Women’s club group thankful for help at district meeting

Women’s Club members made Operation Smile dolls at the recent District Meeting.

On Saturday, March 4, I had the pleasure of conducting the annual GFWC-NH Merrimack District meeting at the First Baptist Church, 121 Manchester St., Nashua. The GFWC-NH Merrimack District represent GFWC-NH Woman’s Clubs in Brookline, Candia, Hollis, Hudson, Lyndeborough, Manchester, Nashua, Salem and Wilton.

I would like to thank the hosting club, Nashaway Woman’s Club President, Linda Twombly, for all her support of this director and time devoted to making this meeting such a success that it was. I would also like to thank Nashaway club members Mary Hartnett, Marion Renk, Bobbie Knickerbocker, Sheila Selfridge, Pauline Selfridge, Karen Kreuger, Rosemary Ippolito and Marge Siesicki who came Friday, March 3, in late afternoon to set up tables, decorate the room and setup the luncheon tables and store the food in the church’s huge refrigerator and at 8 a.m. on Saturday to provide Dunkin Donuts coffee for our 44 guests.

A special thank you to Sheila Selfridge, who volunteered to be the registration/reservation chair; Pauline Selfridge, who volunteered to take the minutes of the meeting and Sue Phillips, who volunteered to help publicize the meeting.

We were fortunate to have Karen Kersting, executive director of Upreach Therapeutic Equestrian Center Inc. to inform us on how you can improve lives by partnering with the power of a horse. The Merrimack District donated $500 to help continue the work of Upreach Therapeutic Equestrian Center. In the afternoon, we were also fortunate to have Erin Kelly, program director of Child and Family Service Street Outreach Program, which provides street youth, homeless youth and those at risk of running away with basic elements for survival and the stuff with which to succeed. The Street Outreach Team spends about 30 hours per week, mostly in high-risk areas, where it offers assistance with everything from food, clothing and shelter; to medical care; substance abuse treatment, protection from sexual exploitation, victimization, disease and pregnancy; abuse/neglect services; mental health services; and crisis counseling. The Merrimack District donated $500-plus in goods to support the Street Outreach Program’s Closet and Pantry.

The Merrimack District turned, stuffed and closed 40 Operation Smile Dolls. Operation Smile Dolls are used by Child Life therapists to help alleviate fear of the unknown while communicating about upcoming medical procedures. Operation Smile is a 501(c) (3) international organization providing free surgery for children suffering from cleft lip or cleft palate. Operation Smile has provided over 200,000 surgeries.

With meetings like the Merrimack South District meeting, there is a tendency to focus on the director. In actuality, it is the host club and its members who make it possible and who make it a success!

– Submitted by Lori Dwyer

GFWC-NH Merrimack South

district director