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Albany Chapter



The Albany Chapter of The Girl Friends began in fine Girl Friend tradition. A group of women from Albany, Troy and Schenectady drawn together by mutual interests and companionship decided to request membership in the National Girl Friends. With the aid and sponsorship of the New Jersey Chapter, Girl Friend May Bryan sought affiliation in May 1952.

The Albany Chapter of the Girl Friends®, Inc. charter members were: Fanni Jo Bowey, May Bryan, Harriet Gibbons, Ida Gordon, Muriel Griffin, Lucille Hall, Alma Jennings, Dorothy Johnson, Hylda Johnson, Harriet Kelley, Phyllis Kennell, Juanita Lewis, Norma Simmons, Lois Smith, and Jane Reese, who was the Chapter's first president.

Atlanta Chapter



The Atlanta Chapter, it seems, was destined to be "GIRL FRIENDS". When in 1966, a group of friends came together to organize a bridge club, they chose the name Girl Friends, which was immediately changed to Les Girls upon hearing of a national organization known as "The Girl Friends®, Inc." Les Girls' desire to affiliate with a national group, whose main focus is to foster friendship, was born and soon thereafter they began implementing plans to officially join that organization. However, it took years of patience, diligence, perseverance, deter-mination and hard work on our part, as well as that of the sponsoring chapter, Columbus, Ohio, before the dream of becoming a part of the Girl Friend family became a reality.

Baltimore Chapter



In 1930, The Baltimore Bugs became the Baltimore Chapter of Girl Friends, the third group to be invited to join the small club known as the Girl Friends. The friendship between Baltimore's Anita Wheatley and Philadelphia's Liz Young triggered the invitation. Charter members of the Baltimore Chapter were Dottie Bostic, Elsie Dotson, Laura Jones, Agnes Patterson, Eliza Robinson, Irma Roy, Frances Vessels, Anita Wheatley, and Mae Williams.

Birmingham Chapter



In June of 1993, two friends, Jothany Williams James and Tamara Harris Johnson, shared their vision of organizing a group of "friends" who would regularly meet and plan social activities, including their spouses/significant others. This core group called itself the Crown Jewels and consisted of: Carmelita D Bivens, Diana Chambliss, Dixie Gardner Harris, J. Michelle James, Carole B.Rose and Sharon Spencer.
After several months of meeting and socializing, these friends enjoyed their experience so much that they wanted to expand and associate with a national organization having a similar vision. Jothany Williams James and Tamara Harris Johnson contacted two of their friends, Lynne Williamson Rogers and Karen Williams Rutherford, members of the Columbia Chapter of The Girl Friends®, Inc. With their assistance and under the leadership of Columbia Chapter's President, Doris Greene, the Columbia Chapter agreed to sponsor The Crown Jewels as an interest group for The Girl Friends, Inc. Upon invita­tion, the core group of The Crown Jewels expanded to include: Brenda Adams, Evelyn Norcom Burton, Renia Dotson, Hedy Edwards, Cathy Kenneth Floyd, Terri Howard Gardner, Stacy Haynes-Nelson, Cynthia Ransburg-Brown, Desiree W. Wayne and Iris Etienne Williams. On Saturday, September 23, 2000 the above-mentioned members of the Crown Jewels were inducted as charter members of the forty-second chapter to be known as The Birmingham Chapter of The Girl Friends, Inc.

Boston Chapter



Boston was installed as the fourth chapter of The Girl Friends®, Inc. in January, 1931 having been sponsored by the Philadelphia Chapter. GF Gertrude “Toki” Schalk Johnson was the organizer and first president of the chapter. The charter members included Alice Charleston Trigg, Irene O’Banyon Robinson, Evelyn Johnson Cardozo, Lillian “Bali” Schalk Early, Laverne Boyer Thomasson, Dorothy Betts, Edith Brown, Hattie Gurley and Eleanor O’Banyon Collins.

Boston Girl Friends have served Girl Friends at the national level. In 1933, GF Irene Robinson was among the group who drafted the national constitution and became the National Treasurer in 1936. GF Edna Center Lofton was one of the signatories on the papers of incorporation for our national organization. In 1956, GF Vera Easterling Riddick Fort was the National President. GF Ogretta McNeil was National Vice President in l976, the year Boston hosted the National Conclave. In 2006, GF Cynthia Carter was elected to the National Nominating Committee and GF Karen Holmes Ward was appointed as the National Public Affairs Chair.

