Build a Better Community Prize Winner!

December 8, 2010 in 1940s-1950s, Primary source, Social history

In May of 1949, the Midway Woman’s Club entered the Build a Better Community Woman’s Club Federation Contest sponsored by the Kroger Company. In June of 1950, they were awarded first prize of 100 dollars for the best work on community improvements in class B for Kentucky.

They contributed their success to group meetings in which they studied the community, planning carefully which projects would best meet the needs therein. Organization was represented by several committees working together within the Woman’s Club, sharing ideas, hosting social functions, and making presentations to community partners. The club was visited by Miss Chloe Gifford, State Chairman of Community Planning and the Bureau of Information. Her enthusiasm was contagious and summoned participation from all 70 club members.

Many projects were brought to a successful conclusion. The City Clean-up Campaign resulted in the purchase of a new lot three miles from town and a new truck for collecting and hauling of rubbish for waste disposal. The club sponsored a Mobile Unit for TB Tests, and helped the Lion’s Club solicit donors for the Blood Bank. A vacant lot was secured for free use as a playground for underprivileged children. Midway’s African American school was supplied with cafeteria equipment, and a library was established. In addition, books were added to the Midway Woman’s Club library. The work of these club committees extended to include the entire community and “an adventure in community cooperation and unity” was begun. Money for all the projects was made through rummage sales, a baseball game, two square dances (which were directed by the folk dancing team from the University of Kentucky), and by donations.

Many of the projects were continuing, and therefore required concerted efforts of all organizations and institutions of the community. In recognition of this need, a Build a Better Committee member suggested that a permanent Civic Planning Board be established including one representative from each of the following groups: Woman’s Club, Lion’s Club, City Council, Ministerial Group, School Board, Midway Junior College, Masonic Order, Boy Scouts, Homemakers, PTA, Community Chest, and Citizens’ Health Committee – a significant outgrowth of the board which was encouraged through the advice of the State Board of Health.

Sources: Midway Woman’s Club scrapbooks

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