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Posted: April 10, 2014 10:00 p.m.

In response to Terri Kimble Fullerton’s “Are service clubs outdated?”

Dear Editor,

In response to your article published in the April 6 issue of The Covington News, I find I am in agreement with some of your content, but I take real issue with the title “Are Service Clubs Outdated?” You see, Ms. Fullerton, if the reader does not peruse your entire article, one would believe you are opposed to service organizations.

I’d like to introduce you to the General Federation of Woman’s Clubs, an international organization, with headquarters in Washington, DC. The GFWC/Georgia has approximately 100 plus clubs in this state alone. And lucky Covington, Newton County has five Georgia Federated Woman’s Clubs in the immediate area, one to suit every age and service appetite, since service is our by-word.

The club I am affiliated with (for the past 20 years) is the GFWC/Georgia Service Guild of Covington. The Servicd Guild of Covington was organized in 1945 by active women whose desire to serve the Covington/Newton Community included such names as Anne Nesbitt, Ruth Pratt, Lois T. Hay, Agnes Randall and Mary Frances Ramsey, and we still retain such notable members as Bobbie Banks, Nonie Needham, Lee Aldridge, names synonymous with the words “community service”. Ask the Covington Police Department if they know The Service Guild of Covington. Ask the Fire Department if they know us. Ask the Sheriff’s Office and ask the Newton Library and schools throughout our community if they know of the Service Guild of Covington. Ask the Covington City Council and the Newton Arts Association if they know the Service Guild of Covington.

Literacy Volunteers of America (LVA) was founded in 1988 by the Service Guild of Covington, and our club organized and manned this vital service for our community for more than 20 years. For approximately 15 years we held daylong leadership seminars for our local high school youth with local civic leaders to answer “Where am I headed and how do I get there?” Many of our community leaders served on this panel, including Judge Sammy Ozburn who demonstrated a mock trial with students performing as jurors, witnesses and defendants to familiarize our youth with the court systems. GFWC Service Guild of Covington has our fingers in many pies throughout our community covering 6 areas of service including Arts, Conservation, Education, Home Life, Public Issues and International Outreach. We sponsor the American Red Cross Blood Drives in Covington as frequently as they will allow donors to give. We regularly assist the local battered women’s shelter (Project Renewal) with needed supplies and parties for the children there. One of our latest International Outreach programs is involvement with SHOT@LIFE’S newest campaign to create awareness of the need for vaccinations for the world’s children. No, Ms. Fullerton, service clubs are not outdated, and the GFWC Service Guild of Covington is a prime example as we diligently continue to serve, not only here in our local community but across the nation and the world.

On March 26, the GFWC Service Guild of Covington joined with 14 other clubs for a District Meeting at The Georgia Club in Statham, Georgia to recognize the community efforts of those clubwomen during the year 2013. GFWC Service Guild of Covington was honored with the top prize in each and every category listed above, including Domestic Violence and Leadership and the Overall Cup for Excellence. With pride in our achievements, a photo and an article was submitted that very day to the Covington News as well as another local paper. Unfortunately, the Covington News could not find room to publish, but we want you to know The GFWC Service Guild of Covington is still here serving our community for the past 69 years. Ms. Fullerton, I’d like to invite you as my guest to our April 28 meeting. We begin lunch at 11:30 a.m. and then our program and business meeting will boggle your mind. You can learn more about our organization on our website: gafwcsg.org.

Kindest Regards,
Lynn Garrett,
GFWC Service Guild of Covington
Arts Chair, Treasurer and Club Newsletter Editor

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