Thursday, November 20, 2014

NJSFWC Headquarters Open House

Over 100 Clubwomen attended the open house at Headquarters! Construction began on the building in October of 1965, so Headquarters will be 50 years old next year!
What a lovely time we all had!

NJSFWC President Jill Passaretti welcomed us all and we all received a 'favor' before we left.

Members of the Woman's Club of Parsippany Troy Hills

In April of 1967, the Trading Stamp Institute of America presented the Federation with the first American Homemakers' Achievement Award for raising more than half of the funds for the Federation Headquarters by the collection of S&H green stamps.

The State President at the time, Geraldine V. Brown was honored at a dinner at the Waldorf Astoria Hotel in New York, and was presented with a citation and passbook redeemable for one million trading stamps. The stamp gift was used to 'purchase' the Sarouk original rug that is still in the foyer at Headquarters.

Monday, November 10, 2014

NJSFWC Supports Servicemen & Veterans

Remember our Veterans!

As far back as 1917, records show that clubwomen were supporting our soldier's and the war efforts. All clubs supported the three Liberty Loan drives, the sale of thrift stamps and engaged actively in Red Cross and War Relief Work with many clubs turning their clubhouses over to the Red Cross for its use during the war!

In October of 1917, it as resolved that the Federation would equip and maintain a Soldiers' Club at CAmp Dix.The 200 clubs in existence at the time provided money and furnishings. 'The Haversack' operated for 21 months and was visited by half a million soldiers. It was known all over the world as the only soldiers club of it kind on record - 25 years before a U.S. O was even thought of! The Federation also received a citation from the War Department for the work done at "THe Haversack".

Early in 1941, with the war raging in Europe, Fort Dix was reactivated and the Federation became affiliated with the Fort Dix Community Service, which was a group of well known organizations. THe State President at the time represented the Federation on the State Salvage Committee, and the State's War Service Committee. Two clubwomen were sent to Amherst College for training in Civilian Defense. The Federation had long been officially represented on the NJ Council of National Defense.

Clubs supported the sale of War Bonds and Stamps and in 1945 the goal for stamps and bonds was $1,000,000 for the "Air Amanda for Our Navy". THe quota was exceeded by thousands of dollars which purchased eleven Hell Cat fighter planes - 4 bore the name of NJSFWC and the others carried symbols showing that they were bought with bonds sold by individual clubs & districts!

Operation Cookie/ Candy begins in 1961 when 900 two-pound boxes of homemade cookies were mailed to service personnel stationed in Germany and Iceland during the Christmas holiday. This has become a popular annual project, which still exists today! In 1968, 4,080 boxes were sent and the Federation received a special citation for this project from the Air Defense command.

Regular visits to Lyons hospital were started in 1936 and clubs still support the hospital, among other Veteran's hospitals in New Jersey with in kind and monetary donations today.

This information was found in the 'Federation Milestones" book, a history of NJSFWC from 1894-1969.

Thursday, August 28, 2014

NJSFWC Supports Boatsie's Boxes 'Operation Christmas Stockings'

Boatsie’s Boxes began, in June of 2004, when Gail (Boatsie) VanVranken's son, Patrick, currently a CMSgt in the United States Air Force, forwarded an urgent personal request, from the Deputy Director of Programs in Baghdad, asking for our help.

Since then, contacts have been made all over the Country and
the boxes, in 2014 are going to several hospitals, groups of young troops (deployed for the first time) and thanks to our very dedicated United States Airmen, Marines, Soldiers & Sailors, who are spreading the word, needed items are now reaching the Forward Lines of operation all over Afghanistan as well as Kuwait , Africa and Korea..

Boatsie spoke at the 2009 GFWC Patriotic Breakfast at the International Convention, held in Cleveland Ohio. Since that time, many GFWC Clubs have participated in the program and have been adopting and donating items to the Troops ever since.

THe NJSFWC has been participating in the Operation Christmas Stockings portion of the program, filling thousands of Christmas stockings with requested items that will be shipped to the soldiers overseas in time for Christmas.

