GFWC Library Club celebrates 110th Anniversary, Honors State President Linda Blue
The members of the GFWC Library Club invite the public to join them in celebrating the club’s 110th anniversary and in honoring local member Linda Blue, the MN GFWC State President.
An event will be held at Circles of Faith UCC in Waubun on Friday, April 21, with a coffee hour from 3 to 4 p.m. At 4 p.m. a local historical storyteller, Connie Kurplus-Hannesson, will take us on a trip back in MN History as we enjoy a reenactment of Sarah Sibley, wife of Minnesota’s first governor, Henry Sibley.
Linda Blue moved to the area in 2002, with her husband, Lester Blue, when they retired to their home in the Waubun area. Prior to her retirement, Linda worked in Commercial Lines of Insurance, for businesses, for 40 years in Nashville, Tennessee.
Linda Blue joined the GFWC Library Club in 2003. She served in several local officer positions, including secretary, vice-president and president. Her first project was working on centerpieces for the Mahnomen Nursing Home dining room tables. She helped with many local projects and fundraisers over the years. At the District Level of GFWC, Linda Blue served as secretary and district president.
At the State Level, she has served two years as 2nd vice-president, two years as 1st vice president, and two years as President elect, before taking office as President, where she will serve from 2022-2024. At the state level, Linda Blue has been chairman of the Public Affairs Program for two terms (four years), and she received a National Award for the GFWC Public Issues Program. She completed reports on what the clubs across the state were doing.
Why does she like GFWC? “I love helping other people,” Linda stated. “I like the way GFWC gives the local clubs the freedom to do whatever their community needs.”
The Theme for her term as president is “Heroes Everywhere.” She wants to show appreciation for the people who have helped us through the last few years.
Linda Blue and her late husband, Lester, were married for 40 years. She has three step-children, 7 grandchildren, and two great-grandchildren.
About Connie Hannesson:
Connie Kurplus-Hannesson, a local historical storyteller, grew up on a small grain and dairy farm north of Ada, Minnesota. After graduation from high school, she attended college at Moorhead State University. She graduated from there with a major in elementary education. Following her graduation from JSU, she began her career in education as a fifth grade teacher tat McKinley Elementary School in Crookston, where she spent 5 years. The next 29 years in the classroom would be spent teaching fifth and sixth graders at Highland Middle School, and later, Highland Elementary School.
After retiring in 2004, Hannesson began to work on a project that had been on her “bucket list” for some time. being a lover of history, she began putting together historical presentations of some of the people and events that have had a major influence and impact on our world today. Her reenactment of Sarah Sibley, wife of Minnesota’s first governor, Henry Sibley, has been presented at area schools and to many local groups. “These are stories that must be shared, for there are lessons to be learned that can apply to our lives today.”
History of the GFWC
Library Club – Celebrating
110 years – 1913 to 2023
In September 1913, 22 young women met and formed the Domestic Science Club. Their course of study for the year dealt with cooking lessons.
In 1913 they changed the name to the Reservation Club. At this time they joined the General Federation of Women’s Club, which is a worldwide organizations of local clubs that are dedicated to improving the lives of others through volunteer work. By 1917 their membership had increased to 38 members. During WW1 much volunteer work was done for the Red Cross. By 1919 there were 60 members.
In January 1923 they voted to organize a library in Mahnomen. It opened in May 1923 with 103 books and $9.90 in cash. Over the years the GFWC Library Club has supported many local needs, while still supporting the library. Including but not limited to the following.
• They were instrumental in starting the DAC in 1962
• In 1968 they sponsored a Pap Smear Clinic
• Held a Diabetic Clinic in 1972
• 1977 a Community Health Project
• Held a Blood Pressure Clinic in 1997
• They sponsored a community blood drive
• Supported HOBY (Hugh O’Brian Youth Program) from 1978-1997
• Participated in the SMILE project from 1995-2000, where bags were assembled to give to children in the third world countries.
• Collected empty prescription bottles for Doctors Without Borders.
• Had birthday parties for the Mahnomen Nursing Center. Currently provide funds for Birthdays, Christmas and St Patrick’s day auction.
• Had Valentines Party regularly at the Valley View Senior apartments.
• Provided Easter Bruch at Evergreen (in Waubun)
• Donate to American Cancer Society, Waubun Senior Nutrition Program, Helping Hands Food Shelf, Historical Society, Mahnomen County Sheriff’s K-9 unit, the VA in Fargo and Fergus Falls, USO. Center of Human Environment, Haley’s Hope, the MS Society, and the school nutrition program (Backpack program).
• A program that was started in 2013 called the Hugs project, where personal hygiene products are collected and put into individual bags, then the bags are distributed to Lakes Crisis Center and Dove in White Earth for the domestic violence victims. They also provide unwrapped Christmas presents for the shelters so that the residents and their families can have something for Christmas.
During election years a candidate’s forum is held. All local political candidates are invited to participate and given written questions and have a time limit to respond.
The Golden Deeds Award was started in 2002. The Golden Deeds Award has been established to recognize those individuals or groups of people who would not normally be recognized for their contributions to the community, who are often behind the scenes, and don’t readily seek attention, who have made a contribution to others, and to the community. The award winners are celebrated with a special dinner and an article in the Mahnomen Pioneer about their accomplishments. Their names are also added to plaques which are on exhibit at the Mahnomen Library.
GFWC Library Club is very active in the North District, and in the State GFWC organization. Several members have held offices at the District Level over the years, and the current GFWC Minnesota State President and on the GFWC International Board of Directors is Linda Blue, a member of the GFWC Library Club.
Please join the celebration at Circles of Faith UCC in Waubun on Friday, April 21, from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. for an entertaining event celebrating GFWC Library Club and State President Linda Blue.