Brooklyn Chapter



In 1934 New York welcomed into the fellowship of Girl Friends six close friends from Brooklyn. Thus we became the Brooklyn Chapter of Girl Friends, the seventh link of a treasured chain. Charter members were Helen Lawrence Butler, Winifred Mason Chenet, Hazel Bunn Cox, Hazel Thomas Gray, Doris Cumberbatch Guinier and Dorothea Mason. The late Eunice Shreeves was our National President.

Our first affair (1936) was an "Amazon Revel" so inimitably unique that it bombed! Be that as it may, with admission priced at $.40, Brooklyn proudly established its first bank account. Our Theatrical Debut (1937) was "Who's Crazy Now" - a farce. Performances for two consecutive nights rated "four stars". With the proceeds from the "charade" we adopted the Brooklyn Urban League as our charity.

Buffalo Chapter



In October 2001 the Buffalo Chapter of Girl Friends will celebrate its Fiftieth Birthday. There were originally twelve charter members. Today there are three charter members active in Buffalo - Mary Gordon, Mary Jarrett and Clyde Murphy. The fourth member is Corinne Blanton, active with the Cincinnati Chapter.

Our membership continues to change. New members are Mona Baskin (Daughter-in-Law of GF Lydia Wright Evans); Patricia Green (Daughter of GF Rachel Green); Kimberly Trammel]; Kimberly Trent; Francesca Messiah; Joyce Ford Quick (Sister of GF Deanna Horton-Potomac Chapter) Diane Cadle and Carla Jones.

California Chapter



Girl Friend Mable Love's determination, dedication, and love for Girl Friends and her desire to live in California resulted in the formation of the California Girl Friends. The Chapter, sponsored by the National Board, received its Charter in May 1984 and was installed, July 14th of the same year.

Ersa Poston of Washington, National President at the time, and Past National Presidents Jackie Robinson, also of Washington, and Chrystine Shack, now of Memphis, were selected to oversee the procedure and the formation of the Chapter.

Charlotte Chapter



Gertrude Harper Pearson, after reading an article in Ebony about National Black Women’s Social Clubs of the United States, decided that it would be a good idea if Charlotte had a chapter of Girl Friends. The article stated that the Girl Friends were the first Black social organization for women, with the Links and Moles following later. Gertrude mentioned it to her friend Ophelia (Kitty) Gray, who in turn told her that she knew some Girl Friends in Columbus, Ohio, and that after a trip to Washington, DC, she would bring some names back. Jacqueline Robinson, a past National President, and then National President of Jack & Jill, was mentioned as an initial contact. Gertrude decided to call some of her friends from the sororities, the Charlotte Medical Auxiliary, her cousins and sister-in-law for a gathering. The first meeting was held at Gertrude’s home in the spring of 1974, with the purpose being “...ways and means” of securing a chapter of Girl Friends.

On June 19, 1975, the club had formed their constitution and decided to call themselves Just Friends, with the purpose of a united effort toward peace, friendship, love and service toward mankind.

On November 2, 1985, under the sponsorship of the Durham Chapter, Girl Friends National President, Helen K. Wright, installed Just Friends as Girl Friends at the Radisson Plaza Hotel in downtown Charlotte. This was a joyous and long-awaited event. The Charter Members are Barbara Alston, Catherine Watermann, Doris Asbury, Thelmetia Bynum, Helen Cabiness, Grace Chambers, Doris Chisholm, Ginese Clement, Vivian Collins, Ophelia Gray, Janice Hammond, Brenda Johnson, Marion Manigault, Esther Marioneaux, Margaret T. Moreland, Alma Motley, Doretta Murphy, Bettye McCain, Gertrude Pearson, Linda Reeves, Dorothy Stinson, Francis Waddell, Elsie Wakefield, Gerri Wiley and Vivian Williams.

