Saturday, December 22, 2012

Holiday Message

   In these tumultuous times, it's easy to question why things happen. With the current conditions in our country, our world, and even in our private lives, it is natural to question.

   My holiday message to you (and to me) is to not turn away from our Higher Power, but to run toward Him.
        Ecclesiastes 3 : For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter  under heaven...

Recently I received this email from the Connecticut State Organization President, Marnee Straiton, via International Headquarters in regards to the events at Sandy Hook Elementary School:

It is a difficult time for all. I have spent the weekend with my son and his family. Until this summer they lived in Sandy Hook and my grandchildren attended Sandy Hook Elementary School. My grandchildren's cousin was in one of the targeted classrooms. Thankfully, she was one of the few who survived. She had been out of the room in the bathroom in the hallway. My son and my grand-daughter spent last Halloween painting the faces of those lost in this terrible tragedy at her cousin's Halloween birthday party.

Thank you for your prayers. The community is in mourning, along with the country. The events are still too fresh for people to really come to grips with the overwhelming loss. Hearts are broken.

Teachers in the town have asked that condolences and offers of support be sent via their local teachers' association website. The address follows. There is a link for this purpose on the home page.

Donations can be made to either of the following.

Newtown Savings Bank

Sandy Hook Support Fund

39 Main Street

Newtown, CT 06470-2134
Newtown Youth and Family Services

15 Berkshire Road
Sandy Hook, CT 06482
Know that I count you, my DKG sisters, as one of my many blessings. Shalom.

Saturday, November 24, 2012


   I've had the most relaxing Thanksgiving up in the foothills of the Appalachians with my sweet husband and three Westies. Nothing really could blast me out of here, especially "Black Friday specials". I am truly mortified by people spending Thanksgiving taking stock for what they have and then spending the next day grabbing for cell phones as if their life depended on it.

  Our culture has changed drastically, and I refuse to join the ALL ABOUT ME MENTALITY. I think that's why Delta Kappa Gamma means so much to me. I find the more I GIVE the better I feel about what our Society does for others. Yes, it is work, dedication, and invested time, but I couldn't imagine it any other way.

  I wish all members feel the way I do, and I am so thankful for those who do as YOU MAKE A DIFFERENCE! I hear people say, "Well I'm just too busy." So am I. "I have too many responsibilities." So do I. It's all about what DKG really means to you and your priorities.

 Let me reference this blog piece by telling you that I received a phone call Thanksgiving evening with the news that we lost a dear member of my chapter, Myrajean Ford. Myrajean was one of our matriarchs, founding member, and first chapter president of Gamma Omicron. When I think of the true DKG member, I think of Myrajean. A member since sometime in the 60's, she mentored and encouraged me and many others.

  After her passing, Myrajean's grown son called one of our other charter members to tell a story and ask a request for Myrajean's funeral. He told Mary Sanders that while growing up, both he and his brother were told that on chapter meeting nights they had to go to the local DQ for their Brazier burgers as she was busy getting ready for her chapter meeting. Her son, Danny, went on to say that they would hear her in the bathroom readying for the meeting and singing with pride the Delta Kappa Gamma Song! This was the routine for years! He then asked Mary if our chapter would come and sing our song at her graveside service as that is how much it meant to her! You bet we'll be there.

  In counting my blessings, I include thanks to Him for Myrajean, Delta Kappa Gamma, and you. DKG is a priority to me. I hope it is to you as well as your membership makes a difference.

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Jekyll Island Delta Hostel

What a fabulous weekend fifty-five DKG sisters had at Jekyll Island on the weekend of Oct. 18.  Personal Growth and Services Chair, Wanda McLaughlin and her team planned an amazing weekend filled with with fun, food, laughter, learning, and relaxation. Thank you Wanda and team Sheila Hawthorne, Ann Boswell, Susan Woods, and Kate Finch for making the weekend perfect in every way!

The weekend was weather perfect as we toured the Millionaires' Village that once was the playground of the Pulitzer's, Morgan's, Crane's, Rockefeller's, all the American elite of the later 1800's and into the turn of the century and beyond. The moss covered trees draped the island as we rolled on the trolley to see history unfold before our very eyes. Most impressive to me were the stained glass windows in the charming chapel by none other the Louis Comfort Tiffany.We also toured the Turtle Rescue Center and observed turtles currently thriving under the care of marine biologists in hope to release back to the shores of Jekyll.

Delicious food flowed all weekend as we started with a sit down dinner at Fin's on Friday night, a bountiful breakfast buffet at the Oceanside Inn on Saturday morning, picnic lunch provided by Alpha Alpha chapter, and a low country boil on Saturday evening along with a history lesson by a local professor Dr. Bagwell of the Coastal College of Georgia.