In 2011, 1,543 Christmas stockings were filled, in addition to $3500 in cash donations for U.S. soldiers serving in Iraq and Afghanistan. The stockings brimming with goodies were delivered to Wheeling, WV, where Boatsie's Boxes is headquartered.

If you would like to participate this year, now is the time to purchase (or make) your stockings (use red felt or sturdy red material) and size between 13 and 19 inches.
The average value of the stocking should be $20-$25.00.

Fill the stockings with:
Food: CHristmas candy, candy canes, mints, hot chocolate mix, apple cider mix, nuts, gummy “anything”, chewing gum, dried fruit, lifesavers. You can send chocolate candy, but place them into Ziploc bags

Entertainment: DVDs, Hacky sacs, novelty balls, playing cards, puzzle books, yo-yos, pens, notepads or any items they might be able to use to unwind. DVDs are especially popular, so you better ask the youngsters in the family, what the young people today like.

Travel size toiletries: Toothbrush kit, Chap Stick, tissues, hand sanitizer, soap, deodorant (please place any liquids into Ziploc bags)

Clothing: white/black crew socks, black watch caps.

Other: prepaid phone cards (AT&T 120 minutes minimum domestic or global). The phone cards are among the most often asked for items. AA & AAA batteries.

Please add a personal greeting card to each stocking.

Close the stocking with safety pins or slipstitch to prevent items from falling out. Please include $1.00 for each stocking to help with postage.

Stockings will be collected at NJSFWC Headquarters in October. Watch for dates and times for delivery coming soon!

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Orientation for GCI being held at each District

Girls Career Institute (GCI) is a program offered by the New Jersey State Federation of Women’s Clubs
of GFWC (NJSFWC) for girls who will complete their junior year in high school.

GCI was first started in 1947 and is held at Douglass College, now Douglas Residential College Campus of Rutgers University and attendance reaches about 200.

New Jersey was the first state to develop this type of training program for girls and the Delegates are sponsored and the cost underwritten by local NJSFWC clubs. NJSFWC Clubwomen act as housemothers and supervise the girls while they are on campus.
GCI offers a mini college experience with Delegates experiencing a sample of college life by living in a
dormitory, eating at the cafeteria, attending lectures and workshops. They will learn about career choices from a variety of professionals, such as Captain Donna Hernandez, a former Police Captain, who will speak on police work and dating dangers.

Pictured are girls who attended a Girls Career Institute (GCI) Orientation, held by the Highlands District at the Roxbury senior center.
From right: Julia Arredondo & Brooke Winters, both from Long Valley, Briana D’Angelo, Vernon, Sabrina Gattuso, Hardwick, Molly Nadeau, Rockaway, Hannah Pyrzoski, Mine Hill, Grace Conti, Chatham, Megan Broady, Long Valley, Karol Pierre, Vauxhall, Caitlin Wrege, Belvidere.

All 8 NJSFWC Districts hold an Orientation for the girls, with the event being held this year from June 9-12th.

Sunday, May 11, 2014

2014 Women of Achievement held at State Convention

At the 120th NJSFWC Convention, held at the Golden Nugget in Atlantic City, the 2014 Women of Achievement were celebrated. Their incredible bio's are printed below. Congratulations to the winners.

Linda Blick, a lifelong lover of animals, is a resident of Park Ridge, NJ. She is a founding member of the board of trustees for Tails of Hope Foundation and Finding One Another: Courage beyond Measure. These programs support companion animals and national security working dogs, respectively.
Linda served as national co-chair for the 10th Anniversary K9 Recognition Ceremony honoring all working dogs and veterinarians who served in the aftermath of the 9/11 attacks. She chaired the inaugural contingent in the New York Veterans Day Parade, honoring military working dogs’ service to America from the War of 1812 to Afghanistan. In NJ she co-sponsored the State’s inaugural ceremony for K9 Veterans Day of Observance.

Linda founded the Pediatrics and Pets: Coping with Cancer Together. She designed the K9 National Security Gift Registry Projects which allows people to purchase “wish list” items for military and civilian national security K9 teams using the wedding registry concept.

