The Clearwater Junior Woman's Club (CJWC) began in 1955 and has been involved in the community in many ways since then. GFWC Clearwater Junior Woman's Club, Inc. is a member of the General Federation of Women's Clubs International (GFWC) and the Florida Federation of Women's Clubs (FFWC). GFWC has a long history of service, dating back to 1889 when the Federation was formed as an alliance of women's clubs in 19 states. Since then, GFWC has encouraged women to improve their skills, expand their rights, and apply their abilities to society’s problems.
Not all "women's clubs" are GFWC clubs. As a member of the General Federation of Women's Clubs, our primary focus is volunteer service in our community, though we do have fun at the same time!
Our members include professionals, homemakers, business owners, college students, retirees, mothers, daughters, and grandmothers. We have considerable diversity in our ages, interests, backgrounds, and experiences, but we are united by our dedication to community improvement through volunteer service. Our members enjoy being part of a club where they can meet new people, learn new things, have fun, and help their community.
Along with other GFWC clubs across the state and around the world, we take on projects which support the arts, preserve natural resources, promote education, encourage healthy lifestyles, stress civic involvement, and work toward world peace and understanding. These focus areas are reflected in our six departments: arts, conservation, education, home life, public affairs, and international affairs. We fill some of the gaps in services provided by the government and charitable organizations, and take on projects in our community that might otherwise not get done.
All of our projects are proposed, planned, organized, and accomplished by our members. Whether they are done within one of our six departments, or as a larger scale club-wide project, the ideas, inspiration, and effort all come from within. If you have an interest or a concern, as a clubwoman you can undertake a project -- with the help of your friends and fellow club members -- that utilizes your unique skills to improve your community and the world.
Mary Clark & Joseph Clark Memorial Scholarships
Each spring, we award several Mary Clark scholarships in the amount of $1000 each to local students who are attending college while overcoming some adversity in their lives. We evaluate need, school performance, community service activity, and reference letters in selecting scholarship recipients. The Joseph Clark Memorial Scholarship, also $1000, is awarded to someone who has turned their life around and needs the money to stay on the right track.
Helping Hands Community Service Grants
Along with our scholarships, we award a number of Helping Hands Grants in amounts up to $2500 each to local charitable and social service organizations. The grants are awarded for specific needs or programs for which the organizations request funding, and applicants are considered based on need, the impact of the program on our community, non-duplicaiton of effort, and programs which fall within the focus areas of our club's six departments (The Arts, Conservation, Education, Home Life, International Affairs, and Public Affairs).
Macy's Lights the Way
Macy's at Countryside Mall donates their out of stock (discontinued and unsold) merchandise, mostly clothing and accessories but sometimes other items such as housewares. Our members clip off price tags and labels so that the merchandise cannot be returned or re-sold, and distribute the items to local charities (where the clothing can be distributed directly to individuals in need, not sold in thrift shops) and needy families we learn of through our members and community contacts.
Christmas Under the Oaks Arts & Crafts Show
Our major fundraising event is the Christmas Under the Oaks Arts & Crafts show, or "Oaks" for short. The event is held at Coachman Park, in cooperation with the City of Clearwater, on the second full weekend of November each year. We raise money through artist and crafter fees for booth space, visitor donations at the gate, and sponsorship & advertising by local businesses. The success of this fundraiser determines the number of scholarships and grants we award in the spring, and funding for other projects throughout the following year.
One Voice for Children
This is a special project for Florida Federation Junior Clubs during the 2004-2006 administration. The goal of "One Voice for Children" is to have a dramatic, positive impact on the lives of Florida's children. Our participation includes printing, assembling, and distributing EMSC (Emergency Medical Services for children) activity books and WHALE (We Have a Little Emergency) child car seat emergency identification kits, collecting socks for school-age children, and donations of money and equipment to organizations that make a difference in children's lives.
