An old song by The Rolling Stones once encouraged people going out at night to wear white. Members of the GFWC Peninsula Women’s Club are encouraging people to wear red to their June 20 meeting, where Dr. Marc Cohen, chief of the Division of Cardiology and Director of Cardiology and director of Cardiology Fellowship Training at Newark Beth Israel Medical Center, will be talking about women and heart disease.
Once thought of as “a man’s disease,” heart ailments account for one in every four female deaths annually in the United States.
Dr. Cohen will give a special presentation at the regular meeting of the club at 7 p.m. in Trinity Parish Hall, Fifth Street and Broadway.
He will be discussing the risk factors, what can be done if you’re are a risk, and what you can do to protect yourself.
Attendees are encouraged to wear RED for Heart Health Awareness, and the installation of 2012-13 officers will follow the presentation.
The presentation is free, there is no obligation to join, and new members are always welcome.
This event concludes the club’s first year, said Mary Kay Tokar, who was reelected president of the club for the upcoming year. Other officers include Karen Fiemonte, first vice president; Lisa Cerbone, second vice president; Stacey Lynch, corresponding secretary, Jean Styles, recording secretary, and Bonnie Contiu, treasurer.
“I can’t believe all we have accomplished in our first year,” Tokar said.
The group has held reading events at the library, breakfast with Santa, days of service that included collecting items for veterans’ hospitals, adopting a child for Christmas, socks collected for domestic violence shelters, a variety of dine-out events, a bowling day, a ceramics night, a prom dress collection, a book night giveaway, and other events.
With one of its missions to help the food pantry that is run through the Windmill Alliance, the Peninsula Women’s Club has become involved in several other projects such as the recently opened Trinity Church Community Garden. The club continues in ongoing food drive for the pantry, as well as Operation Peanut Butter and Jelly Food Drive and collecting donations for the Dress for Success Program. It has plans to continue many of the programs it introduced in its first year, such as the Read for the Record event at the library and World Book Night.
Most recently, six members of the club attended the state convention for the New Jersey State Federation of Women’s Clubs in Atlantic City where the group was honored, and Tokar won a first place distinction for recruiting the most members.
The Peninsula Women’s Club emerged last June, splintering off from the Bayonne Women’s Club over a difference in philosophy.
Tokar, who is a founding member of both groups, said she left the Bayonne Women’s Club partly because she wanted to use the resources of a state federation, when some of the others in the group did not.
Another issue she had with the original group is that its membership grew too fast, and she felt the club needed to be on more solid ground before it started to recruit.
Even by word of mouth, the Peninsula Women’s Club is drawing new members and since has a solid membership of more than 30 and is still gathering new people.
Tokar said the club is a non-political, non-sectarian, non-discriminatory organization designed to bring women together for the promotion of civic and philanthropic activities to better the community and to create an interest in education, fine arts, and topics of public interest through cooperative relationships.
By connecting with the New Jersey State Federation of Women’s Clubs, the Peninsula Women could focus on projects rather than starting from scratch. This appears to have contributed to the first year’s success. Membership is $50 annually, with half of this going to the state chapter.
“Women can attend one meeting free to see if they like it,” Tokar said.
There are two categories of members: people from the Hudson County area who can become full members; and people outside Hudson County who would become associate members. The club already has one associate member from Philadelphia.
Its meetings are held at 7 p.m. on the third Wednesday of every month at the Trinity Parish Hall at Fifth Street and Broadway. It is open to any woman between 18 to 80 who agrees to abide by the club’s mission statement.
“I would like to stress that member’s do not need to be from Bayonne,” Tokar said. “We have members from Rutherford, Secaucus, and Union City.”
To attend the heart lecture, RSVP an approximate number attending to ensure enough seating and refreshments. Call Mary Kay at (201) 320-8403 or email Penisula.firstname.lastname@example.org.