Linda is co-designer for YAP (Youth Ambassador K9 Career Program), a program to educate young people about working dogs through mentoring, career, and volunteer opportunities.

Linda received her Master’s degree in social work with specialties in trauma and child development. She served as an international consultant and trainer on domestic violence projects, as an expert witness on child abuse cases, led Maryland’s Child Abuse Legislative Committee and chaired the first White House Conference on Child Sexual Abuse. Her testimony before Congress led to the creation of the Victim’s Rights Law.

This Woman of Achievement was nominated by Tammy Levinson.

Michele S. Byers is a resident of Far Hills, NJ. Michele was trained by the Association of New Jersey Environmental Commission as an environmental leader and became Executive Director of the New Jersey Conservation Foundation in 1999. She led the Foundation in an effort to permanently protect a 10,000 acre tract of land in the internationally recognized Pinelands National Reserve. This huge endeavor required raising millions of dollars in private funds to acquire property that would connect 100, 000 acres of forest. This is the largest private land trust acquisition in state history. Michele has led the NJCF to preserve tens of thousands of acres from the Highlands to the Delaware Bay Shore.

Michele helped found Whitesbog Preservation Trust, the Pinelands Preservation Alliance, Hunterdon Land Trust and the NJ Highlands Commission. She has served on numerous state and regional boards and committees. In 1995 she was appointed to the State Planning Commission and became vice-chair. In 2003 she was appointed to the Highlands Task Force.

Her work, with the conservation community, led to her recruitment to participate in a national project spearheaded by the Land Trust Alliance to help land trust around the nation defend conservation easements protecting hundreds of thousands of acres of land.

She is the recipient of the Edmund W. Stiles Award for Environmental Leadership.

This Woman of Achievement was nominated by Alison E. Mitchell, New Jersey Conservation Foundation.

Sharon Matlofsky Karmazin is a resident of Milltown, NJ. She is the founder of the Karma Foundation which supports organizations engaged in activities and programs in the development and enrichment of Jewish life, health and human Services, education and literacy, arts and culture and autism. She serves on numerous non-profit boards.

She founded Books to Keep as an outreach of the Libraries of Middlesex to introduce the pleasure of books to disadvantage youth.

Currently, Sharon is an award winning Broadway Producer. She uses the arts as another means of education and creating awareness around socially conscious issues. She is on the board of the George Street Playhouse in New Brunswick.

Sharon gained national recognition during her distinguished 32-year career in public library administration. She received numerous awards recognizing her professional and community leadership including three American Library Association John Cotton Dana Library Public Relations Awards.

She is an active supporter of Douglass College and has contributed several major gifts through the Karma Foundation including “Shaping a Life Scholar-in-Residence Program” and has served on the Associate Alumnae’s Board of Directors.

This Woman of Achievement was nominated by Valerie Anderson, Associate Alumnae of Douglass College.

Kathleen Whitehead Ludwig is a resident of Demarest, NJ. A Douglass College alumna she is a founding member of the Woman United in Philanthropy, an organization that is interested in human rights issues. By mobilizing the strength and power of women, Kathy works to bring resources together to provide grants to benefit programs serving the needs of women in Bergen County.

Kathy is an advocate and supporter for the Global Village and Human Rights House on Douglass campus. Her financial contribution gave life to the dream of building a new living-learning residence hall to expand the Global Village and fostering the next wave of innovative global education.

Kathy is an active board member of John Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health including the Northern New Jersey and Rockland Chapter board of Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation, chairing its Government Relations Committee. She provides support to the YWCA of Bergen County and is an active supporter of Art for Amnesty, which works with artists to campaign for human rights.

Through her philanthropic work she supports and volunteers at Bergen County’s United Way. Other organizations include: The Seeing Eye, Inc., Scholarship Fund for Inner City Children, Englewood Hospital, Eva’s Village, Bergen Catholic High School and Family Promise of Bergen County.

This Woman of Achievement was nominated by Valerie Anderson, Associate Alumnae of Douglass College.

Elaine Meyerson, Executive Director of Shelter Our Sisters is a resident of Hillsdale, NJ. Since 1986 she has been the administrator of a county-wide, non-profit agency, providing services to battered women and children from crisis services through essential community support resources.

