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Junior Woman's Club of Rutherford Stays Active

Updated: Jul 1, 2020

Submitted by Katie Pippin

The Rutherford Junior Woman’s Club has found many ways to stay active during the COVID-19 pandemic. Although their March meeting was canceled, the Juniors met over Zoom in April, May, and June.

Despite having to cancel their annual Breakfast with the Bunny (co-sponsored by the Rutherford Elks Lodge #547), several alternate fundraisers were held between March and June. A Five Below cashola held in March. Their yearly Flower Power plant sale fundraiser garnered $275 towards their general fund. A homemade mask sale, organized by President Gina Viviano, raised $500 in April.

The 25th annual Ladybug Release Festival, chaired by former co-president Lena Merrill, was held virtually on Sunday, June 14th. Ladybug Festival raised $828, with proceeds going towards the Heather Sartori Memorial Scholarship fund as well as the Juniors' general fund.

In addition, the Juniors also organized two food drives for the Rutherford Community Pantry. Between the two drives, held on April 9th and May 14th, the club donated 62 bags of groceries and $375 to the pantry.

Members also stayed engaged in a number of different ways. Some participated in the General Federation of Women's Clubs Day of Legislative action by contacting local representatives about 3-D gun printing and Miranda’s Law. Members also donated bras to Free the Girls!, a non-profit dedicated to helping women who have been victims of sex trafficking. The Juniors found time to host their monthly book club via Zoom in April and May. Two club members received recognition during the NJ Federation of Women’s Clubs June 11th Palisades District meeting- former President Beverly Khan received an award for membership, while Vice President of fundraising Katie Pippin received an award for fundraising.

On May 29th, the JWCR (Junior Woman's Club of Rutherford) was issued a KPMG Community Impact Grant from KPMG U.S. Foundation, Inc. The grant was requested by Sun Lee who works and KPMG in Montvale and is a Board member of the JWCR. The $500 grant will be put towards the general fund and will support many of the JWCR's charitable efforts.

June saw the Juniors mailing out their yearly donations to community organizations in lieu of a formal presentation meeting. The Rutherford Library, the Kip Center, the Rutherford Volunteer Ambulance Corp, Rutherford Fire Department, Rutherford Community Pantry, the Williams Center, and the Rutherford Woman’s Club were all recipients. In addition, the club supported Move for Hunger, several high school scholarships, and Girl Scout Gold Award recipients. The Juniors also welcomed Hillary Alberts, Stephanie Bennett, Christine Fitzpatrick, Natasha Sherrit-Licari, Jessica Warren-Frazier, and Christina Onorato into the club as members.

Before the pandemic, the Juniors held their annual spelling bee in January, boasting three winners, with prizes donated by Blue Foundry Bank. Click here to read more about the JWCR Spelling Bee. Member Diamira Torrens organized a clothing and gift card drive in January for a local family in need and member Jodi Chambliss collected $350 towards that effort.

Member Genevieve Knapp organized a ladies' clothing swap in February, with leftover clothing donated to the RHS clothing drive.

The JWCR's 3rd annual Chili and Brews Chili Cookoff in February raised $1700 towards their general fund. In March, the club marched in the 3rd annual St. Patricks Day Parade, handing out candy to children along the parade route.

The Junior Woman’s Club meets every 3rd Tuesday of the month at 7:30 pm, except for July and August. Meetings are open to all. For more information, check out their website.

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