HISTORY OF KEY WOMEN OF AMERICA, INC.
On December 3, 1954, Rev. Bertha Helms Harris and a group of women, mostly from Manhattan, decided to devote their time to alleviate and eradicate the many problems of foster care. The group later formed an organization named, Key Women of Manhattan. As a result of this formation, Manhattan Branch is known to future branches as the “Parent Body.”
The Key Women of Manhattan Members were:
Pearl Bates Una Rust
Mildred Webber Ophelia Dorch
Vera Hinton Eleanor Warden
Rosetta Campbell Nora Boatswain
In 1967, Key Women of America was incorporated.
On September, 1968, the Key Women of America, Inc., Manhattan Branch received its charter.
Our Charter Members were:
Mrs. Ophelia Dorch, President
Mrs. Vera Hinton, First Vice President
Mrs. Jessie Dunn, Second Vice President
Mrs. Eleanor Warden, Third Vice President
Mrs. Grace Alexander, Corresponding Secretary
Mrs. Rosetta Ali, Recording Secretary
Mrs. Beatrix Moore, Assistant Recording Secretary
Mrs. Nattie Bell Lewis, Assistant Recording Secretary
Mrs. Elizabeth Lucas, Financial Secretary
Miss Mildred Webber, Assistant Financial Secretary
Mrs. Mae Thomas, Treasurer
Mrs. Pearl Bates, Assistant Treasurer
Mrs. Nora Boatswain, Chaplain
Mrs. Beatrice Braxton, Parliamentarian
Manhattan Branch of Key Women of America, Inc. has had Open House Fellowship to show appreciation to those who supported our fund raisers.
We have served Harlem Hospital 10th floor ward with Christmas Parties and distributed Christmas gifts and refreshments to the patients. We also furnished the 9th floor patients' lounge with tables, chairs and a television set, all of which were paid for by fund raising and donations. This projects was dedicated to the memory of our founder, Bertha Nelms Harris. The dedication ceremony was held on February 6, 1983.
Manhattan Branch has donated refreshments monthly to the Greater Harlem Nursing Home, 3rd floor ward, contributed to Youth Summer Camps, Fresh Air Fund, Basketball Camp, Catholic Youth Organization and The Hale House.
We contribute to the Storefront Academy of Harlem and contribute books, gifts and Christmas Holiday distributions to underprivileged school children in Manhattan, The Bronx, New Jersey and Haiti. We also assist in providing community activities for children with special needs is one that we have given donations for a scholastic scholarship for student who maintain a “B” average or above.
Our fund raisers have consisted of yearly trips to Atlantic City, Shoreline Star Dog Race Greyhound Park, Entertainment Complex, Radio City Music Hall Christmas Show, Huntington Hall Play House, and The Ace-in-the Hole/Brownstone Entertainment Hall.
The Key Women of America, Inc., Manhattan Branch past presidents were:
Current Officers and Members are:
Viola Carney, President
Sadie James, Acting President
Jacqueline Richardson, Recording Secretary
Carole Haque, Financial Secretary
Berniece Hunter, Treasurer
Doris Brown, Chaplain
Lois Brown, member
Ruth Meyers, member
We, the Manhattan Branch, will continue to keep our focus on investing in children and community services.