In this capacity she is responsible for both the fiscal and administrative management of the organization. Her key duties include the oversight of a 24-hour hotline, a 36-bed emergency shelter and five transitional homes, case management, legal advocacy, a work readiness training program, bilingual services, and education, training and counseling programs. Children’s services include residential programs and a community-based creative arts program. She is presently overseeing a $2 million fundraising project to provide a new location to house Project Child and other services.

Under Elaine’s guidance, Shelter Our Sisters has been one of the leading agencies in domestic violence for a long time. It was the first agency to open transitional housing. She has overseen the expansion and upgrading of the facilities, as well as expanding the staff and programs. She has developed innovative and model programs, provided community education and training and is an advocate in both the NJ Legislature and United States Congress.

Elaine has served as President of the NJ State Coalition of Battered Women and remains active on the Board. She was also a former Chairperson and member of Bergen County’s Human Services Advisory Committee and has served on advisory boards of Project SARAH, Bergen Community College, Hackensack University Medical Center and Ramapo College.

This Woman of Achievement was nominated by Patricia Iuele and Terry Limaxes from the New Milford Woman’s Club.

Lynn Snyder
is a resident of Manasquan, NJ. Lynn received her Master in Art Therapy from Pratt Institute and is certified in Thanatology (death, dying and bereavement). Lynn is a practicing therapist working with children, adolescents and their families assisting them through various life challenges. She is founder/director of the Common Ground Grief Center, a non-profit organization that provides on-going peer support groups for children and teens who have experienced the death of a parent, sibling or friend free of charge.

The Center serves over 100 children and teens per month, ages 6-18, and provides a concurrent support group for the surviving parent while their child or teen is in the group. It is volunteer run with over 30 volunteers.

Currently, there are seven support groups throughout the year and Lynn runs 5 of the groups and trains all new volunteers at a four-day intensive program. The Center offers rooms: an art room, puppet room, sandtray room, music area, full-scale hospital room, talking circle area, and a gross motor activity area, which offers ping pong, games and a padded room complete with a punching bag and large stuffed animals.

Recently, Lynn worked with the Girl Scouts to create a Memory Garden to allow families to have a place to honor their loved ones.

Lynn is responsible for overseeing the daily operations including funding, which comes from fundraisers, annual appeals, grants and donations.

This Woman of Achievement was nominated by Sue Stenson.

Saturday, April 26, 2014

Pinwheels for Prevention!

Prevent Child Abuse with Pinwheels for Prevention®

Using the pinwheel as a symbol for child abuse and neglect prevention, GFWC Partner Prevent Child Abuse America focuses on prioritizing healthy child development and eradicating child abuse and neglect.

Why Pinwheels for Prevention?

For two decades, market research consistently has shown that the public views child abuse and neglect as a serious problem. As a national organization whose mission is "to prevent the abuse and neglect of our nation's children," our emphasis is to now transform that awareness into action. We now have that opportunity through the pinwheel, which reminds us of childlike notions and stands for the chance at the healthy, happy and full lives all children deserve.

Pinwheels for Prevention began as a grassroots campaign among our chapters in Georgia, Florida and Ohio. Their success and our desire to create a national symbol for child abuse and neglect prevention led us to take this effort nationwide in 2008.

Prevent Child Abuse America, founded in 1972 in Chicago, works to ensure the healthy development of children nationwide

See how two clubs displayed their Pinwheels for Prevention!

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

GFWC Federation Day - April 24

GFWC Federation Day commemorates the official birthday of the Federation. On April 24, 1890, members of 63 women's clubs from throughout the United States came together to form the General Federation of Women's Clubs at a ratification convention in New York City.

Each year, GFWC clubs celebrate this important day in their local communities, states, and across the nation. Projects and activities focus on publicizing GFWC clubs and the work that members do in their communities; recruiting new members by raising awareness about the benefits of belonging to GFWC; supporting volunteer activities with collaborating organizations; and fulfilling GFWC's mission to enhance the lives of others through volunteer service.

