- Faith & Family
Local community organization celebrates 25th anniversary
Saturday, June 18 was proclaimed Miami-Dade County Links Day during the Dade County Chapter of the Links, Inc.’s 25th Anniversary Gala at the InterContinental Miami. The black-tie affair was one of a series of festivities, as the chapter celebrated their 25th anniversary during the June 17-19 weekend.
According to Tammy Reed, the communications and public relations chair of the chapter, the hotel held special significance for the chapter, because it was the original location where the organization was chartered 25 years ago.
Through out the years, the chapter has participated in numerous community service projects and supported several local institutions. Among some of their current projects are the Clara B. Knight Scholarship, which annually awards funds to graduating senior high school students in Miami-Dade County and the Carmen Hamm Davis Endowed Scholarship Fund at Florida Memorial University.
“I believe the organization’s commitment to the Arts, Services to Youth, National Trends and Services, and International Trends and Services, has made a tremendously positive impact on improving the quality of life for thousands of African-Americans and all Americans,” said Dr. Geneva Knowles Woodard, the chapter’s parliamentarian and charter member.
When asked what would be the future focus of the Links’ community service efforts, Dr. Barbara Edwards, president of the chapter, responded, “The same focus we have had over the years: A commitment to enriching, sustaining, and ensuring the identities, culture and economic survival of all people of African origin through cultural, educational and civic programs.”
Throughout the years, several prominent professional women have become members of the Dade County Chapter of the Links, Inc. Among some of the better known members are Miami-Dade Commissioner Audrey Edmonson, Congresswoman Frederica Wilson and former Miami-Dade County Commissioner Betty Ferguson.
Yet while the organization has amassed an impressive roster of past and present members, as well as several accomplishments, for many members, it is the support and camaraderie of sisterhood that they treasure most.
“For me, having a mentor – someone who has traveled the same path that I now travel and who understands the challenges and obstacles along that path is beyond price or measure – there really is no substitution,” Reed said.
The Dade County Chapter of the Links, Inc. was founded 25 years ago, when 28 women came together under the organizing prowess of DoLores Washington, Jessie Stinson and Knowles Woodard. In the ensuing years, the membership has grown to include 55 professional women who volunteer an estimated 2,500 hours of community service every year.
By Kaila Heard