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Club Chronicles: Book Lovers learn emergency, disaster preparedness

The guest speaker for the GFWC Book Lovers Study Club meeting in February was John James. The program title was Emergency and Disaster Preparedness.

Mr. James is an Alabama Fire College retiree and former Russellville Fire Department firefighter. Currently he supervises Keller Ambulance in Russellville and serves as a volunteer at the RFD.  James also serves as president of the Franklin County Fire and Rescue Association.

In his presentation, Mr. James stated each family needs to have an emergency plan. This plan should include an evacuation route; a way to maintain contact with family members; an emergency survival kit; a plan to gather medical and important financial information; and a way to make sure your insurance needs are covered.

The meeting was held at Russellville First United Methodist Church. Hostesses were Erica Adams, Lea Touchstone and Gayle McAlister. In recognition of American Heart Month, club members wore red.

Cheri McCain presented the institute on the GFWC Legislative Action Center. The GFWC Legislative Action Center keeps club members updated on specific legislation that GFWC supports and who they should contact at the national level regarding particular bills.

For example, earlier this week the Smithsonian Women’s History Museum Act – H.R. 1980 – was passed by the House of Representatives by an overwhelming majority. This bill establishes a comprehensive Women’s History Museum within the Smithsonian Institution to be built on the National Mall.

The cost of the construction is split 50/50 between federal and non-federal funds. The bill has been received in the Senate and referred to the Committee on Rules and Administration. The GFWC LAC actively supports this bill.

I reported on the Canine Companions for Independence project the club supported this year. We donated $100 raised by individual members donating to the Canine project.

A recent graduate of this national program was Brock, named in honor of GFWC President Mary Ellen Brock. The facility dog is working with an assistant prosecuting attorney in Ohio. Brock helps with victims and witnesses of crimes when they come to the office for filing protection orders, trial preparation and case reviews.  He also helps prosecutors connect and build rapport with children by using interactive commands for retrieving, tugging and pushing, which allows children to speak up by giving them the “power of commands.”

Patricia Cox, president, reported that all club reports had been written and sent to the AFWC headquarters for judging.

Anna Carol Porter was commended for her outstanding job in organizing the first Mardi Gras parade for Russellville. The Mardi Gras parade raised more than $600 for the Russellville Public Library.

Sheila Upchurch reported on the annual Salvation Army Empty Soup Bowl event scheduled for April 8 at the Lauderdale County Armory.

Book Lovers members voted to collect books and donate to the after-school program at the Chucky Mullins Recreation Center.