Chicago Chapter



The Chicago Chapter of Girl Friends was installed in the Gold Room of the Hotel Sherman as the eighteenth chapter of The Girl Friends®, Inc. on March 21, 1953. Our chapter was sponsored by one of the original founders of Girl Friends, Inc., Eunice Shreeves. We have the distinction of being the only Chapter sponsored by an individual. At our installation we had twenty-five members. These charter members were: Osbeth Henry Adams, Yolande Johnson Cheatham, Lydia Stubbs Davis, Virgil Mackey Dixon, Maudelle Bousfield Evans, Hazel Thompson Gassaway, Isabelle Carson Gibson, Mildred Mickey Gibson, Elise Evans Harris, Hazel Anthony Huggins, Eunice Walker Johnson, B. Mae Howard Jones, Virginia Lewis, Lois Ross Lowe, Henrietta Herrod McMillan, Irvena Harvey Ming, Catherine Gordon Boswell-Morrow, Sylvia Labat Randall, Evelyn Evans Spencer, Myrtle Picou Sengstacke, Faye Thompson Thatcher, George Bridgeforth White, Evelyn DuConge Wilson, Alice Mason Beasley Williams and Nelmatilda Ritchie Woodard. The first transferee was Harriett Evans from Cleveland and Irvena Ming was unanimously elected our first President and very successfully saw us through our first year.

Cincinnati Chapter



In the summer of 1954, nine close friends gathered at the home of Arietta Graves and became known as "Les Femmes" with a burning desire to become members of The Girl Friends®, Inc. Our charter members were : Sue Elliott-Carroll, Alice Overton Dillard, Agnes Elliott Duncan, Arietta McGoodwin Graves, Marguerite Clemmons Hall, Roberta White McClain, Allene Hinson Renfro, Marietta Renfro Glenn and Christine Boone Turpeau.

Allene Renfro had very close ties with Goldie Beckett, Louisville Chapter; Marguerite Hall and Joyce Carwin were Texas teenage friends; Sue Carroll and Wilhelmina Brown, Pittsburgh Chapter, were dear friends.

The Louisville Chapter agreed to sponsor "Les Femmes" and urged that we contact every Girl Friend that we knew to ask for their support. Girl Friend Corinne Blanton, the designer of the Girl Friends Emblem, and Boy Friend John moved to Cincinnati from the Buffalo, NY Chapter and joined the campaign for membership.

In May of 1960 the group was accepted along with Toledo. November of 1960 marked the "first birth of twin chapters" as Joyce Carwin, National President said when Cincinnati and Toledo were installed in Cincinnati at the Sheraton Gibson Hotel.

Cleveland Chapter



The Cleveland Girl Friends evolved from a small club of nine friends known as the Intowners. The members were: Mary Boyd, Martha Collins, Belle Hendricks, Pallie Hunter, Louise Kent-Hope, Wini Lambright, Gwen Robinson, Constance Wiggins and Veronica Youngblood. This group of women was busy with rummage sales, baskets for the needy, potluck suppers with hus-bands and dreams of purchasing a clubhouse.

Almost four years after the Intowners were organized, Belle Hendricks and Louise Hope were approached by members of the Pittsburgh Girl Friends to determine if the group would be interested in becoming a part of the national organization. The decision was unanimously affirmative and friends were care-fully and lovingly selected to join the Intowners in becoming the Cleveland Chapter of Girl Friends. They were: Ruth Clement, Margot Dyson, Harriett Evans, Lillian Gregory, Elizabeth Lambright, Hazel Lucas, Elizabeth Stokien, Eleanore Sutler, Cecelia Ward and Ruth Wright. After working together for almost a year, the Chapter was formally installed in September 1951 by National President Marie Carpenter.

Columbia Chapter



The Columbia Chapter (South Carolina) of Girl Friends began as an interest group in 1977 when four friends decided to organize a group of Columbia and Charleston women. The group soon expanded from four to six. Deciding upon the name TRES CHIC, the group elected a president and eventually voted into membership a total of fifteen business and professional women.

TRES CHIC raised money for civic and cultural causes in the Columbia community, including the Kitani Foundation, Inc. and Planned Parenthood. The group also sponsored an awards luncheon, honoring four nationally recognized Black women for their contributions to society. TRES CHIC members were involved in a number of civic, cultural, religious and social organizations -- holding office and heading important projects.

