History

Some of the history behind CJWC

The history on the GFWC Cookeville Jr. Woman’s Club is such an interesting development.  In 1969 two women who were friends parted company.  Frances Hooper moved to Cookeville and her friend stayed in Lebanon.  Frances Hooper checked on establishing a Jr. Woman’s Club at the insistence of her friend in Lebanon.  So Mrs. Hooper spoke with her daughter Harriet Sue Hall and from there the club was born.  The club federated with the General Federation of Women’s Clubs in 1970.  They organized and wrote by-laws and recruited members.  In the early years, the club had guidance and resources form Lebanon and Sparta clubs.

Then a twist of fate happened, Janice Allen moved from Greenville and had been in a Jr. Club there.  She brought with her knowledge of what a club was to do and how to achieve its goals.  In 1970 they met at the community center and officers were elected. Patsy Lancaster, President; Janice Allen, Vice-President; Donna Nash Francis, Secretary; and Sarah Ramsey, Parliamentarian were the slate of officers.  There they established goals, broke into committees, and adopted the GFWC motto and collect, the motto being “Unity in Diversity”.  At the time there were 44 members and growing.

As they met, they decided they need a fundraiser.  So they began card games, chili suppers and other small fundraisers.  They soon realized that they needed a bigger fundraiser to meet more of the needs of the community.  Doris Leggott suggested selling pecans that her mother’s club in GA sold and we today are still selling the same pecans that come from Atwell Pecan Co of Wrens GA. They are fresh and just picked.  We love them and hope that you love them too.  Last year we had to order more because we ran out of bags to sell.  Be looking for them at Santa’s Workshop.

In 1972, Nancy Brown brought the idea of a play to the club.  The club contacted A.Cargill Production Company in NY.  They sent a representative, Frank Lloyd, to help them design a play for them.  That is when the Green Garter Revue began.  It was a community effort that had members, spouses, sponsors, patron, and advertisers excited.  Most of the early members look upon this time with fond memories.  They were able to help so many people with the proceeds.

Because of the Green Garter Revue there was lots of public interest and so the club provided more interesting committees such as sewing, gardening, and gourmet cooking as a fun time for members.  In 1974-76 the club had projects that helped with the bicentennial.

But in 1977 Brenda Hughes suggested Santa’s Workshop.  The very first one was held in 1978.  Santa’s Workshop is being operated by around 40 volunteer members.  Each year we have new crafts and great musical talents.  The Santa’s Workshop Committee spear heads the craft show, but each member put so much time and effort into making it all come together.  Amanda Guidry has been our point person for several years now.  Our publicity chairman Dylcia J. Cowan is responsible for the insert in the paper plus so much more.  Kim Veers is in charge of the selling of pecans. She has a “special room” and is excited to see is empty.  Diane Glasgow provides the musical entertainment such as area school choruses and Tennessee Tech. musical groups.  There are so many members that do so much for the show and without these ladies in our history we would not have such a successful show.  We are so proud of our members.  Around about 1000 hours go into the Santa’s Workshop each year.  We really value our member’s time and efforts.

There are 6 major categories that we contribute to overall.  Our Arts committee keeps us informed about the arts that are going on locally.  We have various members that participate out in the arts community. Our Home Life committee works in areas of women’s health and healthy lifestyles as well as financial peace.  Our International Affairs committee works in the area of problems abroad such as Unicef and World Hunger.  Our Public Affairs committee works in areas of women’s safety, public safety, and citizenship.  Our Education committee works in areas of children’s education and adult continuing education. Our Conservation committee works in areas of beautification and recycling.  This is just some of what we are about.  We also promote leadership, membership, and empowerment programs.

We have won numerous awards over the years.  Our most recent accolade is the 2013 Outstanding Junior Club of the Year Award.

Past proceeds from Santa’s Workshop and the good they’ve done throughout our community have also been recognized statewide. We gave money for gas vouchers to American Cancer Society, and they won an award for best project.  Because of this money, so many people that would not otherwise be able had their treatments.  We also have been recognized international for the HUGGIES Project.  We combined efforts with the Health Dept. on SIDS awareness.

So as we reflect back to those ladies of the past that had the forethought to begin and organization to better their community, we can see through the years how dedicated and blessed we truly are.  It is the little thing in life that we take for granted that is most needed in our community and we work everyday to meet those needs.

 

More history and information

Most people don’t know just exactly what our club really is and why people want to be apart of it.  Our official name is GFWC Cookeville Jr. Woman’s Club.  You may ask what GFWC stands for, but its meaning is more than the title General Federation of Women’s Clubs.  It stands for volunteering around the world and having a network to be able to accomplish this goal.  GFWC is an international club of woman’s clubs.  It spreads to 44 countries and all 50 states plus US occupations.

As mentioned above, our club contributes in 6 major parts; International Affairs, Education, Home Life, Conservation, Arts, and Public Affairs.  Some examples are Cancer Awareness, Reading to Children in Schools, Habitat for Humanity, Safety, Unicef, World Hunger, arts supplies for children, women in transition scholarship, recycling, and many more wonderful projects.

On an international level we concentrate on Domestic Violence Awareness and Heifer International to name two.


Additional Resources

General Federation of Women’s Clubs