Cooking for Life
Learning how to cook nutritious and affordable meals is essential for families living on a limited budget. Confidence in the kitchen can greatly impact a household’s monthly food bill and well-being.
Cooking for Life classes provide families with the skills necessary to prepare healthy, low-cost meals. Designed for low-income parents of small children, and expecting mothers, Cooking for Life teaches nutrition, hands-on cooking skills, food safety, budgeting, and meal planning. At the end of each class session, participants take home the ingredients to prepare the recipes they just learned in class, allowing them to put their new skills and knowledge into practice right away in their own families.
Terrific Teacher Awards
Each month at our regular meeting, we draw the name of an outstanding teacher from those submitted by our members. The winning teacher receives a certificate and a gift card to show our appreciation of their contributions as a Terrific Teacher!
Our members collect and donate a variety of items at meetings, such as: Box Tops for Education to be used by local schools, used linens for the Humane Society animal shelter, back-to-school supplies in the fall to distribute to needy students, and food or clothing donations for soup kitchens, shelters, and disaster victims.
Some of our members attend spring and fall conventions sponsored by the Florida Federation of Women's Clubs, regional workshops, and our own leadership development seminars and activities. In addition, we have a number of social event throughout the year for members and their families.
Awareness and Education
Our meetings and newsletters feature programs and articles on a variety of topics relating to our service projects, health, safety, and civic responsibility. Some past topics have been: 911 & emergency services, heart health, voter registration, pool & water safety, blood & organ donation, and school Commitment to Character programs.
Our club sponsors the Clearwater Juniorettes, a service organization for high school girls. Our Juniorettes participate in the Relay for Life, travel to the annual
Our members assist in community events such as Coastal Clean Up and Paint Your Heart Out, and provide help and support at other organizations' fundraisers.
Some of the money we raise each year is passed along in the form of monetary donations to charitable organizations both within our community and at the national level. Our departments each have an annual budget amount which they may distribute between projects, programs, and donations as they choose.
Each club member joins one of our six departments, which represent focus areas of GFWC programs. Most of our service work falls under one of these departments, with some club-wide projects spanning multiple areas of interest.
- The Arts Department provides a framework for clubwomen to pursue a variety of artistic interests while educating the community about the important role art plays in our lives. Activities that would fall under the Arts Department include:
- Create art through photography, painting, music, literature, poetry, drama, and craft projects
- Support local museums
- Sponsor women artists
- Support the restoration and preservation of artwork
- Motivate youth to explore the arts.
- The Conservation Department inspires clubwomen to establish and implement environmental awareness programs. Conservation projects might include:
- Educate members and citizens about the importance of resource conservation
- Support neighborhood beautification and park preservation efforts
- Participate in litter clean-up activities
- Plant trees
- Encourage and facilitate recycling
- The Education Department encourages clubwomen to create learning opportunities for themselves and their communities. Some Education Department efforts might include:
- Encourage participation in literacy programs for adults and young people
- Create learning disabilities awareness among club and community members
- Support the Hugh O'Brian Youth Leadership (HOBY) program
- Donate books, teaching aids, reference materials, and supplies to schools and libraries
- Award scholarships to college students working to improve their lives
- Home Life
- The Home Life Department covers a compilation of programs geared to acquaint members with contemporary issues, from health and financial awareness to support of a variety of organizations providing a wide range of services. This department might undertake projects such as:
- Educate club members and the community about women's health topics
- Encourage organ donation and supply organ donor cards
- Provide clothing, food, and monetary donations to local shelters
- Award grants to community service organizations
- International Affairs
- The International Affairs Department provides a structure for club members to learn about other cultures while supporting a variety of international aid efforts. International Affairs activities might include:
- Donate money and supplies to Operation Smile
- Prepare an international themed dinner for club members
- Promote the work of the United Nations
- Encourage awareness of world hunger and health issues
- Public Affairs
- The Public Affairs Department works to heighten community awareness of such critical issues as violence prevention, community safety, citizen responsibilities and the importance of community partnerships. Public Affairs projects might include:
- Encourage voter registration within the club and in the community
- Participate in community bicycle safety programs
- Promote awareness of teen drug abuse, suicide, and other issues
- Provide proper disposal of worn American flags
The GFWC Clearwater Junior Woman's Club began in 1955, when nine local women met at the invitation of the Clearwater Woman's Club. Since then, the CJWC has been involved in the community in many ways.
