Monday, September 28, 2015

NJSFWC Headquarters is 50 Years old!

During the first six years of existence, from 1894 until 1900, NJSFWC was 'homeless'. The Board of Directors met on alternative months in members homes. In 1900 a room at 885 Broad Street, Newark was acquired. In 1917, a room at the Robert Treat Hotel in Newark was placed at the Federation's disposal.

In 1919, a room at the Y.M.C.A. building in Newark was obtained for $200 a year and each Board member gave $5,00 of her scant expense allowance to cover the first six months' rent!

In July of 1959 the Federation moved to a four room suite in the Griffith Building, also in Newark and became the first real home to the Federation, where records could be stored and made available to club members. The space soon became tight and a committee met in May of 1964 to formulate plans for a permanent Headquarters building.

Recommendations were made to the Executive Committee for (1) the establishment of a fund for a new headquarters; (2) that the proceeds from the 1964 Federation Day at Strawbridge & Clothier be devoted to this fund and (3) the approval of a method for fundraising through the redemption of trading stamps.

Final approval for leasing the land adjacent to the Douglass College campus was granted by the Rutgers Trustees on October 15, 1964.

It was announced at a Headquarters Luncheon in 1965 that the quota for each club was one book of trading stamps per member, which was the equivalent of $2.00! There were also 40,000 Clubwomen at that time!

$53,000 had been received from stamps alone by June 1965 and ground breaking took place on September 18, 1965.

On May 1, 1966 the Headquarters building was formally dedicated and at the dedication luncheon, where 300 women attended, $134,228.46 had been received by the Headquarters fund!

In April 1967, the Trading Institute of America, Inc. presented the Federation with the first American Homemakers' Achievement Award for raising more than half the funds for the NJSFWC Headquarters by the collection of trading stamps. The State President, Miss Geraldine V. Brown was honored at a dinner at the Waldorf Astoria in New York and presented with a citation and a passbook redeemable for one million trading stamp.

The purchase was the Sarouk oriental rug which can still be found in the foyer at Headquarters!

Headquarters open house: Thursday, November 18th 10:30-12:00pm. Make your reservations early!

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

GFWC Celebrates 125 Years!

On April 24, 2015, Federation Day, GFWC celebrates its 125th Anniversary. This year-long celebration of our organization’s impact and history is already in full swing and will culminate during the 2015 GFWC Annual Convention in Memphis, Tennessee in June. GFWC’s history is a rich and varied one. To that end, a series of 125 Facts for 125 Years was created, showcasing GFWC’s accomplishments and impact since our creation in 1890. (see for all 125 Facts)

In 1996 the United States Post Office awarded GFWC a 5-cent stamp in honor of its 75th anniversary. Although stamps don’t quite hold the same weight they once did, it was decided to produce a new design as part of our 125th anniversary celebration. We’ve come up with a striking, modern look that still echoes GFWC’s history and legacy. The deep red is taken from the GFWC color emblem. The rose, the official flower of GFWC is featured in the lower right. And GFWC’s new tagline, Living the Volunteer Spirit, is proudly displayed below the 125

Founded in 1890, GFWC’s roots can be traced back to 1868 when Jane Cunningham Croly, a professional journalist, attempted to attend a dinner at an all-male press club honoring British novelist Charles Dickens. Croly was denied admittance based upon her gender, and in response, formed a woman’s club—Sorosis. In celebration of Sorosis’ 21st anniversary in 1889, Jane Croly invited women’s clubs throughout the United States to pursue the cause of federation by attending a convention in New York City. On April 24, 1890, 63 clubs officially formed the General Federation of Women’s Club by ratifying the GFWC constitution.

Monday, March 23, 2015

106th Public Issues Day, 'A Safer Country, Community & You

126 Clubwomen attended the 106th Public Issues Day at the Crowne Plaza Hotel.
Speaker Carol Ann Giardelli, Director, Safe Kids New Jersey, spoke about safety in the home and ways to prevent accidents to children. Safety was an issue for Clubwomen as far back as 1912, where a "Safety Day" was held for school children. By 1961 bicycle inspections were being held at schools with the cooperation of PTA groups and local authorities.

In 1961 the Governor of New Jersey gave credit to the women's clubs for cutting down on pedestrian fatalities through their safety projects.

Sergeant Lisa Acker, New Jersey State Police also spoke about safety for women and how to protect ourselves and be alert to our surroundings.

The Coordinator of Gloucester County Forensic Nurse Examiner & Sexual Assault Response Team, Eileen Caraker also spoke about updated ways to support sexual abuse & women & children who may be victims.

A 1964 resolution urged a central reporting system to be used by doctors, hospitals and clinics for child abuses cases. This resolution also recommended that parents found guilty of child abuse be given phychiatric treatment - a law which now exists!

How wonderful to know Clubwomen were concerned and supported these types of issues for so many years!

In the afternoon, we heard from Chief Harry J. Kleinkauf, Training Liaison for N.J. Homeland Security & Preparedness, who spoke about the Eight Signs of Terrorism and to be aware of your surroundings and report anything that seems suspicious.

Our last speaker, Timothy Fogarty was a Special Agent for NCIS. He explained how NCIS works and how they help protect the country from terrorist attacks, reduce crime and protect secrets.

Monday, February 2, 2015

Saving the Palisades!

There has been much talk lately because LG Electronics, a multinational corporation, wanting to build an office tower that will rise high above the trees, and for the first time, violate the unspoiled ridgeline — a view enjoyed by Americans since before the founding of our nation.

Did you know that in 1896 this beautify area was already in danger of destruction as commercial interests began blasting them away? At a meeting in Trenton in March of 1896, 300 women listened to papers on the preservation of state forests and the Palisades. In May, 1897 Board members were taken on a yacht trip up the Hudson to view the destructive activities.

Through the efforts of two State Presidents,Mrs. John Holland (then Miss Cecilia Gaines) and Mrs. B. Williamson, they persuaded then Governor Voorhees of New Jersey and Governor Roosevelt of New York to appoint commissions, with the Federation represented on the one from New Jersey.

With the continued support of the Federation, The Palisades Bill was passed by the legislature on April 4, 1900.

The Federation then raised $3,000 to build a Monument. The land is a ribbon strip 125 feet in length on the Hudson River atop the Palisades, near Alpine, with a magnificent view.

The semi-annual meeting of the Federation in 1908 was held on the site.

For more information on how you can help Save the Palisades, visit: