Nurturing Good Mental Health Through Awareness
Investing in our future through membership and leadership
GFWC NH 2018-2020 Installation Speech from Annual Meeting
My journey started in 2007 when I first attended a GFWC club meeting. What totally inspired me about this organization was a bus trip to Washington DC in 2010 sponsored by the State to bring GFWC history to Headquarters to be archived. We toured headquarters and I learned the rich history of the General Federation of Women’s Club. I knew then I wanted to make my mark in this organization. I went to my first International Convention also that year in Omaha Nebraska and my passion and knowledge continued to grow. In 2011 I was New Hampshire’s LEADS Candidate and my fate was sealed.
So I worked my way up growing in knowledge and sisterhood. A few years ago I asked my husband Moe who was my number one supporter as going on this journey is a commitment not only for me but for my family whether I should take the position of Vice President or President Elect and he said to take the faster route to State President as he was in declining health and I did. With that being said today is bitter sweet for me. As most of you know Moe, my number one cheerleader and the love of my life passed away in February. Again before he passed away I asked him if I should step down as I was going to be bring him home into Hospice Services after a month in the hospital and he said “ No, Anne I really don’t want you to. We will figure out away”. He died five days later. So here I am today standing before you with my number one supporter, Moe looking down at me from heaven cheering me on.
Thank you Moe for loving me and supporting me on this journey. I also would like to thank my family for being here. My son Christopher whose birthday is tomorrow, so please wish him a Happy Birthday, his wife Bethany and their son Jaden who is their third son out of their four sons, my daughter Elizabeth and her two sons Lincoln and Teddy, my son Michael and his fiancé Acacia and our youngest Emily. Family means the world to me and I am so Blessed and grateful to have them here today.
I would like to thank my mentors all the past GFWC NH State Presidents. Phyllis Appler, Tina Smith, Carol Waters, Nancy Greenberg, Arlene Creeden, Sandi Jones, Kathy Rugg, Joan Prue as you all answered all my questions and encouraged me along the way. I want to thank my two clubs the Exeter Area GFWC and the Hudson Community Club for their support and assistance with the Dessert Reception that will follow at the close of this meeting today. I want to thank the club women of the state as we go hand in hand as a team into the next administration.
I am so excited about the next two years.
The 2018-2020 Administration focus is going to be “GFWC NH investing in our future through membership and leadership”. Many clubs struggle with these two areas but to exist in the future it is vital to bring new members in and grow leaders in our clubs. As a state we have the responsibility to help our clubs succeed in these areas by giving them the tools they need. One tool is the “JAM” Club, “Just A Membership” Club a wonderful group of Leaders who made it their focus to be the State Membership Committee. Can members of the JAM Club please stand. Look around, there they are use them. Call them, invite them to your club. Thank you Ladies for all you do. You may be seated.
By the fall we will have a new club of International LEADS Graduates whose focus will be Leadership and LEADS. They have already met and are working on a name and their by-laws. Can the members of this new club please stand. Recognize any faces? Maybe one day you will be in this group. Thank you ladies for all you are going to do. The plan is this Club will be the States Leadership and LEADS Committee. Call on them and invite them to your club. They have also committed to running an annual New Hampshire LEADS.
Grow leaders in your club by sponsoring as many of your Club members to attend the NH LEADS. Why not make it a line item in your budget to send a member or two. Give your members the confidence and skills to step up. Investing in your club women will only make your club stronger.
I will be honest with you not only your club are struggling with getting members to step up to leadership positions. The State is also struggling. Most of the leaders we have now have been in a leadership roles for many years. Some of them want to pass the baton on to a new set of leaders. That is why it is imperative to grown leaders from the local club up. You will see open chairmanships this next administration as I want people to step up for what they have a passion or interest in doing. Not just to fill a position. If there is something you have an interest in or passion for on the state level please let me know. We would love to have you be part of the team.
Also in the works is starting a new Club in the Derry NH area. Stay tune GFWC NH is coming to a town near you.
Now my President’s Project for the next two years is “Nurturing Good Mental Health Through Awareness”. One in five adults and children has a mental health disorder. Personally my family has been touch by mental health illness and suicide. I know what it feels like to have no hope and no will to live but I also am a testament to show you that you can get through the darkness of depression and lead a happy and successful life. Life is stressful and we all face hard times but with the right help there is hope and a light at the end of the tunnel of darkness for all.
We will be partnering with two non-profit originations. The first partnership is “Change Direction” who’s goal is to change the culture surrounding emotional suffering by letting everyone know its five most common signs. I am so excited to have former NH State Supreme Court Justice John Broderick as our speaker for Fall Field in November. He will share his story and what it means to partner with Change Direction.
The second partnership is NAMI, National Alliance On Mental Illness New Hampshire, a grassroots organization working to improve the lives of all people affected by mental illness and suicide through support, education and advocacy.
Now I would like to introduce my President’s Project Chairmen Beth Roth. Get to know her. She will be your resource for these two organizations. Thank you Beth. To help clubs get started each club will receive a packet at this summers club officer orientation about the two organizations loaded with project ideas.
I would also like to introduce my Fundraiser Chairmen Tina Smith. We have been meeting these last few months and have come up with some fun-fundraisers. One such fun-fundraiser is a bus trip to Washington DC in April 2019. Which includes transportation, four nights lodging, four breakfast, four dinners, tours, the new Bible Museum, George Washington’s Mount Vernon Estates and more all for just $635. For just $75 you can reserve your seat on the bus. Please consider going or ask someone you think would be interested in going. You will leave here today with a flyer for the bus trip. Tina will be rolling out the fundraiser plan this summer at the board meeting and Club officers orientation.
With August 2020 being the centennial anniversary of the ratification of the 19th amendment. GFWC will be partnering with Turning Point Suffragist Memorial a non-profit volunteer-led organization committed to raising funds to build a national memorial in Virginia to honor the suffragists who fought for and won women’s right to vote. I will be asking clubs to donate to this Memorial. When we raise $1000 GFWC NH name will be engraved on the donor wall for future generations to never forget the five million women who fought seventy-two years to give us the right to vote. I also hope to organize a road trip to Virginia for the ribbon cutting ceremony.
Don’t forget to invite me to your Club. Whether it’s a meeting or an event you're holding. I love to get my hands dirty and help out. If you want me to speak or bring something fun to do to nurture our good mental health. Call me, email me, snail mail me I want to be there. You never know I might surprise you and show up when you least expect it.
So we will be educated and made aware of the issues on mental illness but I don’t want to forget to nurture the good mental health. Static say people who volunteer live longer they also say social interaction improves mental and physical health. So just by being a member of GFWC we are nurturing our good mental health. Well we are already on the right track. But we are not going to stop there we are going to get together and have fun, pamper ourselves, maybe tickle our funny bone, listen to sweet music and witness beautiful art to say the least.
So stay tune for what’s to come. I am so excited and I hope now that I gave you a little snip it of what’s to come that you are excited too. So lets walk together hand in hand into the 2018-2020 administration.