In recent years, Federation Day has fallen within Volunteers in Action Week, and GFWC encourages members and clubs to extend their celebration activities to include an entire week of outreach and service

What activities has your club participated in this week? Email the webmaster your photo's at

History of Federation Day
In celebration of its twenty-first anniversary in 1889, the Sorosis Club of New York City (founded by “Jennie June” Croly) proposed a conference of women’s clubs to pursue the cause of federation. That conference was held in New York City on March 20, 1889, with the goal of preparing a constitution for ratification the following year; sixty-one clubs attended.

Sorosis President Ella Dietz Clymer closed her address at the March conference with the words, “We look for unity, but unity in diversity.”

Clubs that had already applied for membership in the new General Federation of Women’s Clubs were invited to the ratification convention, which was held at the Scottish Rite Hall in New York City, April 23-25, 1890; sixty-three delegates from seventeen states attended. After some discussion and amendments, the constitution was ratified on April 24, 1890, and the General Federation of Women’s Clubs was born.

The first officially recorded GFWC Federation Day celebration appears to be the one held during the Golden Jubilee Triennial in 1940. The following program is described:

On April 24, 1940, the actual birthday of the General Federation of Women’s Clubs, a national broadcast was made in the studio of the National Broadcasting Company in Radio City, New York. The president of Sorosis, Mrs. Eugene Willis Denton, spoke for the Sorosis Club of New York, which celebrated its twenty-first birthday in 1889 by starting the organization of the General Federation.

The celebration of April 24 as Federation Day was added to the GFWC standing rules in 1976.

Saturday, April 12, 2014

Highlands District Spring Conference & Achievement Day

The Highlands Spring Conference & Achievement Day was just one of the many District Spring Conferences held for the NJSFWC clubs this spring.

Over 120 Clubwomen from the Highlands District attended the conference and 119 entries were submitted in the Arts/Creative Department. Entries included, baked goods, crocheted & knitted items, paintings and photographs.

Jill Passaretti, NJSFWC President-Elect spoke on the topic, "Step Outside Your Comfort Zone'. She encouraged Clubwomen to take new chances and experiences and even become more involved in your club, by volunteering for a new project or activity. Say 'yes' to a new position or attend a new event.

Check out these bird feeders!

Saturday, March 15, 2014

Special State Project Fundraiser A Success!

The Special State Project fundraiser,in support of Family Promise was a great success! Over 250 Clubwomen attended and had over 110 Tricky Tray items and a variety of silent auction items to choose from. Clubs were extremely generous and there was a huge variety of gift baskets. The event was held at the Upper Montclair Woman's Club house and a delicious lunch was served.

See some photo's of the day below:

Saturday, March 1, 2014

March is Women's history month..some important women in GFWC history

Notable Clubwomen

Jane Cunningham Croly
(1829-1901) was a pioneering journalist who, under the pen name Jennie June, contributed articles to newspapers such as The New York Tribune and The New York Sunday Times. She was one of the first women to write a syndicated column and the first to teach a college journalism course. She founded the Sorosis club for women in 1868 and the Women's Press Club of New York City in 1889. She later organized the General Federation of Women's Clubs.

Julia Ward Howe (1819-1910) is best known for authoring the poem "The Battle Hymn of the Republic". She was a prolific writer and became the first woman inducted to the American Academy of Arts and Letters. She was a leader in the suffrage movement and a respected lecturer for numerous causes. She helped organize the New England Woman's Club in 1868 and served as the President of the Massachusetts Federation of Women's Club.

Ellen Curtis Demorest (1824-1898), helped revolutionize the fashion industry in the 1860s with the invention and mass-production of her paper dress-making patterns. She owned a successful dressmaking shop in New York City and a popular magazine which featured Jennie June as one of the chief writers. She was also a founding member of Sorosis and served as both vice-president and treasurer for the club.

Frances Willard
(1839-1898) was an active leader in the temperance movement of the late 1800s, and served as president of the Women's Christian Temperance Union for twenty years. A noted orator, Willard won a large following by traveling the country with her message of temperance and later, suffrage. She was also a member of the Chicago Woman's Club and spoke at the Chicago Biennial Convention in 1892.

