The Women’s Club of Milton recently celebrated its annual installation luncheon at 1776 Steakhouse in Rehoboth Beach.
Special guests in attendance included Rita Hollada, GFWC Delaware State Federation of Women’s Clubs outgoing president, and Trish Rodriguez, GFWC DSFWC incoming president.
Hollada welcomed everyone and installed the 2022 officers: Ellen DeRosa, corresponding secretary; Diane Bitterle, recording secretary; Pam Sweeney, treasurer; Maida Graves, assistant treasurer; Jackie Barnes, vice president; Debby Pecoraro, president; and Carol Ann Stone, state director. Members congratulate and thank these selfless women for volunteering and leading the Women’s Club of Milton into the future.
Hollada also presented WCOM member Marie Johnson with a special recognition award from the GFWC DSFWC for her outstanding work on the WCOM Comfort Bears Project. She also presented a tribute from the Delaware Senate to the GFWC DSFWC on its 125th anniversary and used this opportunity to pass the DSFWC gavel to incoming President Trish Rodriguez.
Hollada also thanked Linda King, who stepped in for her as acting GFWC DSFWC president during the annual convention in May when at the last minute, Hollada became ill with COVID-19.
Debby Pecoraro presented the GFWC DSFWC award certificates won by several WCOM committees: Communications and Public Relations; Environment, Health and Wellness; and Women’s History. She then presented individual awards to WCOM members: Ellen Passman, retiring Arts and Culture Committee chair and Membership Committee co-chair; Paula Costanzo, retiring treasurer; Dee Peters for her generous creation and donation of the “Ocean Breeze” quilt for a WCOM raffle; and Pam Sweeney for her work as bingo chair.
Nancy Reeves gave the invocation before lunch.
Carol Ann Stone, outgoing WCOM president, thanked all the members for their support over the last two years. She gave a heartwarming thank you to Linda King for leading the club during her absence due to illness, now resolved.
The annual luncheon included scholarships presented to three young women from the Milton area. Karen Spencer, WCOM education and libraries chair, presented a $2,000 scholarship to each honoree: Samantha Connors, Georgia Hitchen and Mackenzie Vitolo, all Cape Henlopen High School graduates. Each recipient spoke briefly, expressing their thanks.
Incoming GFWC DSFWC President Trish Rodriguez spoke to the group about her 2022-24 initiative, Embracing Lives.
Through its fundraising efforts, among its many Making a Difference initiatives, the WCOM was able to award the college scholarships; provide continuing support to the Milton Food Pantry with ongoing food staples and a special monetary award; donate new and gently used bras from the Milton community to the Free the Girls International Campaign; contribute to Ukraine relief through UNICEF; provide gift cards to Milton elementary schools for families in need; donate toys to the Milton Boys & Girls Club; and donate to the Milton Garden Club. It also contributed to regional, national and international organizations Heifer International, Hugh O’Brien Youth Leadership Program, Kent-Sussex Industries Inc. and Delaware Hospice.
Special thanks go to club members Danielle Mummert and Jackie Barnes for organizing the event, and to Tom Holmes and the 1776 Steakhouse staff for hosting and serving a delicious meal.