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    5,000 Gather In Philadelphia for The Links, Incorporated Biennial Meeting -
    Charlotte Chapter of The Links, Inc. Captures National Program Award in National Trends & Services

    Washington, DC (July 13, 2006). The 35th National Assembly of The Links, Incorporated recently held in Philadelphia (PA), the city of its founding, celebrated 60 years of service and named fifteen of its local chapters to receive the distinguished and coveted “Programming Awards” The Charlotte Chapter of The Links, Incorporated, under the leadership of Daisy Walker, President, captured first place for the National Trends & Services Award for their program “Communities Strengthening Families/Children Achieving Success” and brought home a prize of $6,000. “This was a genuine collaborative effort on behalf of the chapter working with and for our community,” said Ms. Walker. More than thirty additional chapters were congratulated for “Best Practices” in their programs.

    The Links, Incorporated , founded in 1946, is one of the oldest and largest volunteer service organization of women who are committed to enriching, sustaining and ensuring the culture and economic survival of African Americans and other persons of African ancestry. With a membership of over 11,000 professional women of color, 273 chapters in 42 states, the District of Columbia, Nassau, Bahamas, Frankfurt, Germany and South Africa, the organization has contributed more than 22 million dollars to charitable causes. In 2006, members contributed more than 500,000 documented hours of hands-on service hours to assist communities and cities throughout the United States, Africa, and in developing countries.

    From June 28 – July 2, 2006, the Keystone Cluster Chapters (Philadelphia area) of The Links, Inc. hosted approximately 5,000 members of The Links and their families, corporate and community partners, and friends during the biennial meeting held at the Philadelphia Marriott Hotel and Convention Center. Gladys Gary Vaughn, PhD, the 13th National President of The Links, Incorporated, presided over the five days of business meetings and events. An exciting array of initiatives and activities supported the conference theme, Crossing Points: 60 Years – Proud Past, Promising Future. “The framework for our deliberations during the Assembly propelled us to demonstrate anew the connections between friendship, service and the common good, and to plan for our future,” Dr. Vaughn said. T

    hrough its philanthropic arm, The Links Foundation, Inc., the organization named its third $1 million dollar grantee – the National Civil Rights Museum in Memphis, Tennessee. Grants of $1,176,000 were made and/or committed during this 35th Assembly.

    Highlights of the Assembly consisted of two public service projects in the local Philadelphia community that included testing and educating the community on Sickle Cell Disease and a partnership with the General Motors Safe Kids/Healthy Kids Project to give away car seats for children. Other special features were a Public Issues Forum on health disparities, the introduction of an on-going plan for disaster preparedness and relief, and the unveiling of the first US Postal Stamp by an African American organization. Members honored Dr. John Hope Franklin, Dean of African-American historians, with the first Lifetime Achievement Award. The Sarah Strickland Scott/Margaret Roselle Hawkins Co-Founder Awards were given to Charlayne Hunter-Gault, award winning journalist; Jonathan Green, noted artist; and Dr. Ben Carson, renown physician, for their contributions to their respective professional fields.

    The Assembly featured seminars and workshops designed to assist chapters in carrying out the organization’s service mission. Other chapters capturing first place awards for their programs included Winston Salem (NC) for programs in International Trends & Services; Cincinnati (OH) for programs in Services to Youth; Fort Valley (GA) for programs in The Arts; and the Renaissance Chapter (Detroit, MI) for its Umbrella Project at the Courtis School.

    The assembly closed with the election and installation of its new officers for the next biennium. Dr. Gwendolyn Byrd Lee, from the South Suburban Chicago (IL) Chapter, was elected 14th National President of The Links, Incorporated. Margot James Copeland, from the Cleveland (OH) Chapter is the Vice President; Lula Lang-Jeter, from the Arlington (VA) Chapter was elected Treasurer; and Dr. Josephine Davis from the Fort Valley (GA) Chapter was elected Secretary. Upon her election, Dr. Lee said “The Links, Incorporated is an amazing organization of women whose collective force can do wonders to make a difference in our communities, cities, states and the world. We have a great legacy to build upon and we are up for the tasks ahead of us.”


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