Our mission is to equally support local higher education and local charities, primarily assisting women and children. We accomplish this through fundraising activities in conjunction with our PAWC luncheons. The proceeds of our efforts assist a diverse population of students who may not be able to continue their education without financial assistance and provide extra monetary help to local charities to better serve the disadvantaged of the Bradenton-Sarasota community.
It is my pleasure to serve as your President for 2020-2021, even though it is such a challenging time. I first came to Florida’s west coast in 2002 and commuted back and forth from New Jersey for 18 years as my late husband, Ralph Garafola, was an artist in residence for the winters here in Florida. I subsequently retired in May 2019 and became a full-time resident in June of 2019.
The mission of PAWC is to support local charities and provide scholarships to local students, assisting them in obtaining an education. We were able to provide the necessary funding through a combination of luncheons, fundraisers, raffles, book sales and our annual fashion show.
Because this year is vastly different, we did an email poll and discovered that many members are not willing to attend luncheons this year but would consider attending the Fashion Show Fundraiser if a vaccine is in place. They are also willing to donate the cost of some missed luncheons to help support our scholarships and charities.
Since we are not holding in person luncheons until at least January of 2021, the challenge is to keep the club together to work and fulfill our mission’s goals. Mary Beth Rempp, our Vice President, put a great deal of effort in creating a vibrant list of programs, some of which we hope to hold after the first of the year 2021.
Our Annual Fundraising Event, the PAWC Fashion Show, is expected to be held in April 2021 and our Book, Bag, Scarf and Jewelry sale will be moved to May 2021. Our printed Directory will be available soon and we will be setting up an opportunity for you to pick up that Directory from the Palm Aire Country Club. If there are those who are not comfortable leaving their homes, somehow, we will get that Directory to you.
Once we do start our luncheons, the cost of the luncheons will remain $27. We will have stimulating entertainment and speakers at those remaining luncheons. The Fashion Show Luncheon will also stay $60.
Our website will continue to provide information and access to the membership names and contacts. We are down considerably in membership from 144 paid members to 94 and this has impacted us tremendously. We completely understand why there is a decrease in membership. Some members have moved out of the area, some are unable to leave their homes, some are not returning to Florida from the north. Many also have valid concerns in terms of exposure to the COVID-19 Pandemic issue.
This past year, our club provided $21,000 for SCF Scholarships and grants to local Charities. Members also donated items to numerous other charities. This year’s fundraising efforts will clearly be impacted and thus we are looking at other avenues for raising money.
Remember the dues are only $40 per year and all the proceeds go to funding our scholarships.
Thank you to those who continue to support our efforts. If you would like to become more involved, I would be happy to talk with you by phone, cell-908-922-1973,or email - email@example.com. Please look for further announcements via email blasts and/or on the website at palm-airewomensclub.org.
Palm Aire Women’s Club 5601 Country Club Way, Sarasota, FL 34243