In May 1983, at the National Conclave in North Carolina, TRES CHIC was voted into membership. The September 1983 Installation was a weekend of events on Hilton Head Island: Friday night - Casa Blanca Under-the-Stars at the Hilton Head Inn; Saturday - golf, tennis, bridge, tours and a dinner/dance at the Hyatt Hotel with renown recording artist Arthur Prysock; Sunday - champagne breakfast at-the-top of the Hyatt!

Columbus Chapter



"The Gadabouts," composed of 10 fun-loving social and civic-minded young women whose theme of "togetherness" permeates all activity still, was organized by Audrey Bland. They became the charter members of the 20th Chapter of The Girl Friends, Inc. on September 20, 1954 at an impressive candlelight installation. Those members were: Audrey Bland (first president), Roberta Basnett, Euretta Treadwell Boyce, Maxine Hamlar, LaVerne Dukes King, Wilma McClung, Lucile Roan, Rosalie Rosemond, Minnie White and Adoria Whittaker.

We are eternally grateful to our sponsors: The Philadelphia Chapter who, influ­enced by Grace Hayes (sister-in-law of our own Minnie White and aunt of Phyllis Crawley) extended a cordial welcome.

Dallas Chapter



Eddie Bernice Johnson, founder and charter member of the Dallas Chapter, on September 12, 1975, invited a few close friends with similar ideals and dreams into her home to "Chat and Chew." From this meeting, an interest group was formed and later became known around town as the "Dawns of Dallas." Their dream was to become Girl Friends. Five dedicated women met regularly to seek and share their dream. The five were: Eddie Bernice Johnson, Velma Bedford, Hazel Moore, Marguerite Williams and Mildred Thomas. Later Marvinell Johnson, Marye Lizabeth Thomas, M.D., and Millie Montgomery joined the group.

While seeking a sponsor, a dear friend and a great Girl Friend, Anita Bond took us under her wing and began advising us on the Do's and Don'ts of becoming Girl Friends, one of which was to increase our membership to fifteen. The new Dawns were Jennifer Clark, Earlene Deere, Joan Haywood Ford and Sandra Sutton. The Dawns that completed our roster were Dorothy Chambers, Delores Craig, Veronica Frazier, Cheryl Malone, Faye Powell, Mary Lois Sweatt, Rosalyn Fitch and Vivienne Mayes.

It was the realization of a long time dream on November 5, 1983 when the "Dawns of Dallas" were inducted into the ranks of The Girl Friends, Inc. Our sponsoring chapter, Saint Louis and Ersa Poston, National President, conduct-ed a beautiful candlelight ceremony at the Fairmont Hotel with a large number of visiting Girl Friends from across the country in attendance. The officers were: Eddie Bernice Johnson - (President); Mildred Thomas - (Vice President); Sandra Sutton - (Secretary); Veronica Frazier - (Corresponding Secretary); Velma Bedford - (Treasurer); Marguerite Williams - (Historian).

Detroit Chapter



A golden link of friendship was forged in Detroit, October 29-31, in the year of 1954. That link, which connected us to the National chain of Girl Friends, was the result of the foresight and planning of our three founders, Bernice Arnold, Cornelia Hayes and Hazel Taylor. Girl Friends in other cities had mentioned to Bernice and Hazel the possibility of forming a chapter in Detroit. Bernice and Hazel met with Cornelia Hayes, who was a New Jersey Girl Friend living in Detroit. The three merged hands and hearts and thus the Detroit Chapter was formed.

Each of the three founders invited six additional girls, making a total of twen­ty-one charter members. In addition to the founders, the charter members were Vivienne Cooper, Iris Cox, Mary Agnes Davis, Aux Vasse Dickson, Alberta Fitzgerald, Geraldine Fowler, Johnnie Mae Fritz, Allene McCampbell, Ruth McNeil, Mary Lee Martin, Helen Mitchell, Edith Parrish, Amyre Porter, Essel Saulsberry, Marie Scruggs, Jacqueline Sharpe, Dorothy Stanton and Lida Wilson.