Members had free time to shop, tour the island on their own, bask in the sun, walk the beach, BUT I chose to rent a "Red Bug" electric cart and zoomed around the island with Judy Farrigan, Gail Ford, and Susan Woods. We laughed all the way and at every turn...what a perfect weekend it was!

Phi sisters show their DKG pride!

Touring Millionaire's Village!

Sea Turtle Rescue Center

Personal Growth Committee, L to R: Ann Boswell, Wanda McLaughlin, Sheila Hawthorne, Susan Woods
             Red Bug Ride with Prez McCall

Saturday, September 29, 2012

Busy Bees Buzz in Psi State

   Psi State is buzzing as we are busy as bees. Last weekend we packed the house at Executive Board in Macon with 170 registered participants. Between district meetings, business meetings, and workshops, we ate a delicious catered lunch, shopped for stylish DKG items, and raised money for World Fellowship. We also voted to form our first ad hoc committee for non-dues revenue to support our Leadership Development Seminar and presented our own Psi State brochure to increase membership! (The application to join the new committee and the brochure are available on the Psi State Website.) We heard from the FERST Foundation for Early Childhood Literacy for those chapters who are looking for a meaningful chapter project! The convention committee rolled out the registration and room reservations for the convention in Macon for April 5-7, 2013, also available on our Website. (The creative and fun video they showed will be available to use for chapters to entice members to attend.) What a great day thanks to our dedicated Psi State Sisters.

  Your state president will be buzzing around the state the entire month of October as I have many chapter visits on my calendar along with heading to Jekyll Island for the Psi State Delta Hostel held on October 19th-21st.  The Personal Growth and Services Committee has made spectacular plans for fellowship, relaxation, and learning on the island that used to be the playground of the Rockefellers, Morgans and Pulitzers. We will go on historical tours, visit the Turtle Rescue Center, and enjoy sumptuous seafood! I hope you are one of the fifty-four who have signed up for this weekend to revitalize, rejuvenate, and relax.

Buzz on, dear sisters, as we have much to buzz about!

State Literacy Liaison, Jane Belflower mans the FERST Foundation Booth at Executibe Board in Macon

Sunday, September 2, 2012

Psi State Loses Two Matriarchs

Within the last two months, the Psi State Organization has lost two dynamic leaders. Malissa Cox, our 23rd state president, and Page Loyd, our 32nd state president, will be remembered for their incredible contributions to not only Psi State, but to Delta Kappa Gamma Society International and education.

Visionaries. Both Malissa and Page were visionaries that left an indelible mark in their personal and professional lives. Many in Psi State have seen them both as role models and blue prints for what an impassioned member needs to be. Their influence is far reaching.

We will honor these incredible women at the state executive board meeting in Macon on Sept. 22, but their legacy will live on in the work we will do because we are standing on the shoulders of these giants.

Dear Page and Malissa, you will be greatly missed.

Saturday, August 4, 2012

The Big Apple

The international convention in NYC has come and gone, but the memories will last a lifetime!

Top Ten Memories of Convention...
1. Seeing new faces from Georgia attend the convention!
2. Hanna Fowler installed as SER Director.
3. Judy Farrigan awarded the Star of the Southeast of GA.
4. ETA chapter ladies' video presented at convention!
5. Representing Psi State as your president.
6. Dr. Beverly Helms installed as the international president.
7. Carolyn Pittman installed as international first-vice!!!
8. The Georgia Dinner held in Hell's Kitchen with Dr. Helms as guest.
9. Keynote speaker, Tori McClure. INSPIRATIONAL! (She needs to come to our convention!)
10. Meeting new friends and connecting with old.

Top Ten Things I Did in the "Spare" Time I had in NYC... (Yes, all on my own dime. LOL.)
1. Arriving the weekend before convention to tour the city with my sister from CA!
2. Reunions with my Golden Gift Class and with the SE Presidents!
3. Shopping!!!
4. Seeing two plays.
5. Visiting Mario Batali's Eataly.
6. Eating a hot dog from the street cart with Sandra Yerby. YUMMY!
7. Seeing the view from the Empire State Building.
8. Going to the High Line Park. (Great vision to make a park from an old abandoned railway bridge.)
9. Seeing Times Square at night.
10. GREAT restaurants.

Saturday, July 7, 2012

New Chapter Presidents Take the Reigns

It's official; chapter presidents have begun their journey as the leaders of their chapters. I know they are putting in the planning with their chapter's executive board on the front end, with the end results in mind. New and renewed leadership at the chapter level will keep us FORWARD MOVING ○ FORWARD THINKING!

