Two students from the Indian Creek School District with obvious writing talent were welcomed to the Nov. 21 GFWC/Ohio Woman's Club of Wintersville meeting with good reason.
They read their winning creative works, including student Skyler Dye, who won at the state level for his submission in the youth writing contest, short stories, grade nine to 12 essay contest, and then on the national level, it was announced in June when the national GFWC convention was held in Hollywood, Fla.
Dye, at the meeting with his parents, Tom and Jodi Dye, read with animation his winning entry entitled "The Betwixt." A student at Indian Creek High School, he was presented a $100 check on behalf of the Wintersville club by Marjean Sizemore, who wears dual hats as the president of the GFWC/Ohio Southeast District and as first vice president of the Wintersville club.
President Barbara Thermes, second from left, welcomed guest speakers at the November meeting of the GFWC/Ohio Wintersville Woman's Club who were Valley Hospice representatives, from left, Chip Railing, Katie Ludewig and Tracey Dickerson.
-- Janice Kiaski
Sizemore also presented a check for $25 to sixth-grader Madalyn McDonald, who won on the state level in her age division for short stories. Her work was entitled "Simone's World." She read her winning entry as her proud mother - whose name I forgot to get, sorry - watched and snapped photos.
The Wintersville club submitted the students' entries in the annual GFWC writing contest that, according to the national website, "seeks to provide an avenue for GFWC members and community youth to freely express themselves and draw upon their experiences through writing. These submissions illustrate the talent of GFWC members and are a reflection of our communities. GFWC offers short story and poetry contests for members and youth in the communities GFWC serves."
The November meeting also included three guests from Valley Hospice, who were the program speakers, offering a "Hospice 101" overview. The presenters were Chip Railing, access social worker, and volunteer coordinators Tracey Dickerson, southern office, and Katie Ludewig, northern office.
"Caring, Living, Healing" is the motto of Valley Hospice, which provides care for people with life-limiting illnesses no matter the diagnosis, according to Railing, who noted many people associate hospice as something providing care only to cancer patients. In reality, it deals with patients with everything from Lou Gehrig's disease, strokes and dementia to HIV/AIDS, multiple sclerosis and Parkinson's.
Established in 1985, Valley Hospice provides care to any patient in need regardless of ability to pay. It serves residents of Jefferson, Harrison, Belmont and southern Columbiana counties in Ohio and Brooke, Hancock, Marshall and Ohio counties in West Virginia.
Valley Hospice has two care centers - one on the sixth floor of Trinity Medical Center East and one in Wheeling and has a central office in Rayland. In 2011, it assisted more than 1,400 patients.
Volunteers are "a huge part" of hospice and can serve in a variety of ways, with their strengths and interests matched to fill a need, according to Dickerson. Volunteers can do anything from office work and cookie baking to sitting with patients and providing respite care for caregivers.
For information on volunteering or services provided, call 1-877-HOSPICE.
Barbara Thermes, president, presided at the business meeting where CarolynLee Barrett, corresponding secretary, conducted roll call to the question "Are You Having Company for Thanksgiving."
Linda Cipriani, recording secretary, read a thank-you from Urban Mission Ministries for the club's donation of food - 102 pounds.
Ella Jane Burns reported the club will have a family in need to provide items for Christmas.
Linda Nolf reported club members turned in $853.05 in food coupons and $2,607.85 worth in non-food coupons.
Judy Weaver noted orders were being collected for an Uncle Al's product fundraiser, while Imogene Louk read two thank-you notes from scholarship recipients.
Sizemore, co-chair of the club's 12th-annual Holiday Splendor, updated club members on its status.
Fran Sohovich, Nancy Smith and Claudia Dorich agreed to serve on the nominating committee to present a slate of officers.
Joyce Palmer gave the meditation and grace and the treasurer's report later in the business meeting. Sandi Santicola chaired the hostesses committee that also included Weaver, June Sullivan, Cheryl Taylor, Barb Steele, Mary Beth Allan and Nina Steinman.
The next luncheon meeting will be held at noon on Dec. 19 at St. Florian Hall with a "Christmas Around the World" program presented by the Thermes Women.
Nancy Hukill will give the meditation and grace, and Dorich will chair the hostess committee to also include Robbie Young, Kathy Furda, Pat Freeland, Linda Nolf, Ella Jane Burns and Kathy Frey.
The December project is bookmarks for nursing homes.