Durham Chapter



During the spring of 1962, Thelma Y. Bass and Geneva T. Stanback, while sitting in Thelma's back yard, not over a pot of stew, but watching their boys swim, decided to round up some of their close friends, with whom they had shared many joys and sorrows through the years, and start a club. There was interest in a club, so an organizational meeting was held at Geneva's on May 30, 1963 - and so the FANS were born, using as a motto:

F - Friends A - Always N - Near S - Sharing

The original members were Thelma Y. Bass**, Alma W. Bennett, Adele R. Butts, Julia H. Henderson, Willia W. Lewis, Hattie S. Scarborough**, Geneva T. Stanback, Josephine H. White**, and Alma W. Wade. In April 1967, Elizabeth Frasier, Alice C. Kennedy, Estelle P. Dumas, and Faye F. Rivera were admitted. Installation activities took place at the Blair House. We immediately launched our efforts toward civic and social activities. Our endeavors were exceptional for a group our size. Subsequently, two daughters, Carolyn P. Collins and Barbara H. Halfacre, joined us.

Fairfield County Chapter



We all know that the organization of Girl Friends came into being over a "pot of stew" - well, Fairfield County Chapter began over a "cup of tea!" New CD Haven Chapter invited a group of friends to attend a tea at Agnes Bolore's home and during the course of the afternoon the main reason for the affair was revealed. We were asked if we would like to become a Chapter of Girl Friends. After several meetings among ourselves twelve staunch souls decided affirmatively and so notified the New Haven Chapter. Our names were presented by them at the May 1949 Conclave and we were accepted as the Bridgeport Chapter of Girl Friends, Inc. which later became the Fairfield County Chapter, as our membership is county-wide.

Our beautiful installation was held at the Barnum Hotel in Bridgeport on October 21, 1949. We were proud that, in addition to our sponsors, members from many other chapters attended to welcome us into Girl Friends. In fact, our chapter was the first to hold a weekend/three day celebration.

Greenville Chapter



In 1988, three friends talked about the pleasure of their friendship and how expanding such a close circle would be desirable. Nancy Anderson, Dorothy B. Mims and LaBarbara Sampson, Jr. invited other ladies to "socialize and fellowship with a group of good friends." By August 1990, the group had extended its membership to twenty-two friends who enjoyed leisurely luncheons and convivial exchange. The group decided to call themselves the Pals of Greenville and officers and committees were drawn.

Later in 1991, the Pals expressed a strong desire to increase our sphere of friendship and talked with Girl Friend Betty McCain of the Charlotte, North Carolina Chapter. We are exceedingly proud that the Charlotte Chapter of Girl Friends agreed to sponsor our group. As time went on, the Pals were blessed to have the attention and support of Girl Friend Sinette Denson who worked dili­gently to advise, to prepare and to mentor our group. She and the Girl Friends of the Charlotte Chapter worked to ensure the installation of the Girl Friends in Greenville, South Carolina. Though the events of September 11 caused some challenges to our schedule and to air travel, the spirit of obligation and perse­verance prevailed.

On September 21-23, 2001, Palmetto Panache ushered in our new era of friendship. Charming Girl Friends and Boy Friends from around the nation graced us with their presence and welcomed us into The Girl Friends.

Houston Chapter



The Houston Chapter began as a social club called "The Pivots of Houston" which was organized, with an interest in becoming Girl Friends, in January 1972 by Bernice Bacon. The chain of friendship was extended to us through S Virginia Speller, originally from Cincinnati, Ohio, who contacted her extended family Aunt Alyce Dillard and other close family friends from the Cincinnati Chapter. Our group was formally installed as the 31st chapter of The Girl Friends®, Inc., on Nov. 16,1974 under the sponsorship of the Cincinnati Chapter.

More than two hundred Girl Friends and Boy Friends attended the Gala Installation Weekend hosted at the Houston Oaks Hotel in the famous Galleria. Activities included a Western Round-up in the Penthouse Suite where the National President, Jacqueline Robinson, was presented a key to the city by the Mayor of Houston; a Luncheon and Fashion Show at Le Pavilion, followed by a city tour; a Texas barbecue luncheon for Boy Friends; a Space City Dinner/Dance and a Sunday Farewell Breakfast.

