Links chapters celebrate friendship, history

Bucks County, Pa. host chapter with alumnae (center is Anne Garrott, Chapter Organizer, Charter Member). — SUBMITTED PHOTO

The Links Inc. celebrated a major milestone for the organization with a whirlwind of activities both locally and in Washington, D.C., recently. November is the organization’s National Friendship Month. The national office of The Links Inc., celebrating 65 years of service and friendship, and gathered for several enjoyable activities in Washington, D.C., including a ribbon cutting ceremony and open house tours of their newly renovated national office. A rededication service and anniversary gala, hosted by actors Daphne and Tim Reid, featured the melodious sounds of crooner Will Downing.

Philadelphia, founding chapter of the Links Inc., hosted a trip to N.Y. to see the nationally acclaimed play “The Mountain Top” featuring incredible actors Samuel L. Jackson and Angela Bassett. The young playwright, Katori Hall, is a former Ron Brown Scholar and Howard University graduate. The outing also included a meet and greet with the talented Hall.

“Celebrating the arts is one of our facet goals and we continue to celebrate the talent in our communities by supporting Katori and her work, not to mention supporting a strong cast of color,” said Philadelphia Links Inc. president Sherilynn Johnson Kimble.

Other Links, Inc. chapter presidents are: Deborah Camp-Frye (Bucks County), Merry Grace Majors (Harrisburg, Pa.), Karen Ingram (Wilmington, Del.) Ellen V. Thomas (Montgomery County), Linda Daria Kirby Crawley (Pittsburgh, Pa.), Thelma Henderson (Penn Towne Chapter), Barbara Smith O’Neal (Dover, Del.) and Ann G. Waiters (Delaware Valley, Pa.).

There was a sumptuous brunch at B. Smith’s Restaurant, which is within walking distance from the theatre district. Link Barbara Smith is the owner of the well-known establishment and extended an invitation to members of the local chapters to join.

On Sunday the Bucks County chapter hosted “The Keystone Cluster Founder’s Day Ceremony and 5th Annual Friendship Brunch.” The event took place at Spring Mill Manor in Ivyland, Pa. and celebrated the founders, the late Margaret Roselle Hawkins and the late Sarah Strickland Scott. The Links Inc. was founded in 1946 by these visionary women.

The Keystone Cluster of Chapters of The Links Inc. includes: Bucks County, Pa.; Delaware Valley, Pa., Dover, Del., Harrisburg, Pa., Montgomery County, Pa., Penn Towne (Philadelphia, Pa.), Philadelphia, Pa., the Founding Chapter, Pittsburgh, Pa., and Wilmington, Del.

This year’s dynamic keynote speaker was Rev. Gwendolyn E. Boyd , Link member of the Washington DC Chapter and guest Link Dianne Hardison, Eastern Area Director of the organization. Boyd's topic was the “Power of Encouragement” and as an ordained minister in the AME church her remarks were both motivational and spiritual and received by the 150 area Links with great enthusiasm.

Chapters in the Keystone Cluster have sponsored programs to help students and schools by providing money, equipment and scholarships. They have also promoted community health programs including educational forums, organ donation encouragement and community awareness. They have also focused their efforts on helping to empower at-risk women including those who have been the victims of abuse and those who have been incarcerated.

Chapters of The Links Inc. in Delaware and Pennsylvania are serving more than just their local communities, as they have even taken their efforts on an international scale by hosting financial literacy programs in Haiti and providing school supplies, construction materials, clothing, toys and sports equipment to a village in Ghana.

Congratulations to Clarice H. Taylor, event chairperson, Rose H. Miller, co-chairperson and the event committee: Joyce Baughn, Dana M. Capers, Kim B. Clark, Karen Ingram, Blanche Jackson, Mitizi Lawrence, Nancy C. Lee, Claudette Lewis, Linda Meade, Rose Miller, Cheryl Zanders Pleasant, Melvinia J. Robinson, Betty Shelton, Rosalind Williford, Janice Wright, Jo Ann Bradley Jones and Thelma Henderson and all members of The Links Inc. Special thanks to Link Linda Meade for her public relations assistance.

 “We are very excited to have once again gathered to celebrate Founders Day together,” stated Clarice H. Taylor, chair of the Delaware Valley (Pa) Chapter of The Links, Inc. and host of this year’s Founders Day event. “The Keystone Cluster is proudly carrying on a tradition of service showing tremendous commit­ment to our communities.”

The Links, Inc. is an international, women's non-profit, social welfare and service organization of over 12,000 members in 271 chapters across the United States, and the Bahamas. It was founded in 1946. From its inception, the organization's members have been developing and implementing programs that target issues affecting its members and communities. Community service has been the corner stone of the organization's outreach with members contributing more than two million documented hours of community service over the past three years. For the past 65 years, The Links Inc. has been internationally known for programs that are focused on topics such as health, economics, education, youth and policy efforts.

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