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  • Blue Stocking Club

2018-2019 President's Report

An amazing year...

As I reflect over the past year as president of The Blue Stocking Club, it has become apparent to me we as a group are more impactful than any one of us alone. We all exhibit different strengths, passions, and weaknesses. Throughout the last twelve months, we continued our legacy of commitment to the Bristol community through sharing our time and treasure to help make “Bristol a Good Place to Live”.

Life is a series of beginnings, voyages, and endings as our club has demonstrated historically. For almost one hundred years, we have embarked on new journeys, completed mutual goals, and looked for new fields of endeavor.

This spring, we welcome one new member, Leah Powers. With sadness we accept Barbara Walling’s change in membership status from active to sustainer. With heavy hearts, we say good-bye to six sustaining members: Jane Kelly Daniel, LaVerne Frazier, Ann Gillenwater, Evelyn Gordon, Shirley King, and Louise Rutherford.

One of our main goals this year was to determine how in 2020, we as a group would celebrate our Centennial and embrace Blue Stocking Club’s rich history. Karen Vann decisively organized and chaired The Centennial Celebration Task Force. This committee was instrumental in helping our club determine, after much research and thoughtful reflection, we would embark on a Fundraising Event. The Club chose The Paramount Center For The Arts as our recipient.

This exciting journey has already begun with our three passionate chairs, Nell Bieger, Jan Massengill, and Karen Vann, leading and organizing the charge towards this worthwhile Centennial Celebration endeavor.

Under the leadership of Jennifer Kennedy, the Community Service Committee worked diligently throughout the year co-coordinating and arranging our placements and monthly charitable donations. Enthusiastically, we continued volunteering our time with three nonprofit organizations: Bristol Faith In Action, Healing Hands, and The Birthplace of Country Music Museum.

The fall began with Mary Molteni, Membership Chair, hosting a lovely orientation luncheon for Nell Bieger, Meredith Massie and Karen McSharry before our general meeting.

Throughout the year, we were generous with contributions for so many different causes. In September, we gifted $1,228 to the Bristol Food Pantry. We toured Girls Incorporated in October and presented them with coats, art supplies, puzzles and games as well as $325.00. In November, we focused on Boys and Girls Club, giving sporting equipment to help develop their fitness program.

On a beautiful winter day, we visited with our sustainers at our annual Christmas Luncheon. Past president, Billie Whisnant offered her inspirational and spiritual Blessing. Barbara Sue Kurre arranged for a King University vocal group “All The Kings Men” to provide us with a wonderful musical program.

From our Christmas Stocking Collection, we presented $4,472.00 to Adaptoplay (a non-profit Physical Therapy Group whose goal is to improve the quality of life of children of differing abilities and create a more inclusive world for children). Being ever mindful of the hunger needs in our community, we also provided boxes of cereal to The Bristol Food Pantry.

In January, we focused on one of our volunteer placement agencies, Bristol Faith In Action, where we contributed much needed cleaning supplies for their clientele. In February, we donated $1,235 to The Birthplace of Country Music Museum’s Children’s Educational Program Fund.

Once again, we willingly gave of our time to participate with Healing Hands’ Annual Cupcake Fundraising Event, where we wrote personal notes and assisted with the delivery of 979 Valentine’s Day cupcakes. At our March meeting, we gathered162 baby supply items and also presented $455 to the Bristol Family Resource Center.

Community Service organized a team building activity in April. Mary Lynn Satterwhite graciously offered her home so we would have a space where we created floral arrangements, which we delivered to members of our community in hopes of brightening their day.

At our May meeting, Jennifer Deal, chair of Special Events, and her Committee hosted our members and sustainers at the Nature Center at Steele Creek Park. We were given an opportunity to explore and admire the completed interactive geology wall display. Friends of Steele Creek Nature Center and Park presented our club with a plaque acknowledging our contribution of $25,000 in 2017, which was instrumental in the completion of this awesome exhibit.

With the arrival of May, my presidency has come full circle. I express my gratitude to each and every one of you for your support and your generosity to our community. I thank my sustainer liaison, Connie Bullock, who assisted me throughout the year. I would be remiss not to also acknowledge the loyal support from our many “Bristol Community Champions” who have been instrumental in the historical success of our club.

I pause for a moment and ponder: how would the founding members of Blue Stocking Club perceive our organization today? I wonder if they would be surprised to fine us still active, thriving, and committed to their original goal of providing charitable work for the benefit and welfare of our community. We now move forward towards celebrating our centennial.

Submitted with warm regards and appreciation,

Becky Smith

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