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: 
Ophelia Dorch 

Rosetta Campbell 
Evelyn Brown 
Viola Carney 

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. 

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© 2017 by Key Women of America, Inc.