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  • Blue Stocking Club

2017-2018 President's Report

The theme that I chose for this year was compassion....

The theme that I chose for this year was compassion-the feeling for another’s sorrow or hardship that leads to help. My goal for the year was to continue the many ways we help our community, to explore new ways to work together, and to prepare for our second century of service.

We were saddened this year by the death of our friend and member, Dee Flannagan. We also lost non-resident sustainer Amy Summerell Elmore. Both of these ladies modeled compassion for us. With regret we accepted the membership change in status from active to sustainer of Joan Guest, Joyce Oakley, and Jean Slack. We will miss each one and hope that they will be active sustainers. We are very pleased to welcome back sustainer Nancy Wood to active status.

We are honored and blessed to welcome three new members: Nell Bieger, Meredith Massie, and Karen McSharry. We look forward to working with you all and to discovering your unique passions and strengths.

We had a very productive, fun year. Mary Lynn Satterwhite and Mary Molteni started the year with a wonderful new member orientation for Ronan King and were gracious enough to invite us all to attend.

Next we went into full fundraising mode. Last spring we all were excited about the plans to expand the nature center at Steele Creek Park and wanted to help with this project. Janice Greene and Mary Lynn Satterwhite, co-chairmen of our Special Events committee, immediately began working on plans for a fall “fun raiser”. On Sunday, October 1, we held a fall picnic to raise funds to underwrite an interactive geology wall. The venue for the event was perfect; the menu was perfect; the music was perfect; even the weather was perfect. The committee worked hard all summer long but we all had fun while raising $25,000 for a worthy project.

The Community Service committee headed by Alice Blanton and Jennifer Kennedy was also busy during the summer planning many meaningful projects for the year. In September, we collected $912 for the Bristol Emergency Food Pantry as well as assorted food donations. In October, we collected 220 items requested by Crossroads Medical Missions. In November, we collected hygiene items for the Salvation Army and donated 130 books to the Junior League’s Little Free Library.

In December we enjoyed a beautiful luncheon planned by Lucyann Jewell and Mary Molteni. Joyce Oakley arranged for the entertainment by the Lugo Family that we have enjoyed so much over the past few years. When we passed the Christmas stockings we collected $4125 for the YMCA’s Summer Day Camp Reading Enrichment Program and also donated 108 boxes of cereal to the Bristol Emergency Food Pantry.

In February we donated linens for use at the Abuse Alternatives shelter. We also assisted Healing Hands with their annual cupcake fundraiser. Sixteen members helped deliver cupcakes and nine members helped with writing the Valentine’s and thank you notes.

In March, we collected cleaning supplies for Bristol Faith in Action. In April, we shortened our meeting and went directly to the Haven of Rest where we helped them sort, organize and stock the shelves at their thrift store and pantry. Twenty-five women donated 30 hours to help this ministry. At our May meeting, we gathered diapers and other baby supplies for use at the Family Resource Center.

We have been very generous with our resources and time this year. We donated 180 hours of service at the Birthplace of Country Music Museum, 200 hours of service at Bristol Faith in Action, and 78 hours at Healing Hands. You have all certainly responded with compassion to the many needs in our community.

In closing, I would like to share with you excerpts from the poem “Continue” by Maya Angelou.

My wish for you

Is that you continue


To be who and how you are

To astonish a mean world

With your acts of kindness


To remind the people that

Each is as good as the other

And that no one is beneath

Nor above you


To put the mantel of your protection

Around the bodies of

The young and defenseless


To take the hand of the despised

And diseased and walk proudly with them

In the high street

Some might see you and

Be encouraged to do likewise


To ignore no vision

Which comes to enlarge your range

And increase your spirit


To dare to love deeply

And risk everything

For the good thing


And by doing so

You and your work

Will be able to continue


Submitted with gratitude for all that you do and will do in the years to come,

Debbie Gwaltney

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