GFWC Women's Club of South County


Annual Meet & Greet
on August 14, 2019
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The GFWC Women’s Club of South County welcomed new and prospective members at Joanne Daly’s lovely home on Narrow River on August 14. More than 40 new and seasoned members attended. Thank you to Joanne for hosting this special event, also, a heartfelt thank you to Joanne and Sandy Coletta for their excellent work as leaders of the Membership Team!



Congratulations to four 6th grade students from Broad Rock Middle School pictured below:  First Place, Abigail Babigian; Second Place – a tie, Natalie Blue and Ben Monaco, and Third Place, Sophie Lacombe.  Honorable mentions were also given out to seven students from Broad Rock Middle School, Monsignor Clarke School, and Narragansett Pier Middle School. “We are extremely impressed with the time and effort put into the essays and, more importantly, the caring and passion evidenced by the students’ words in writing about the work of their charitable organization and why giving is so important,” said Theresa Schimmel, chairperson for the event for 13 years.

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Diana Crane (center) receiving the 2019 Fran Dolan Leadership Award from GFWC Women’s Club of South County Co-Presidents Kim Hanson (left) and Mary Grace Varnum (right)]

Diana Crane Receives

Fran Dolan Leadership Award 

Diana Crane is the 2019 recipient of the Fran Dolan Leadership Award, given annually by the club’s president(s) in recognition of a member’s on-going, active involvement in improving life in South County.


For more than 15 years, Crane led the club’s Grow Hope Community Grants initiative, which awards funds to local nonprofit organizations whose work improves life for residents in four areas: Arts, Conservation, Education, and Social Services. Crane’s work, according to WCSC co-president Kim Hanson, “has benefited a wide range of people, from veterans and school children to people in need of food or special services. Her long time dedication to Grow Hope has positively impacted so many of South County’s nonprofit institutions, including libraries, theaters, hospitals, and homeless shelters. I’m sure they will agree that the award is well deserved.” 


Fran Dolan, a longtime member of the GFWC Women’s Club of South County, passed away in 2017. Through her example of service and dedication, she exemplified leadership in action. “I am honored and humbled to be linked with Fran Dolan,” says Crane, who worked with Dolan on a number of WCSC projects, including the club’s Grow Hope initiative. “Fran is my hero,” she says.


Crane is the second club member whose work has been recognized with the Fran Dolan Leadership Award. The first in 2018 was Carol Sugarman. Congratulations to both for exemplifying the best in leadership and volunteerism!


All Woman Honor Flight for Veterans

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Members of the WCSC joined GFWC RI in sponsoring an all woman honor flight that sent 44 veterans to Washington, DC, on April 6, 2019. It was the first all woman honor flight from Rhode Island and only the second in the nation. More than a dozen WCSC members greeted the vets (who served in WWII, Korea, Vietnam, and Afghanistan) when they arrived at TF Green for the early morning flight that took them to the nation’s capital, and another dozen welcomed them home that night. In addition to WCSC members, members of veterans’ groups, high school students, women athletic teams, Boy and Girl Scout troops, politicians, and other Rhode Islanders turned out for the sendoff.


Throughout the year, WCSC’s hospitality committee plans friendly “Funshine” outings for club members who learn about the region’s culture and history. In March, we visited Tomaquag Indian Memorial Museum in Exeter, Rhode Island. Thanks to executive director Loren Spears (far right) for a most interesting introduction to the history and culture of the area’s Indigenous Peoples.

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Carolyn Traxler Receives

GFWC Lifetime Achievement Award 

The Jennie Award is named in honor of GFWC's founder, Jane Cunningham Croly, who wrote for national newspapers under the pseudonym, "Jennie June." The award highlights extraordinary clubwomen who epitomize "Jennie's" spirit of independence, courage and persistence in their roles within their clubs, communities and families. Although GFWC has many awards for states and clubs, the GFWC Jennie Award is the only one given to individual members for personal excellence.

Carolyn has been a member of GFWC Women's Club of South County for 26 years and has held the positions of President, Vice President, Treasurer, Internal Communications team Leader, Ways and Means Chair, Scholarship Chair as well as Trustee and Treasurer of GFWCRI.  As President, Carolyn spearheaded the creation of a scholarship fund aimed at helping local women in need to become self-sufficient by pursuing a degree or obtaining credentials for practicing a vocation. As a WCSC board member, she helped found the club's legacy fund raiser, our Book & Author Luncheon, with its 19th annual held July 2018.

Thank you, Carolyn, for all you’ve done for our Club and for our community.  We are so very proud of you!


Our own “iconic” Club member, Carolyn Traxler of South Kingstown, has received the General Federation of Women’s Clubs’ Jennie Award, the national organization’s highest honor for lifetime personal achievement! The award was announced in June during the GFWC’s 2018 annual convention in St. Louis.  With nearly 80,000 members strong, this is a tremendous accomplishment and acknowledgement of all that Carolyn has contributed to the GFWC.  This national recognition has been added to her recent and well-deserved awards as the recipient of not only the State’s but also the Regional’s Jennie Award. 

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WCSC Receives

State and National Recognition

At the GFWC RI Annual Meeting in May, 2018, the Women's Club of South County was presented four Outstanding Achievement Awards:

  • GFWC Communications and Public Relations

  • GFWC Outstanding Achievement for Fundraising

  • GFWC Outstanding Leadership Advancement

  • GFWC in Arts Community Service Program


For the first time ever...GFWC RI received national recognition at GFWC's national convention held in June 2018 and was awarded:

Outstanding Communications & Public Relations for the State of RI