Chapter presidents received training at each of the district workshops around Georgia. For those presidents not in attendance, President Notebooks were sent to them by their District Director. Other tools are available at the international Website and the state Website to utilize at their will. A special spot has been created on the Psi State Website called, "Chapter President's Toolbox," where one may find links and documents at their fingertips.

As members of the State Executive Board, presidents will travel to Macon twice per year to help conduct Psi State business and garner new information to take back to chapters. Please mark Sept. 22 and Feb. 23rd on your calendars. All members are welcome to Executive Board and there will be something for everyone there, however, the voting members of the board are elected state officers, past state presidents, district directors, and chapter presidents. In order for us to conduct business, we must have a quorum of voting members so it is of utmost importance that chapter presidents attend or send a designee in their place.

Congratulations, chapter presidents as your journey begins; in some cases the journey continues. Please know that Psi State supports you along the way!!

Friday, June 8, 2012

Amazing Women

I had the opportunity to spend the weekend with thirty DKG members from around Georgia and the Psi State Leadership Team at Leadership I Seminar in Macon. I left the weekend knowing that Psi State's future is bright because of the amazing women who are ready to step up into leadership roles from the chapter level and beyond.

The weekend was filled with topics that created vision, confidence, and challenges. The team of presenters, led by chair Jonnie Ghetti, produced powerful images, learning opportunities, and fertile ground for growth in leadership styles. Dr. Hanna Fowler's sessions allowed us to delve into our own leadership personalities and gather a much deeper understanding of the styles of others. BEFORE the weekend was over, participants were already asking to sign up for Leadership II 2013.

If you have not attended a Leadership Seminar in Psi State, I highly recommend you add it to you "things to do" list. Nowhere will you find better leadership training from such outstanding women.

Faith Shiver, Leadership Team member checking participants in.

Ready for participants; Forward Moving • Forward Thinking!
Let the learning begin!

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Forward Moving with Opportunities

District training workshops have come and gone with great success, I might add. Training opportunities abound in Psi State as we move forward. Check out the happenings on the Psi State Website and see what tickles your fancy and for registration!

The state leadership team is offering Leadership I in Macon, June 1-3. It will be a weekend to hone leadership skills, network, and be spoiled and pampered. Many will be traveling to NYC for the International Convention on July 24-28. It's truly a chance of a lifetime and I hope you consider stepping out with us! On August 18th, a one day Leadership Institute will be held in Macon. The presenter will be past International President, Dr. Barbara Day! If you love to travel, are interested in history, then DeltaHostel Oct. 19-21 is for you. A weekend on Jekyll Island's Oceanside Inn will be the venue where we will be relaxing and learning about sea turtle rescue and local history, enjoying delicious food, and experiencing genuine spiritual fellowship.

Psi State is forward moving with vast opportunities. Don't let these incredible offerings pass you by!

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Spring forward with Psi State...

It's a busy spring in Psi State. The spring executive board meeting in Macon had good attendance and much was accomplished. There were over 155 in attendance and the day was chalked full of workshops and Psi State business. It was the last meeting for seated chapter presidents as we are readying for a new biennium at the chapter level. My heartfelt thanks to "outgoing" chapter presidents for their hard work and dedication to The Delta Kappa Gamma Society!

Speaking of chapter presidents, District III held the first of district training workshops for new chapter officers and members. Dr. Maria Valeri-Gold, District III Director extraordinaire, planned a fabulous day in Peachtree City last weekend. There were almost 80 members in attendance for various workshops, fellowship, and a delicious lunch at the Wyndham Conference Center. I so enjoyed meeting and working with the new chapter presidents for the new biennium.  Time sure ran out quickly as the day went by so fast!

We are now gearing up to "Wheel into Wheeler" for the Districts IV, V, and VI Workshops on March 24th and Rome on April 28 for Districts I and II. I hope YOU are planning to attend one of these venues to learn more about our Society, share in genuine spiritual fellowship, and experience what it's all about outside of the chapter level. You are cordially invited.

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Gearing Up for Executive Board! Join us Feb. 25th in Macon!

Gearing up for Executive Board in Macon is like composing a fine piece music. The officers, committee chairs, district directors, are all in charge of their own section in order to make beautiful melodic sounds. The name of the piece of work is called, "Forward Moving • Forward Thinking." Our chapter presidents and committee members are needed to add the tone and timbre to the work. Chapter members and guests are required to join to be the cadence and heart of the day's business.

Executive Board is not the work of one, but the work of many. Although it's a day of taking care of Psi State business, it's actually more than that. The day is filled with genuine spiritual fellowship and a chance to meet like-minded key women educators. It's a chance to see beyond the chapter level and experience the workings of Delta Kappa Gamma.

I hope to see YOU in Macon on February 25th!