Las Vegas Chapter



The Las Vegas Chapter, originally known as the Las Vega Jewels, was sponsored by the California Chapter. At the time, the California Chapter was the only existing chapter in the Far West Region and they were interested in encouraging the installation of more chapters in the West. The founder of the Las Vega Jewels, Yvonne Rodgers Curry, was a Girl Friend, who had relocated to Las Vegas from Milwaukee and was a member of the Milwaukee Chapter of The Girl Friends. She was connected by friendship to a number of Girl Friends throughout the U.S. including several in the California Chapter (as well as in the Milwaukee Chapter). GF Yvonne was the president of the Jewels from 1995 until her sudden death in 1999.

The Las Vegas Jewels were accepted as an official "interest group" in 2004 and were voted in as a Chapter at the 2005 Conclave in Milwaukee. The Las Vegas Jewels were installed as the forty-fourth (44th) chapter of The Girl Friends®, Incorporated on October 16, 2005. The installation took place in Las Vegas, Nevada at the MGM-Mirage Hotel and Casino.

Loudoun County Chapter



The Loudoun County Chapter of The Girl Friends®, Incorporated exists due to the combined efforts of Danielle Bryan Brown and Janice Bryan. As founders of a group known as “Les Bonnes Amies”, Janice and Danielle discussed the possibility of Les Bonnes Amies joining The Girl Friends as they had been influenced by the late May Bryan, the organizer of the Albany Chapter and their mother-in-law and grandmother respectively. They recalled how she raved about Girl Friends’ parties and her many friends. She also valued the dedication and compassion Girl Friends exhibited toward one another. In 2008, Les Bonnes Amies decided to ask the Albany Chapter to sponsor them for membership in The Girl Friends®, Incorporated The Albany Chapter graciously accepted and became the group’s sponsor.

On November 3, 2012, Les Bonnes Amies became the 46th chapter of The Girl Friends®, Incorporated. Twenty-two members were inducted as charter members.

Louisville Chapter



On October 10, 1953, a group of wonderful friends known as "LES MES DAMES" was inducted into the Girl Friends®, Inc. with the Cleveland Chapter as its sponsor. Anna Murphy, National President, conducted a most beautiful candlelight ceremony. Friends from Chicago, Pittsburgh, Roanoke, New York, Brooklyn, Buffalo and Fairfield County were in attendance to share in this momentous and joyous occasion.

The thirteen (13) charter members were: Victoria Anderson Davenport, Goldie Beckett*, Louise Bond*, Ruth Bryant, Loretta Bush*, DeJarnette Duncan *, Jane Hankins*, Juanita Lane*, Barbara Miller*, Frances Parrish, Jewel Rabb, lone Stanley* and Thelma West*.

Memphis Chapter



It was the realization of a dream November 3, 1979, when the members of Les Girls of Memphis were inducted into the ranks of Girlfriendom, twenty-five strong during Chrystine Shack's tenure as National President. Les Girls was organized in 1966 by Erma Lee Laws with members Marie Bradford, Sarah Chandler, Evie Horton, Velma Lois Jones and Maria Pinkston, each possessing a burning desire to become members of The Girl Friends, Inc. Erma was a friend of Detroit GF Mary Agnes Davis, Nashville GF Alice Archer, Chicago GF Mildred Gibson and Pittsburgh GF Hazel Garland and had been long aware of Girl Friends through her association with them.

In 1977, Les Girls opened its ranks to nineteen other ladies, all of whom were interested in affiliating with Girl Friends, Inc. Erma Laws contacted former Memphian, GF Chrystine Shack (National Parliamentarian), who advised Erma that there must be a sponsoring Chapter. Erma asked Alice Archer, Nashville Chapter president, who was more than enthusiastic to get her chapter to sponsor the Memphis Chapter. So the ball began to roll.

Miami Chapter



The Miami Chapter of The Girl Friends®, Incorporated began as an outgrowth of a group of women who bonded together in 1978 as Les Femmes Elegante under the leadership of member Desmona Harden. These women shared common professional, social, and civic interests. The group decided to change its name to Ladies Limited of Miami and pursue membership in the national organization, The Girl Friends, Inc. Patsy Graham consented to contact her friend, Virgie Dorsey, of the Orlando Chapter of The Girl Friends®, Inc. The Orlando Chapter became our sponsor and encouraged us to contact Girl Friends in other chapters for support and guidance.

