Key Women of America hosts biannual conference

Published 3:07 pm Friday, October 20, 2017

Members of various branches of the national Key Women of America Inc. organization recently descended on Augusta, Georgia, for their biannual conference. The conference was officially opened by Ms. Geralynne H. Brandon, national president. The Washington, North Carolina branch was represented by Emma W. Howard, Cynthia Lovick, Joyce O’Neal, Gayle Hardy and Joyce W. Moore.

Founded in New York in 1954 by the late Rev. Bertha Nelms Harris, Key Women of America, Inc. seeks to help children and provide service to the elderly citizens in their respective communities. Members of the organization are designated as key women for their roles in their churches, marketplaces, social and civic affiliations and other areas in their local community.

There are 12 branches comprising the national organization, which are assigned to a specific region with a director who coordinates activities for the assigned region. The Washington branch, founded by Emma Howard and chartered in December 1993, is assigned to the Southern Region.

During the three-day conference, members attended sessions on selected topics such as parliamentary procedures, scamming/self-defense, community service and Zumba (staying physical). Branches also provided annual reports on their activities and long-range plans during the business sessions. The amendment of several by-laws and the election of national officers to serve for the next two years was held during the business session with the national President Geralynne H. Brandon presiding.

Special recognitions of members, the pinning of new Lifetime Members, was held during the President’s Night Banquet. The installation of newly elected officers was held on Sunday morning during the closing of the conference with Emma W. Howard presiding.

Delegates elected include Joyce Moore, Washington branch, as national president for the next two years. She is the first member from the Southern Branch to be so elected. A charter member of the Washington branch, Moore has served as president, secretary, vice president and secretary of the branch. She also received a Lifetime Membership pin and will oversee activities of the individual branches and regional divisions.

Joyce W. Moore then rose to present fellow branch member Cynthia Lovick with the National Appreciation Award for her service to the Key Women of America, Inc. Lovick has served as branch chaplain and chair of the scholarship committee for several years.

Throughout the year, members are actively involved in several community service projects which include: visits the nursing home as well as donate gifts at Christmas; distributing Thanksgiving baskets to needy families; donating to the Boys & Girls Club; supporting NAACP youth; visiting the Rainbow House; contributing to Child Connections; visiting homebound patients and conducting phone checks on elderly citizens; providing scholarships to qualifying high school graduates; and sponsoring the annual Scholarship Banquet in March.

The next national annual meeting will be held in January 2018.

The Washington branch, with a membership roster of 13 members, conducts an ongoing recruitment of members. Any key woman interested in becoming a member may contact Betty Jo Moore, president, Joyce W. Moore or any member of the Washington branch for additional information.