A pioneering moment for club

The GFWC/Ohio Wintersville Woman’s Club had a pioneering moment when it held its Jan. 17 meeting at St. Florian Hall in Wintersville.

It had as its guest speaker Corky Nosek, the Ohio GFWC president for a two-year term through 2014.

Only Nosek wasn’t there physically in person. She delivered her program and engaged in conversation with the 53 members in attendance through the technology of Skype.

Club members and guests on hand could see Nosek on the big screen and hear her and interact with her, but she was speaking from the comfort of her home elsewhere in Ohio.

“We are the first club in the state to do this, so we are pioneering women,” said Marjean Sizemore, the club’s first vice president.

Sizemore not only introduced Nosek, who had made an in-person visit to the club during her first year in office, but she also had Nosek projected on the laptop computer screen so she could exchange greetings with the members as they arrived for the January meeting.

“I am really excited to be with you today, and thank you very much for being part of this pilot program,” Nosek told the women as the program unfolded.

“You are the only club in the state that has done this, and maybe the only one in the country doing this,” Nosek speculated.

The state president covered several subjects with the club, one of which is her theme. It’s “One Person, One Change, Just Do One Thing.” The idea is that clubwomen statewide can create changes in the world, their community, in the environment or in themselves by working individually or collectively to make just one sustainable, positive change in their lives.

When she first mentioned the initiative at state convention last year, Nosek said she had yet to decide on one for herself, a situation that changed in July when she read an article in her local newspaper about a farmers co-op program.

That inspired Nosek to become involved in it, which for her means not only supporting local farmers, eating healthy and helping the environment, but also by becoming a volunteer with the co-op.

“I am really excited with being able to come up with something meaningful to me,” she said.

As for the virtual program, Nosek said it serves several purposes to use such technology.

“Of course you know what we are doing today is part of reducing my carbon footprint on this planet,” she said.

And while it saves fuel, it is a help as well in the event of inclement weather disrupting travel plans. She hopes for feedback on how successful an option this is.

Nosek also addressed a new initiative introduced at the Great Lakes Region meeting to bolster membership. “Membership is the Sole of Federation – Who’s Going to Fill Your Shoes” is a theme to encourage clubs to start a junior rep or collegiate club, for example, to recruit the next generation of women club members.

“If we are going to have people to fill those shoes of ours, I think it’s really important, so I encourage all clubs to think about that,” she said.

Another topic was the Gold Star Mothers Pilgrimage at the Shrine in Mohican State Forest in Loudenville. It honors military sons and daughters killed in action, and the ceremony is conducted on Gold Star Mothers Day annually on the last Sunday in September.

Nosek said the Gold Star Mothers group is not able to coordinate the event any longer. She asked if the Jefferson County woman’s clubs with their vital working memberships would consider stepping up to the plate.

The late Shirley Mitchell of the Woman’s Club of Steubenville had served as chairman of the trustees board for that, a position since filled by Stephanie Rouse as her appointment recently was approved.

The suggestion will be discussed by the clubs individually for formal action.

President Barb Thermes presided at the club’s business meeting where Natalie Doty, second vice president, led in opening exercises. Thermes recognized Imogene Louk, who was the member featured in the club’s most recent issue of the “ChatterBox.”

Guests in attendance included Kathy Mills, president of the Woman’s Club of Steubenville; Mingo Woman’s Club representatives Sharon Cole-Isner, president, and Rouse, who also is a past president of the Mingo club; Karla Dolan, there with her mother, Linda Nolf; and Martha Alloggia, there with Lil Ferguson.

CarolynLee Barrett, recording secretary, read the roll call with this month’s question being “Did you make a New Year’s resolution?”

Most gave that one a “no,” but there were some responses to the affirmative and a few “kind of” and “sort of” answers for good measure.

Barrett also gave the devotions on “How Great Is Our God!” and said grace.

Reports were given by Joyce Palmer, treasurer, and Linda Cipriani, corresponding secretary, who read several thank-you notes involving gratitude for the club’s help with Holiday Splendor, the Ray Laman Christmas party, Urban Mission Ministries Christmas needs and food assistance to help benefit a food pantry operated by the East Springfield Junior Woman’s Club.

Community service reports included:

SPECIAL CONCERNS: Nancy Hukill was advised of several members who needed cards of encouragement, thinking of you cards and sympathy cards.

ARTS: Donna Phillips and her committee will be visiting Indian Creek schools to work with them and their seventh-graders to obtain possible entries for the poetry and essay contests for state convention.

CONSERVATION: Pat Freeland reported that club members have collected 48 pounds of pop tabs, collecting $288 from this recycling effort. The money was given to the Ronald McDonald House in Cleveland.

She also encouraged members to recycle at home.

EDUCATION: Jackie Davis circulated a tally sheet for members to list a monetary amount for the school supplies they had brought to the meeting. Members were reminded to participate in the Book Nook.

INTERNATIONAL OUTREACH: Barb Whiteman, chairman, explained what the Heifer International Program entails. It aids families around the world to receive training and animal gifts that help them become self-reliant.

The club will provide $200 for chickens and seedlings. She also said the club will make arm bands for Operation Smile.”

Under new business, Sizemore asked members to mark their calendars for March 23, the date of the Southeast District’s Legislative Day which usually is held in Marietta. This year, however, the Wintersville club will host the event at St. Florian Hall.

Thermes reminded committee chairmen that year-end reports must be postmarked by Feb. 1.

Nolf helped the members work on a domestic violence project, making bracelets to be given to a GFWC state project at a teen conference to be held in Cleveland come spring.

The club’s next luncheon and business meeting will get under way at noon at St. Florian Hall on Feb. 21. Sharon Maedke, director of the AIM Women’s Center in Steubenville, will be the guest speaker.

Hostesses will be Ella Jane Burns, Sandy Adams, Margaret Gosney, Claudia Clevenger, Linda Cipriani and Margaret Frederick.