We were accepted into The Girl Friends®, Inc as the forty-second chapter at the May, 1995 National Girl Friend Conclave held in Los Angeles, California. We began making plans for our installation ceremony, under the direction of National President Virginia Speller, which took place on Saturday, November 11, 1995 at the Sheraton Bal Harbour Beach Resort on Miami Beach. Over two hundred Girl Friends and Boy Friends attended this gala event.

Milwaukee Chapter



In January 1954 two friends, Marian Carroll Atkinson and Velvalea Rodgers, decided that what they shared as friends at Howard University for four years was worth preserving and enlarging. That decision was the beginning of a friendship group that thrived for over forty years. Over the years, other friends were invited to join this friendship group, rarely reaching and never exceeding twenty in number.

The recipe for the formation of this sisterhood was simple: a heavy portion of devoted friendship, mixed with huge amounts of laughter, love and genuine fun - a dash of service and civic responsibility and a very light spindling of other­wise heavy rules and regulations. We loved the recipe and thus began: No President, just a chairperson. No name, we called ourselves "Us."

Minneapolis / St. Paul Chapter



In 1974, Mary Alice Hatcher and her husband Raymond retired and moved to Minneapolis. Mae was a member-at-large from the Detroit Chapter of Girl Friends. In December 1981, Mae and Ray, along with four other couples began talking about the possibility of beginning a Girl Friends affiliation. Mae Hatcher continued the conversation with Charlotte Davis, Phebe Givens, Virginia Howard and Fanny Posey who all became founding members of the Minneapolis-St. Paul Chapter.

On September 13, 1986, sixteen prospective members came together and became "Le Club." The members and their husbands were outstanding, productive and fun loving citizens from the Minneapolis-St. Paul community known as the Twin Cities. All had common interests in civic, social, cultural and in the religious life of their community and the nation. Several prospective members even enjoyed local and national recognition for their achievements. In 1987, the Cleveland Chapter of Girl Friends graciously agreed to officially sponsor Le Club.

Nashville Chapter



A group of girls who called themselves "Entre Nous" sought membership in The Girl Friends, Inc., as early as 1951. However, they learned that they would have to wait until the boundaries of The Girl Friends were expanded.

Finally in March 1972, at the Conclave in Williamsburg, VA, the Nashville Chapter, under the sponsorship of the Roanoke Chapter, became the 27th link in the chain of friendship. We were installed by National President Jacqueline Robinson during the weekend of September 1-3, 1972. Our founder and first president was Mable Love, a member of the California Chapter (now deceased).

New Haven Chapter



In 1927, a group of friends formed an organization to be known as The Girl Friends®, Inc. whose prime purpose was to foster friendship, a social contact between women in various cities. Charity was secondary.

The philosophy became popular and grew. Five years later, in 1932, a New Haven Chapter was organized by Agnes Bolore Clarke. In the fall of 1933, Girl Friends from Philadelphia, Baltimore, New Jersey, New Haven and New York declared themselves a national organization. New York, the Mother Chapter, sponsored the New Haven Chapter; New Haven, in turn, sponsored the Springfield and Fairfield Chapters. New Haven has hosted three conclaves and was the first chapter to house all visiting Girl Friends in a hotel, The Taft Hotel. New Haven's one luxury hotel dropped its barriers and "oohed and aahed" at the gorgeous Black girls who invaded its premises in 1942 for the first time. New Haven has had three National Officers: Peggy Gibbs, Vice President; Libby Huggins, Parliamentarian; Agnes B. Clarke, Editor-in-Chief for six years and in 1934 served as Historian.

New Jersey Chapter



Since the late nineteenth century when the Black women's club movement began with the National Association of Colored Women, thousands of women have known the value of uniting socially and civicly. Women of color have united socially to expand beyond the domestic sphere and at the same time to show responsibility and commitment to their race and communities through the support of various charities. In keeping with this proud tradition, the New Jersey Chapter of Girl Friends was organized in Westfield, New Jersey in 1932 with six members: Alberta Banks, who was elected President; Fannie Vick Berryman, Matte Jones, Ivy Lambert, Eva Langston, and Lillian Jones who eventually left the group. (Lillian, the only surviving original member now resides in Cranford).

