womens club

The Global Federation of Women's Clubs Women's Club of South County recently hosted its annual luncheon at Spain Restaurant in Narragansett, where the group distributed over $25,000 in grants to various local nonprofit organizations. 

NARRAGANSETT – The Global Federation of Women’s Clubs Women’s Club of South County (WCSC) is continuing to assist local non-profit organizations in fulfilling their missions through numerous grant donations. This year, 28 non-profits, nearly all of them local, received awards to assist their annual operations, programs and services totaling over $25,000 from WCSC’s Grow Hope Community Grants initiative. The donated funds were all raised at the club’s annual Book & Author Luncheon event, held each year in July at the Dunes Club, before being redistributed back to the community in the form of grant awards. 

“Grow Hope Grants provide support to those organizations that aspire to make a positive difference within our community,” said Sandra Coletta the club’s president. “While the funds we provide are modest, they are often the catalyst needed for the recipients to continue or expand their important work in the areas of the arts, conservation, education and social services.” 

This year’s Grow Hope Grant award recipients range from organizations assisting animals, providing care and services for the homeless, working to prevent domestic violence, benefitting local public education and encouraging conservation. Some local non-profits to receive aid from WCSC include: CANE Child Development Center in Wakefield, the community market at St. Peter’s by the Sea, Domestic Violence Resource Center of South County, Horses Bring Hope in Saunderstown, the Jonnycake Centers of both Peace Dale and Westerly, Narrow River Preservation Association, RI Center Assisting Those in Need, South County Habitat for Humanity and Salt Ponds Coalition. 

Though this years’ 2019 Book & Author Luncheon raised more than last year’s event, Roberta Harnois, co-chair for the Grow Hope initiative, said deciding where to distribute the limited resources was a harrowing task. 

“We had some very difficult decisions in allocating the funds,” she said. “We were presented with a total request of approximately $66,000 and we had a little more than $25,000 to give.” 

WCSC seeks to assist in the areas of arts, conservation, education and social services. As such, each year, the club solicits grant applications from local non-profit organizations seeking financial assistance for their programs and operations in these categories. Past recipients of these grants, known as GROW HOPE grants, have ranged from theaters and libraries to animal rescue services and adult daycare centers. 

The bulk of the distributed funds are raised at the women’s club’s annual Book & Author Luncheon event, in which a number of guest authors with recent releases are invited. There, attendees hear from authors, who also participate in a question and answer session, about their recent work. Ticket sales to the popular luncheon generate a majority of the eventual Grow Hope grants, though additional monies are raised through raffle sales, donations and sponsorships at the event.  

To be eligible to receive grants from the club, organizations must have 501(c)(3) nonprofit status and offer initiatives aimed at improving life for southern Rhode Islanders in one of four categories: arts, conservation, education and social services.

The club also uses funds from the annual event to support its scholarship program, established in 1997 to support local women in need seeking to continue their education. All funds generated by the event are donated back into the community via these two programs.

The Grow Hope Grants were distributed Wednesday by WCSC to representatives of the recipient organizations at the club’s annual holiday luncheon at Spain Restaurant. 

WCSC, itself a 501 (c) (3) organization, has, for more than 50 years brought together women of diverse backgrounds to provide community support through volunteerism. To learn more about the activities of the organization, to join or to donate, please visit www.gfwcri.org and click on GFWC South County, call (401) 287-4392 or mail the club at PO Box 5684, Wakefield, RI 02880.


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