GWC Members and guests braved the wind and rain to gather at Cokesbury College for our third Quarterly Meeting on August 17. After a lovely time of socializing on the first level of the lovely, historic Cokesbury College, we stepped swiftly through the rain to the upper floor to attend a program honoring our 2020 GWC Grantees.
Mary Woodiwiss, GWC Advisory Board Chair, opened the program, welcoming Members, guests, and grantees. This evening, we welcomed a new member, bringing our 2021 membership to 127! She reviewed GWC’s mission statement to support non-profits in our community. Mary reminded us “that every good effort of GWC happens because of the time and talents contributed by our Members over and above their annual financial contribution. We are un-staffed, but rich in resources.” She encouraged participation on our committees, saying, “strong committees are essential to the health of GWC, and they are also a great way to get to know other remarkable GWC women and to develop personally.” Mary concluded with an example of how one person’s contribution, combined with many others, makes an incredible impact on our community.
Trentsie Williams, who serves on the Grants Review & Awards Committee, welcomed representatives from all the 2020 grant recipient organizations. They were:
Austin Wilkes Society – Denise Mock
Boys & Girls Club of the Lakelands – Sabrina Miller
Connie Maxwell Children’s Ministries – Eric Taylor
Crossroads Pregnancy Center – Brenda Feece
Emerald City Rotary Club Foundation – Rachel Strayer
Food Bank of Greenwood – Andrea White, Onye Cosom
Greenwood Area Habitat for Humanity – Rob Graves
Greenwood Pathway House – Anthony Price
Healthy Learners – Aimee Clark
Project Hope Foundation – Lisa Lane, Niki Porter
Trentsie also recognized all the hard-working Grants & Awards Committee: Allison Fletcher, Jan Puzar – Co-Chairs; Margaret Conrad, Anne Craig, Mary Dula, Kathy Emily, Donna Foster, Sally Kauffmann, Sandra McMullen, Anna Welborn, Trentsie Williams, and Mary Woodiwiss.
A video presentation highlighting our 2020 grantees was unveiled. We were able to witness how our funds have been used to help each non-profit and the impact on our community. Special thanks to Mary Balfour Dunlap for recording our 10 grantees’ comments and Lesley Lane for her masterful video editing and concept!
Jan Puzar, co-chair of the Grants & Awards Committee, introduced Carol Scales, a member of GWC and a commissioner of the Cokesbury Preservation Society. Carol welcomed everyone to this historical building, which is listed in the National Register of Historic Homes and provided a brief history of Cokesbury College. Founded in the early 1800’s, Cokesbury College gave young women the rare opportunity to receive a quality education. From 1854-1874 (through the Civil War), 120 women received their classical education at Cokesbury. During the post-war period, many emancipated people who had been enslaved were provided an education as well. As the building later fell into disrepair, a decision was made in 1964 to demolish this historical building. In an effort to preserve the building, Nell Graydon spearheaded a cookbook entitled From My House to Your House, and all proceeds went towards saving the building. Women played an important role in the history of this historical institution.
Our final presenter was Louise Robinson, Chair of the Programs & Education Committee. She presented a book entitled The Perfectly Perfect Wish to the Greenwood County Library in honor of our 2020 grant recipients. Louise thanked our Grants Review & Awards, Programs & Education, and Social Committees for all their hard work to produce this evening’s event and the GWC tech team for the new Grants video and wished us all a good night.