Charmettes will honor 'Women in Religion'


Published: Thursday, January 31, 2008 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Wednesday, January 30, 2008 at 3:23 p.m.

To recognize women who work tirelessly behind the scenes in their churches and in their community, the Alachua County Charmettes Inc. will sponsor the third annual “Women in Religion Luncheon.”

“It’s a great way to recognize our own people and let the community understand their service and dedication to the Lord’s work,” said Ora White, president of the Alachua County Charmettes Inc., a social and community service organization that raises funds for cancer research, provides scholarships to high school seniors and helps the needy.

The luncheon will be held at 11:30 a.m. Saturday, Feb. 9, at the Hilton Conference Center, 1714 SW 34th St. Tickets are $30.

“These women are pastors’ wives, pastors’ mothers, and deaconesses that do so much,” said Sarah Richardson, one of the event coordinators, “and it (the luncheon) is a nice way to say ‘thank you.’ ”

Bettye Baskin, who also helped coordinate the luncheon, said the honorees were selected by club members for their community efforts and their spirituality.

The 2008 “Women in Religion” are: Elease Bradley, Rosemary Brantley, Curlease Clifton, Maralyn Cowart, Marie G. Crawford, Susie Demps, Michele Dix, Martha Fortineaux, Evelyn James, the Rev. Altheria Lenon, Inez Lucas, Annie Madison, Pastor Gloria D. Rollins, Oretha Stadom-Broxton, Cynthia Taylor, Catherine Wrighten and Pastor LaShon Young.

“These are outstanding women who give service to our churches in many capacities, to our community in many capacities, and to their families in many capacities,” said White. “They give of themselves, led by the spirit of God. They are women of great humility and they are our unsung heroes.”

“We try to tap women who do a lot of community service activities like missionary work, said Baskin, and they do it behind the scenes in their churches and in the community.”

At the luncheon, the honorees will be recognized individually, and past honorees will be recognized as well. Charmettes Richardson and Leanetta McNealy, the principal at Duval Elementary Fine Arts Academy, will preside over the event. Musical entertainment will be provided by Joy Banks, the Duval chorus, and University of Florida student Cornelius LaVan will perform a saxophone solo.

The Alachua County Charmettes, formed in 1971, has 25 members. Baskin said two of its members — Bettye Jennings and Synestar Jones — have served as presidents of the national organization. Membership in the Charmettes is by invitation only.

Proceeds from the luncheon will go to cancer research and scholarships. Richardson said contributions for cancer research are provided to the Howard University Cancer Research Center, the American Cancer Association, and the American Cancer Relay for Life.

Baskin said all of the chapters combined have provided $250,000 in donations to the Howard center, and there’s a suite at the center named after the organization.

Other contributions made by the local chapter include providing mammogram vouchers for women who do not have insurance or the means to pay for them, Christmas programs for the patients in Hospice, and food gift certificates for needy families during the holidays. They also provide funds for some of the local schools for things like winter clothing for their students.

To purchase tickets and for more information, call (352) 378-7928, (352) 377-4442, or (352) 376-2277.

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