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Bettering The Community

Join Junior Women's Club of Lake Murray Members Who Dare To Care

Desired community involvement is driving a beneficial, local endeavor. 

Junior Women's Club of Lake Murray is a nonprofit organization started in 2011 to include young women in the betterment of the Lake Murray area community. Members are composed of women from throughout the Irmo, Lexington and Columbia area committed to both volunteer service and philanthropy. They participate in volunteer activities with several local organizations, as well as fundraising efforts to benefit local charities.  

Sara Bonner, JWC treasurer, says the club currently consists of 23 members. 

She says the group's theme for 2020 is "Be the Inspiration."

"This year, we've supported many causes throughout the area, such as SC Oncology Associates, the Prisma Health Children's Hospital, Leeza's Care Connection, Nancy K. Perry Children's Shelter and Habitat for Humanity," Sara explains. 

She says club members are co-sponsors of the River Bluff High School Juniorette Club, and that several of their members have daughters in the Jessamines, a service club for daughters and grand-daughters of club women in GFWC-SC. The Juniorette Club organizes volunteer events for their club and their school. Recently, the club hosted a "Kozy for Koalas" event at their school. Students participated by donated $1 for the opportunity to wear pajamas to school and the funds raised went to koalas affected by the Australia wildfires.

The Jessamines meet periodically throughout the year to complete "Done in a Day" service projects. Past projects have included hosting a bake sale at SC Oncology, hosting a bingo game at an assisted living center, making dog treats for an animal shelter, and donating water bottles to the USO lounge at the airport.  

Chapter meetings are held on the first Tuesday of each month at The Saluda River Club in Lexington -- except for no meetings held in July, August or December. Visitors are welcome at their monthly meetings and at their annual fall membership event.  

At the time of writing this article, the group didn't know if they would be able to conduct their annual fundraising event:  Bag a Bargain. "It's really dependent on the virus, the CDC recommendations, and if the schools are closed (the event is held indoors on the campus of RBHS). The event is currently scheduled for May 2," Sara says. 

Examples of the group's volunteer projects include: 

  • Tuck for a Cure event with Pure Barre to collect donations for SCOA Cares
  • Library book donations to Lexington County Public Libraries
  • Diabetes Awareness Month in November
  • Adopt-a-Family through Palmetto Health Children's Hospital
  • Clean-Up on Corley Mill Road with Keep the Midlands Beautiful
  • Heart Health Month awareness in February
  • Arts & Crafts day at Nancy K. Perry Children's Shelter
  • Fence painting at Palmetto Place Children's Shelter
  • Snack Pack donations/packing at Saxe Gotha Presbyterian Church
  • Bag-A-Bargain fundraiser at River Bluff High School
  • Annual scholarship donation to an at-risk graduating senior at River Bluff High School

In years past, JWC members hosted the Holiday Tour of Homes in Saluda River Club. 

General Federation of Women's Clubs

On the international level, JWC of Lake Murray is affiliated with the General Federation of Women's Clubs (GFWC). With 100,000 members in affiliated clubs in every state and more than a dozen countries, GFWC members are community leaders who work locally to create global change. Annually, GFWC members volunteer 13 million hours and contribute approximately $35 million through more than 160,000 club projects.  

The parent organization on the state level is the General Federation of Women's Clubs of South Carolina (GFWC-SC).  

2019-2020 JWC OFFICERS:

Polly Gathings, president

Courtney Wiles, vice president

Sara Bonner, treasurer

Michelle Blackmon, secretary

Tabitha Safdi, past president

Email for club membership details.