Mary Hemphill. Treasurer Mary Ellen Merkel reported that the scholarship fundraiser was successful and expressed thanks to members of the community who visited the rummage/ bake/chili sale. A discussion of concern for our local domestic violence shelter, The Haven’s ongoing shortage of funding resulted in the club’s decision to forego a Christmas dinner and donate the amount that would have been spent to The Haven. Instead, Mary Hemphill will host an informal meeting at her house on December 7 at 2:00 p.m. to celebrate Christmas. Each attendee will bring finger foods to share and a white elephant to exchange.
Hostess for the meeting, Mary Carlman, served refreshments to Edna Earle Benton, Tonya Lamoreaux, Carol Jordan, Kristy Powell, Maudi Bergmann, Mary Ellen Merkel, Betty Meyer, Mary Hemphill, Julie Harrison, and Patsy Troell.