For me, this administration has two grandmothers at its heart. Louise Gwinn Hanford, my husband's grandmother, was an active GFWC of Montana member who was president of her Fort Benton club, started a Junior Woman's Club, and devoted many hours to the Montana Woman magazine. Though I never knew her, she has influenced me as a clubwoman through her writings and from stories the family tells of her commitment to volunteerism. Take Time to Remember... In 1936, Louise said: "...in reality we find that the roots of our national organization are imbedded in the soil of our home community...The strength and power of our group, after all, depend upon the individual member, upon her vision, upon her service." Her words are just as true today as they were 76 years ago - we as GFWC of MT members may do one thing at a time, in our local community and our state, but our acts are multiplied by the sheer number of us doing them. Last year GFWC members nationwide volunteered more than seven million hours, completing 116,204 projects and donating nearly $39 million. GFWC women definitely strengthen their communities and enhance the lives of others through volunteer service!
The other grandmother in the story, Hermine Nowadnick, is mine. I inherited my hair color from her, I inherited her grandfather clock (the reason hehind my theme), and she, her two sons, and I also share something else in common...we had or have macular degeneration. Seeing my grandma cope with going blind and her inability to read, made me realize that you can never take for granted the gift of sight. Take Time to Reflect... What can we do now to help with the problem of low-vision readers? That question led me to the Montana Talking Book Library, which provides free books on cassettes for anyone who has limited or low vision. During the next two years, we are pledging $10,000 to improve their recording capability and to purchase more books by Montana authors. The President's Special Project Chairman, Adina Fox, has made a commitment to take a presentation about this project to any club who would like to hear about it...take her up on her offer.
And Take Time to Renew... Make a commitment to be the best volunteer you can be! Get recharged and renewed by attending some district and state meetings and networking with other members.
It is with great excitement and much humility that I look forward to a fun and productive time in our upcoming journey over the next two years. I would be happy to try to journey to your club meeting or special event during the next two years...just let me know and I will see if I can make it.
Thank you for giving me this opportunity to serve you...I know it will be one of the most rewarding times in my life!