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A Season of Gratitude

Esther Gartland.jpg

What a great honor it is to be stepping into the role of the 2024-2026 GFWC Ohio Presidency, following so many wonderful Ohio leaders. I would like to thank the members of GFWC Ohio for their support and encouragement over the years. Of special note are the members of GFWC Ohio Warren Junior Women’s League, a member since 1993, GFWC Ohio Cyberlinks Club, GFWC Internet Service Providers, and Warren City Federation of Women’s Clubs. I am honored to have active membership in each of these clubs. Thank you also to my sister clubs of the Northeast District, who have always been a source of inspiration. I am grateful for the sisterhood of all our Ohio members, who continually strive to improve our communities. I am confident that our members will find many new ways to reach out and touch the lives of others.

 

My theme for the 2024-2026 Administration is “A Season of Gratitude”, with a Special Emphasis on membership, as well as a renewed support of our Memorial Shrine at Mohican State Forest, in honor of our military who gave their lives for our freedom. Please encourage your club members to visit our Shrine, especially on September 29th for the Gold Star Mothers Pilgrimage.

 

Showing our gratitude for our members is an important part of member retention, which is certainly a prime concern. How often have you heard a member say that she doesn’t think her contributions are appreciated? We need to make that change, and make all members realize that they are acknowledged, and that we are truly thankful for all that they do.

 

At the center and foremost in our expression of gratitude will be to our veterans and active military. They are certainly deserving of all the support and assistance we can provide. My family has a long and proud legacy of military service, including two Gold Star Mothers, and most recently, two years ago, a White Star Mother was unfortunately added. Our veterans and active military, and their care, both emotionally and physically, have long been underserved.

 

With this in mind, and with heartfelt commitment, the President’s Special Project will be “Fieldstone Farm Therapeutic Riding Center”. This wonderful facility is one of the largest centers in our country for veterans’ equine therapy. They not only provide therapeutic services for veterans, but also our active military, and the Ohio Military Child. As we all know, when a parent is serving, the entire family is also serving. Fieldstone Farm provides weekend activities involving the entire military family, as well as focusing on the needs of those in active service to our country. Fieldstone Farm is located in our Lake Erie District, in Chagrin Falls.

 

At Fieldstone Farm, therapeutic services are also provided for many young children and adults in need. They are specially equipped to assist those who have physical limitations, and even provide carriages as well as other special therapeutic options. Children and young adults having learning difficulties are also welcomed at Fieldstone Farm. There is a special High School housed at the Farm, to provide counseling and therapy to teens in need. This is truly an all-inclusive Therapeutic Center.

 

As my husband and I visited the Farm, we had the opportunity to see a group of children receiving equine therapy, and to talk to some of the young teens who are enrolled in the high school housed there. Viewing the letters that were attached to the stalls, from the children who come to “Read” to the horses, we could see the heartfelt appreciation these children have and the connection and love they share with the horses. As the instructor told us, the children who have difficulty reading will sit at the side of the stalls and read to “their horse” knowing that there is no judgement, as they struggle with their words. It is my hope that our members will embrace this project, and help to raise funds for this wonderful facility. Not only will we be helping our veterans and active military, but many young children and adults in need.

 

My administration pin features a heart shaped global inspired design, with interlocking hands encircling the heart. This depicts our worldwide outreach, and our support of others, which stretches out internationally. The gold circle symbolizes purity, health, love, and spiritual development. These are certainly qualities exemplified by our Federation sisters.

 

I want to thank all those who have helped me in my GFWC Ohio Journey. There are so many Federation Sisters who have shared their knowledge, and encouraged me on this path, several of whom are no longer with us. Also, my deep appreciation to our 2024-2026 Board and State Chairmen. They are a wonderful group of women dedicated to our Ohio Federation. A special note of appreciation goes out to our incoming Great Lakes Region President, Rose Logston. It will be an honor and privilege to be serving with her.

 

My family is a special source of my encouragement. My son John Gosnell, daughter in law Jennifer, who is a member of Cyberlinks, granddaughters Teagan (Cyberlinks member) and Olivia. They have always supported my Federation activities, even visiting Headquarters for Holiday House with me, and helped out in many ways over the years, with a multitude of projects. I would also like to thank them for their service, as they served overseas for many years as a diplomatic family. I am so very proud of them, and all the sacrifices they made during those years. Last, but certainly not least, my husband Dennis, who is always there to help with any project, and makes sure everything goes well. I also want to thank Dennis for his service to our country, and his ongoing dedication to assisting our military and veterans.

 

I am so very grateful for the honor and privilege of serving as GFWC Ohio’s 65th President, and thankful to all, as we begin this new adventure. I appreciate all of you, and am looking forward to the next two years of serving together, and living a “Season of Gratitude”.

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