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Friendship Woman’s Club forms for the betterment of Hall County

POSTED: July 26, 2011 1:30 a.m.
/Photos for The Times

Members of the Friendship Woman's Club, from left, Sharon Solomon, Suzanne Marshall, Carole Gohman, Gayle Mack, Christine Lanzing, Ricki Martin, Rosemary Hansen, Gail Ormsby, Terre Mack and Carrie Fishback recently visited Tallulah Falls School, which was founded in 1909 by the president of the Georgia Federation of Women's Clubs.

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A group of South Hall residents are women on a mission.

In March, a handful of ladies got together and decided to form the Friendship Woman’s Club.

A month later, their group was chartered at the Georgia Federation of Women’s Clubs’ state convention, and it has been full speed ahead since then.

"We all have a passion for volunteering," said Carole Gohman, the Friendship group’s second vice president.

"We came together because we all like to help our community and there’s nothing like this group in South Hall."

There are more than 100 women’s clubs in Georgia. Besides the new South Hall group, there are chapters in Dahlonega, Dawsonville and Toccoa.

Like the state group and the national General Federation of Women’s Clubs, the Flowery Branch-based group is dedicated to lending support to better their communities.

"If we raise enough money through a fundraiser, we donate money to different organizations," Gohman said.

"If not, we donate our (time)."

As outlined by the state federation, the local women focus their time on five main areas: home life, conservation, arts, education and public issues.

Among other things, the Friendship group has volunteered at Elachee Nature Science Center, the Georgia Mountains Food Bank and local libraries. They’ve also adopted a platoon of deployed soldiers and raised money for Troop Bebop USA, a nonprofit that provides care packages to troops.

"There’s only about 19 of us now, but we feel like we’re doing very well," Gohman said.

"It’s such a thrill to be able to make a difference."

From top to bottom, the federation of clubs has a history of making an impact on society.

According to the national group’s website, their 1925 survey of the American home lead to homemakers being included as an occupation on the 1930 U.S. Census.

During World War II, the nationwide federation raised enough money to purchase more than 400 bomber planes.

In 1909, Mary Ann Lipscomb, the then president of the Georgia Federation of Women’s Clubs, founded the Tallulah Falls School as a primary school for children living in the mountains of Habersham and Rabun counties.

Today, the school serves students from all over the world, but it is still owned and operated by the women’s group.

The Friendship club recently visited the school, "to see what it was all about and what we can do to help," Gohman says.

The organization meets every fourth Tuesday of the month from September through May at The Depot in Flowery Branch.

In between meetings, the group’s committees work on various projects in their chosen area of interest.

"When we find out about volunteering opportunities, we put the information out to our group and explain what the needs are," Gohman said.

"If anyone is available, we tell them to go for it."

Gohman says the group will continue to have socials and fundraisers throughout the summer to not only gain support for their projects, but to also build up their membership.

"Our group is open to anyone ages 18 and up with a desire to volunteer. We like to focus on improving our communities and ourselves," Gohman said.

"It is phenomenal what we can accomplish when we work together."

 



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