Jane Addams (1860-1935) founded Hull House, a settlement house in Chicago, which served as a model for the social reform movement of the Progressive Era. She was a vocal advocate for working women and child labor laws. She was also a leader in the suffrage movement and helped to establish the International League for Peace and Freedom. She was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1931. Addams was an active member of the Chicago Women's Club and served as Chairman of the GFWC Committee on Child Labor in the early 1900's.

Julia Lathrop (1858-1932) was the first person appointed to head the federal Children's Bureau which was created in 1912. President Taft chose Lathrop because of her impressive accomplishments in social work. She was also a member of the Chicago Woman's Club and assisted the club in their work for juvenile court laws.

Eleanor Roosevelt
(1884-1962) was a first lady, social reformer, columnist, teacher, and political activist. She was a tireless advocate for the poor and disadvantaged and exercised her influence as a speaker and writer. She also served on the first U.S. delegation to the United Nations (UN) and drafted the Declaration of Human Rights while chairing the Human Rights Commission for the UN. She was an active member of the Chautauqua Women's Club in New York and maintained strong ties with the Federation throughout her years as First Lady. She spoke at several GFWC events and graciously entertained GFWC officers at the White House.

Bertha Ethel Knight Landes
(1868-1943) was president of the Woman’s Century Club from 1918-1920, and a member of the Women's University Club of Seattle, president of the Washington State League of Women Voters, and president of the Seattle City Federation of Women’s Clubs. Landes was later elected to the Seattle City Council in 1922, and two years later, she was elected Council President. In 1926, after many accomplishments on the Seattle City Council, Landes was elected mayor of Seattle, becoming the first woman to be elected mayor of a major city.

Monday, February 3, 2014

Girls Career Institute founded in 1947

Girls Career Institute (GCI) formally known as Girls Citizenship Institute was first started in 1947 and held at Montclair State Teachers college with 100 school girls attending.
Since 1948, GCI has been held at Douglass College, now Douglas Residential College Campus of Rutgers University.

New Jersey was the first state to develop this type of training program for girls and the chairman was invited to speak on the project at the General Federation convention in 1949.

Delegates, who have just completed their junior year of high school are sponsored by individual clubs. THe event, held in June had attendance of over 400 in 1968. The cost was $5.25 per girl for the first session, $35.00 in 1964 and is now $200 for the 4 day program.

Clubwomen serve as 'house mothers' during the week and well known speakers from many fields are invited to speak throughout the days. Entertainment is provided and the girls get to 'live' in the dorms during their stay.

Applications have been distributed to all the NJSFWC clubs and the forms are due to the Chairman by April 10th.
Please visit the NJSFWC website for additional information.

This years theme is: You Can Make It Happen'

Friday, January 3, 2014

The NJSFWC was founded in 1894

Nearly 150 women met on Friday, November 16, 1894 in Union Hall, Orange, New Jersey in response to an invitation issued by the Woman's Club of Orange. The 65 delegates and others represented 36 clubs and had traveled from as far south as Bridgeton, Haddonfield & Merchantville. Think of how difficult a journey this would have been for women in 1894. Many traveled by trolley, train and carriage and had to leave before day break to arrive by 10am.

One of the speakers, Florence Howe Hall advocated the formation of a state society or federation as a means of bringing women together for an interchange of ideas and methods and for the cultivation of good fellowship.

Before the meeting adjourned that day, a constitution and bylaws were written and adopted and officers were elected. THe New Jersey State Federation of Women's Clubs was established!

Mrs. Charles B. Yardley of Orange was elected as the first President and the official charter number of clubs was listed as 36.

In the spring of 1895 the Lily of the Valley was voted on as the Federation flower and buff & blue were favored for Federation colors and the theme at the first Annual Meeting held in Newark on October 24-25, 1895. 175 women attended the annual meeting and 13 chairman reported on various committees that had been established.

Annual meetings continued to be held in the fall until 1966, when the month was changed to May, which still stands today. Since 1947, almost all conventions have been held in Atlantic City.

In 1902 there were 100 clubs.

Stay tuned for more Federation information!