Showing heart, making smiles

Published 5:16 pm Wednesday, March 4, 2009

By By MaryClaire Foster
It was a sea of red as members of the Atmore Women’s Club met with members of the General Federation of Women’s Clubs from all over the state Saturday at the First Presbyterian Church of Atmore.
The group had gathered for one of its four seasonal meetings for District VII, the first one held in Atmore in five years.
Members dressed in red in recognition of American Heart Month. The group ate a heart healthy lunch and listened to Atmore Community Hospital Clinical Educator Mary Jane Schrock speak about heart health, which is one of the ongoing projects of the group.
“It went wonderfully,” Atmore Women’s Club President Francis Fowler said Monday.
One of the guest speakers at the meeting was the state Women’s Club president, Jane Wright.
Following general meeting items, co-directors Cecy Lowell and Kerry Tran of Camp Smile gave a presentation.
Camp Smile is a residential summer camp located in Citronelle and hosted by United Cerebral Palsy of Mobile. The camp is for individuals ages three years old to seven years old with and without disabilities. Campers participate in normal camp activities such as horseback riding and fishing, but are also given the chance to meet others whose abilities and life experiences resemble their own.
The mission of Camp Smile is, “to empower children and adults with disabilities to live their lives without limits by providing an inclusive summer camp experience where there is no limit to adventure.”
The AWC came to learn about the camp through the District VII president,Stella Suttle, who has a particular interest in it.
In support of the camp, AWC members donated four grocery bags full of healthy snacks to be used at the camp.
Fowler said this will not be the group’s last interaction with the camp.
According to its Web Site, the General Federation of Women’s Clubs is one of the world’s largest and oldest nonpartisan, nondenominational, women’s volunteer service organizations. It was founded in 1890 and chartered by the 56th United States Congress in 1901.
According to Fowler, Atmore’s branch of the organization has been around for more than 50 years and currently has nine members.
The GFWC boasts more than 100,000 members in affiliated clubs in every state and more than a dozen countries.

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