The GFWC Hollidaysburg Area Women’s Club congratulates long-time member, Astride McLanahan, who is celebrating 50 years as a federated clubwoman this year.
Astride has been an active member since 1967 and has served as Club President multiple times. Astride has worked passionately on club projects, chaired countless committees, and has supported the work of GFWC through the years.
Astride is very active and involved in many aspects of our community. All of us have the highest regard for Astride as a friend and fellow clubwoman — someone who we can turn to for advice, guidance and leadership. We are proud to share her thoughts on reaching this milestone and what being a GFWC clubwoman means to her.
What do you enjoy most about the club? “Being a member of the Hollidaysburg Area Women’s Club allows me to enjoy new and old friendships with women of all ages and walks of life. Our one club is a cross section of the Hollidaysburg area where women bring creative ideas from a variety of professions. It is a joy to work with such amazing women to serve our community.”
What is your most memorable moment as a clubwoman? “What first comes to mind with this question are the many memorable service projects and makes it difficult to choose. But when I reflect on a moment in this club over the last fifty years, a very special scene floods my mind. That was when my very pregnant daughter-in-law, Diane, became president of our club and our members supported her wholeheartedly in that commitment. I certainly never dreamed such an event could take place when I joined as a young bride in the community. I just felt that my life came full circle.”
What are your thoughts on GFWC and the club’s federated status? “Sometimes the question is raised, “Is it worth it to pay dues to GFWC?” There are women’s clubs that are not federated in the state. I think that we, as a club, benefit from the federated status. I am very proud that this club has always been federated – for there is strength in numbers. We are stronger with this structure. For example, we are able to broaden our horizons and ideas for service projects. Over the past years we have become more active at the state level with our participation at convention and federated programs. It is fantastic that the 2017 convention for Pennsylvania will be hosted by our club for the first time in my fifty years of membership.”
Being an active member of an organization for fifty years reflects dedication, passion, and a great commitment – how has your fifty years of membership impacted your life? “Many years ago, service projects with this club opened avenues to me that have become lifelong commitments. When the club members started the historic house tours, created a Hollidaysburg history book and accompanying slideshow, I found a passion for local history. I continue to be involved with local organizations dealing with preservation and history.”
How has your dedication to GFWC HAWC impacted your family’s lives? “When I am fully involved in a service project, it can’t help but become a family event. I worked side-by-side with my mother, who was in her 80’s at the time, staining fence pickets for our community play park project. Through my activity and service in HAWC, my family is aware of what is happening or what is needed in the community.”
Volunteering, improving the lives of others, and community involvement is the main focus of our club. Please share your thoughts on the future for our club and clubwomen. “The future of our club is in the hands of its members. The variety and the number of women with ideas are the driving force of the successful club. Concern for our community and its development is at the heart of our membership. We need to get this word out. We are GFWC HAWC clubwomen who have always cared for our town and have given of ourselves in this regard. Over these fifty years, the service projects have changed with the passion of the members and this drives the accomplishments. As a service group, we strive to make this, our community, a better place to live for our citizens.”
Congratulations Astride for your 50 years of service to our community!
Your Sisters in Federation and Service to our Community,
GFWC Hollidaysburg Area Women’s Club
You can also view this article, along with other club happenings, in the GFWC Pennsylvania Clubwoman Newsletter March 2017 publication.