Norma Hagan of The Haven spoke to members of the Mason Bluebonnet Study Club at a combination regular meeting and shelter shower at the Eckert Center on October 18. She brought some good news in that funding grants have been secured to keep the shelter running for this year; but some disturbing news in that the shelter has served 470 victims so far this year. The shelter serves Menard, Mason, and McCulloch Counties. The fact that victims are able to escape their abuser and recieve help in starting a new life is wonderful news, but that there are so many victims in our local area that require this service in 2010 means that much needs to be done in education of our young people to eradicate the problem once and for all time.
Ms. Hagan told the group that outreach to the communities has been put into place. She comes to Mason Historical Building every other Wednesday and one of her associates goes to Menard every other Tuesday. The hotline is manned 24 hours a day at 597-7644.
Ms. Hagan related that 20 clients can be accomodated at a time at the shelter. Rooms for families, handicapped clients rooms, and special needs are met by the shelter. The usual stay is about a month. Counseling is provided free of charge. Two doctors provide medical help pro bono if that is needed. All in all, any service needed is provided free to clients. Most seeking shelter come with the clothes on their backs, so the shelter keeps supplies to give them. The grants recieved have restrictions on the areas that they can be used, so donations from the public are needed to provide the items not covered.
Several fundraisers are planned. A bake goods sale will be held in front of WalMart in Brady on October 30 from 9:00 a.m. to noon. Donated goods will be picked up if the donor wishes.....just call the shelter. A door to door collection of donations will be conducte with help from several youth groups.
Members of the club brought bags filled with items to be used by victims. These bags were presented to Ms. Hagan who expressed gratitude for the interest shown by the club over the years.
Refreshements were served at the close of Norma Hagan’s remarks by hostess Mary Carlman.
A business meeting followed. Pledge to the flags was led by Betty Meyer. The Club Collect was led by Carol Jordan. Minutes of the last meeting were read by secretary Betty Meyer and treasurer Mary Ellen Merkel gave a financial report. Both reports were approved and will be filed.
Federation Counseler Tommie Luckenbach reported that a push for new members is vital for life of this club and for clubs around the world. She reminded members that the November 15 meeting will be held at the home of Mary Hemphill and will feature a very special speaker, Alamo District of Texas Federation of Women’s Clubs president Carol Habgood of San Antonio.
A rummage sale to be held on November 6 in front of Hemphill’s on the south side of the square was discussed. All proceeds will be used for scholarships to be awarded to Mason graduating seniors. The sale will begin around 8:00 a.m. and last until most items are sold.
Attending the meeting were members Tanya Lamoreaux, Mary Carlman, Tommie Luckenbach, Carol Jordan, Mary Ellen Merkel, Betty Meyer, Sabin Nelson, Mary Hemphill, and special guest Norma Hagan.
The Mason Bluebonnet Study Club is a member of Alamo District of Texas Federation of Women’s Clubs which is a part of an international service organization, The General Federation of Women’s Clubs headquartered in Washington, DC.