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“We keep plugging on…”
La Salle County government officials came together on Thursday, November 30, to mark the 100th anniversary of the Woman’s Club of Cotulla and congratulate its members on their advocacy and community service.
Founded in November 1923 as part of the Texas Alamo District, the local organization is a member of the General Federation of Women’s Clubs and is actively engaged in a wide range of causes, running the gamut from awareness and prevention of domestic violence and child abuse to supporting charities and holiday-related projects.
Suicide prevention, teen dating violence and abuse awareness, men’s and women’s health awareness, advocacy for children’s protection and counseling, intervention in systemic abuse, promotion of student fingerprinting and identification kits for use in cases of emergency or disaster, and involvement in Christmas gift drives and distribution projects to the needy and underprivileged by other civic groups have been additional missions for club members each year.
County Judge Leodoro Martinez III and commissioners signed a proclamation last week to honor the organization on its work over the past century.
“The Woman’s Club of Cotulla was organized as a book study club,” the judge read from his proclamation, adding that the group fast became “a woman’s service organization dedicated to community improvement through volunteer service.”
The judge commended the club on its non-partisan, non-sectarian and non-profit position and noted that its object is “to unite the influence and interests of the women of Cotulla and the surrounding areas to promote legislative, civic, educational, moral and social measures by the use of varied programs.”
La Salle County Attorney Elizabeth Martinez and retired educator Louisa Franklin, first vice president and parliamentary advisor, respectively, both active members in the organization and child advocates, spoke for the club in thanking the county government for its support and for acknowledging the work that members do.
“This is a great honor,” Franklin said of the centennial. “Many clubs have disbanded over the years, but we keep plugging on. Our joy is in giving back to the community. My grandmother was a charter member.
“In 1923, women had not had the vote for very long,” Franklin said of the club’s beginnings in La Salle County and its founding members. “They accomplished a lot.
“Our strength is in our diversity,” Franklin added. “We are a multi-generational organization, and we bring those ideas together for your community.
“My mother would say that there are always going to be people who are worse off than you, no matter what straits you’re in,” Franklin said, “and it’s your job to help them.”
Special recognition was offered at the ceremony to local resident and club member Novella Byrd, who is first vice president of the General Federation of Women’s Clubs and who will serve as the federation’s next president in four years’s time; and to Dorothy Kinsel, who has been a member of the Cotulla organization for over 50 years.
Also present at the ceremony was Club President Stephanie Canales, who likewise thanked the county government for its support and invited elected officials and staff to the club’s celebratory gathering, scheduled for later in the day in the Fellowship Hall of the First Church of Cotulla.
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