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2019-2021 President's Report

May 6, 2021

When I took office in May 2019, I said “thank you for the honor and trust given

me to lead this remarkable group of women”. Little did I know that that “remarkable

group” turned into an “Amazing and Resilient” group!! Being knocked down by a

Little Virus made you fight back and keep making a difference in the Bristol

Community. I am very proud of being a part of that and thank you all for making it

happen!

We welcomed Lea Powers as a new member and Linda Riley as a returning

member and both jumped right in making a difference!

The amount of work invested that first nine months was incredible. By the

middle of the summer, we had generated enough funds for the first phase of our

Centennial Celebration Campaign for the Paramount Theatre for the Arts. Under the

leadership and vision of Nell Beiger, Jan Massengill and Karen Vann the committees

took off in all directions. So much was accomplished in the planning, organizing,

designing, negotiating, communicating and creating a Celebration of a Century for the

Blue Stocking Club. By September our donations had reached $229,200!!! A record

amount for a BSC fundraiser. By the time fall arrived, we had a contract with Amy

Grant as our featured entertainment, but we were not done!

While all of this was going on, our Community Service Committee, under the

direction of Brennan Rockett, kept our monthly commitment to local agencies ongoing

and up to date. We heard from Ben Talley and his “Plant a Child” program. Kim

Bradley came to introduce us to her “Appalachian Literacy Initiative”, supplying

books to 4th graders in local schools. BFIA received our support of cleaning supplies

and our Christmas Stocking fund was received by Girls, Inc. in support of the

Economic Literacy Program. Total: $8,519

By late fall the Time Jumpers were secured as the party band and opener group

for the Amy Grant concert. Rene Rogers from BCCM with Nancy Wood agreed to

create a BSC historical slide show, And, with plans in place, our Paramount Revival

Centennial Celebration went public!!

Community Service picked up again in January with YWCA Tech Girls

receiving $554 in cash plus 191 items for the girls. Speech and Hearing received

donations of $1,854.00, Healing Hands held CUPCAKE drive, the Bristol Emergency

Food Pantry received $711.00 and BFIA received $300.00 plus additional supplies. The

Bridal Shop at the YWCA was added as a community placement for volunteers during

the year.

We were busy and ALL IN for the VIP Event with Amy, Time

Jumper/celebration party, concert, performer hospitality rooms accommodated,

tents, refreshments, police protection, permission from both cities, contracts

signed, donations of beverages, hotel rooms reserved, seating planned, media

releases, transportation arrangements, video and slide shows of BSC prepared,

tickets arranged, publicity to Patrons sent, donations were up to $480,000…. We

had it down to the last detail and WHAM!!!! COVID hit. Everything was put on

HOLD. But, like the well-oiled machine we are, we picked up the pieces and

did what we had to do to make the postponed concert happen in the fall, still in

our 100th year! Still time for a Celebration!

We entered uncharted waters finding the best solutions to situations we never

expected or had experienced before in the history of the BSC. When our options

continued to make meetings impossible, and our order of regular business

couldn’t happen, we went virtual. Hurray for internet, email, and texting!!!

Hooray for the Executive Board! We tossed about possibilities and concluded

that freezing our positions for a 2nd year and keeping all of the committees for the

Event in place would be the easiest and most consistent for the time being. It

was a good choice. Everything “normal” would have to happen on a month-to-

month basis until we could see the light at the end of the tunnel.

When the second fall came around and we once again found ourselves with no

definite end in sight, we considered passing the campaign over to the Paramount

itself while managing the monies and honoring the loyal patrons who supported

us through the project. As painful as it was to let the Centennial Celebration of

BSC go, it was the consensus of the Blue Stocking Club membership and the right

thing to do under the circumstances. So, we sent a final letter to our donors

explaining the exit strategy and BSC wrapped up the fundraising campaign with

Maximum Positive IMPACT on the Paramount while honoring commitments to

our generous donors. WE RAISED OVER A HALF A MILLION DOLLARS!!!!

($530,175 to be exact!)

Interior renovations were the next step to make the best use of our money while the

Paramount remained “dark” during the COVID pandemic. Debbie Gwaltney and Kim

Leonard were our Representatives and helped manage the expenses of these

renovations to see the very best results for the Paramount. Barbara Smith, also helped

oversee the project as a Paramount Board member.

For the remainder of the 2 years, we supported agencies on a remote donation

system and the Isaiah 117 House was our 2nd Christmas Stocking recipient, giving

more than $7,000 to this worthy recipient.

As a club we have accomplished so much together over the past 2 years. Our

Centennial history committee has done a wonderful job documenting our

accomplishments over 100 years. We will continue to celebrate and honor our history

and stay committed to our mission, working together to make an impact on our

community during our 2nd century of community service.

Sadly, we accepted changes in membership status from Susan Lapis, Susan

Solomon, MaryLynn Satterwhite, LucyAnn Jewell, Barbara Sue Kurre, Janice Greene,

Jan Massengill and Mary Molteni. These hardworking ladies will be missed. Thank

you for being a huge part of BSC.

Thanks to all of you for your help and support. It was special to work with all of

you. A special thanks to my Executive Board who kept me sane and on track for the

best outcome for the Blue Stocking Club. And a special thanks to Karen McSharry who

was my email guru and communications expert!

May you continue to weave your “blue thread” throughout our community well into

the next Century!

Sara Lauderback

BSC president 2019-2021

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