Between 1955 and 1974, we were involved in the YWCA, various programs for the physically challenged, Sunland Training Center, Play PARC, Camp We-Can-Do, Clearwater Children’s Library, CARE, HOPE, school vision screening, Head Start and more.
In 1974, the lives of Clearwater Juniors changed when members of our club conceived the idea of Safety Village. A dream was envisioned to build a child-sized community to teach fire, pedestrian and bicycle safety to the children of Pinellas County. From 1974-1977, the efforts of CJWC were concentrated on making Safety Village a reality. On October 6, 1977, Clearwater Juniors saw their dream come true with the teaching of the first classes at Safety Village. In November 1977, official ceremonies were held to welcome Safety Village to the community!
After the opening in 1977, thousands of Pinellas County youngsters from kindergarten through third grade learned life-saving skills at Safety Village. The success of this endeavor was much more than even we anticipated. In 1983, CJWC turned the project over to the National Safety Council. We are proud that because of CJWC, thousands of children from dozens of Pinellas County Schools benefited from these teachings.
Other areas of community service have found CJWC working for child abuse prevention, Special Olympics, PACT (Performing Arts Center and Theater / Ruth Eckerd Hall), and the Pinellas County Schools’ family life program. We also worked with the Safety Harbor Girls Club, Mental Health Association of Pinellas County, Family Service Centers, WEDU, Diabetes Education at Morton Plant Hospital, the Pinellas County Sheriffs Department Crimes Against Children Unit and much, much more!
Historically, CJWC has been involved in many types of FUN fundraisers to support our work in the community. Spring dances, fashion shows, cookbook sales, garage sales, Tour of Homes and Christmas Under the Oaks. We also held an Evening of Trivial Pursuit, a dollhouse and playhouse raffle, wine tasting party, speaker’s bureau, and even a slave auction to purchase a chair at PACT have all given us the means to continue our work in the community.
The Clearwater Junior Woman’s Club began on June 9 1955, when nine local young women met at the invitation of the Clearwater Woman’s Club. Board members from the Clearwater Woman’s Club and the St. Petersburg Junior Woman’s Club were present to assist in the organization.
At the charter night meeting July 13, 1955, Mrs. Gladys Reynolds Douglas was elected the first president. It was agreed that the name of the club would be the Clearwater Junior Woman’s Club and that there would be one monthly meeting on the second Wednesday evening of each month. The charter and Bylaws were read and accepted as presented. It was decided that the incoming elected officers would recommend a project for the club each year at the annual meeting.
The Clearwater Junior Woman’s Club was presented and accepted into the Florida Federation of Women’s Clubs during the Fall Board Meeting at Miami Beach October 1955 and was accepted into the General Federation of Women’s Clubs in December 1955. The eighteen charter members were as follows. Mrs. Gladys Reynolds Douglas, Mrs. C.P. Saclarides, Mrs. John Schifllnacher, Jr., Mrs. James R. Ulmer, Mrs. William Castagna, Mrs. William Nodine, Mrs. Cal Blackstone, Jr., Mrs. Walton Byars, Jr., Mrs. David Edmunds. Mrs. Roger Bouchard, Mrs. E.A. Bailey, Mrs. Robert Butcher, Mrs. Albert DeShaw, Mrs. Frank George, Mrs. George McCrossin, Mrs. William Tanney, Mrs. Herbert Williams, and Mrs. Chester McMullen, Jr. The Clearwater Junior Woman’s Club has repeatedly drawn outstanding young women of the community into its membership. Fundraising and service projects have been many and varied.