Women of Nassau (WON) was the brainchild of Carolyn Glaza, a member of the Newcomers Club who was looking to start an intimate women’s group of like-minded community members interested in social and service activities. In January 2019, WON became a not-for-profit volunteer organization dedicated to enriching the Nassau County community by fostering relationships and generosity through its membership and supporting women in Nassau County.
WON’s members were growing dramatically by the end of 2019, but when the Covid pandemic hit in March 2020, the group had to cancel their meetings and activities. But 2021 brought brighter days, and today WON is going strong, providing social and educational activities, travels, and charitable projects for Nassau County women.
Each year, WON chooses a charity to support throughout the year, funded by their annual fundraiser. In 2021 and 2022, the annual fundraiser was a Hoedown, with a country-and-western theme. This year’s Hoedown will be held on November 5 at the Woman’s Club of Fernandina Beach, with proceeds benefiting Micah’s Place, a certified domestic violence shelter serving Nassau County.
“Last December, we presented Micah’s Place with a check for $10,000, along with toys and gift cards for the families served there,” says Joy Kemp, WON’s president. “We chose Micah’s Place again this year for our charitable project.”
WON is open to any women of Nassau County who are 18 years and older. “We recently started a Membership Welcome Coffee,” says Kemp. “This activity is designed to introduce new members to the club. New members from each quarter of the year receive an invitation to attend. We love recruiting members, so any and all prospective members are welcome to attend! We meet at Mocama Coffee in Fernandina Beach on the last Wednesday of each quarter at 10 a.m.”
Board members will be on hand to discuss the club, its activities, mission statement, and charity work. In addition, WON holds a monthly luncheon and informational program on the third Thursday of every month at Amelia National Clubhouse, along with a monthly board meeting.
“Our mission is to promote goodwill, fun, and friendship by providing activities that will encourage fellowship,” says Kemp. “Our organization offers many activities that encompass all of our member’s interests.”
WON provides weekly get-togethers to play Canasta, Petanque, Bunco, Bridge, and Bowling, as well as learning opportunities on finance, a book club, enjoying “chick flicks,” and more. “We also plan lots of fun weekend and day trips to places like Jekyll Island, the Cummer Museum, the Alhambra Theatre, and many others.”
Laurie Laiken, WON’s vice president, is also the group’s activity officer, and always open to new suggestions for fun things to do. “As we begin our new adventures in Women of Nassau, the way for us to grow our organization is to invite friends, neighbors, and families to join us in some of our exciting and enjoyable activities,” says Laiken. “Don’t be shy, show everyone how much fun we have. This is a great opportunity for our members to help us grow into one of the best clubs!”
WON’s annual dues are $30 per year from January 1 to December 31. If you’re thinking of joining the group, visit their website at www.womenofnassau.org and scroll down to “Contact Us” to email Kemp about your interest in WON. You can also submit an online application and pay your dues directly on the website. Members of WON are looking forward to meeting you!