Sponsored by the Philadelphia Chapter, the budding New Jersey membership came from many different towns and counties, mostly representing the north­ern and central portions of the state. Hence the name New Jersey Girl Friends was appropriate for this new, early chapter in the Girl Friends organization. New Jersey is very proud to have had one of its charter members, Fannie Vick Berryman, to be one of the signers of the "Certificate of Incorporation" in the year 1938.

New Orleans Chapter



The New Orleans Chapter of Girl Friends was launched in the fall of 1974 with Barbara Clanton at the helm and the Chicago Chapter as warm and supportive sponsors. At that time, there were twenty-three enthusiastic Girl Friends in the group. During the years that followed Girl Friends Inez Anderson, Iris Haydel, Lou-Adrian Reed, Marguerite Rucker, Bobbie Bernard, Roberta Tyson, Pat Moorehead and Arminta Bolden have guided our chapter through the channels and byways of fun and friendship.

The annual Friendship Luncheon that the New Orleans Girl Friends host in December has become an activity anticipated by all. We also look forward each year to the Casino Night, which has become a favorite of our guests.

New York Chapter



In the summer of August 1927, Eunice Shreeves had the vision to invite four close friends to her home to form a social club for the purpose of maintaining and continuing the friendships they had established that year. Henri Younge, Lillie Mae Riddick, Elnorist Younge, Thelma Whittaker and Eunice knew that they would be away at school for a good part of the year, but felt that their club in the city would confirm and reinforce their friendship. The historic meeting was held over the now-famous "Pot of Stew" and the young women quickly determined the direction of their group. Lillie Mae suggested the name "Girl Friends" from a popular tune of the day; they selected club colors of apple and emerald green; a club flower, the Marshall Neal Rose (now the Tea Rose) and the names of other friends they would invite to join them.

Those who were originally invited and remained in the group to see it grow into a national organization included Ruth Byrd, Constance Cottrell, Helen Hayes, Rae Dudley, Anna Murphy and Dorothy Spraggins Roarke. The group chose Bessie Bearden as their chaperone. Ms. Bearden was a prominent newspaper-woman and it was her son, the celebrated artist Romare, who designed the 1952 Chatterbox cover, which was dedicated to the New York Chapter's 25th Anniversary.

Newport News Chapter



In 1937, Norvaleate Downing invited thirteen women to meet in her home to discuss the feasibility of forming an interest group whose long range plan and purpose would be to join a national organization known as The Girl Friends®, Inc.

No name was given the group; however, they pursued their goal unrelentingly. Theresa Palmer served as corresponding secretary, making contacts with national officers and the Baltimore Chapter of Girl Friends, who served as the sponsor of the group. In May of 1938 when the Conclave met, the Newport News group was accepted for membership. The following December, the Newport News Chapter of Girl Friends was established.

The charter members included: Alleyne Blayton*, Norvaleate Downing (Gross)*, Alita Hodges (Picott)*, Anita Howard (Baker), Gwendolyn Lewis (Roper)*, Inez Little (Tucker), Alice Mason (Collins)*, Dorothy Palmer (Cotton)*, Theresa Palmer (Edgecomb), Mattie Ross (Reid), Jean Walker*, Rebecca Ward* and Minnie Whiting.

Norfolk Chapter



The Norfolk Chapter had its beginning when the Newport News Chapter extended the hand of friendship across the water in 1947 and invited Sara Ashe, Lena Bass, Alethia Fentress, Violet Harrison, Eloise Majette, Georgia Quarles, Rebecca Riddick, Aileen Spiller and Marguerite Young to become members of their chapter. Later they were joined by Lillie Riddick, Rachel Smith, Jessie Sydnor, Mattie Gilliam and Ruth Waters.

In January 1969, through a special dispensation, the National Girl Friends, Inc. granted a charter to Sara Ashe, Alethia Fentress, Lena Bass, Marguerite Young, Violet Harrison, Mattie Gilliam and Rachel Smith to become the Norfolk Chapter.

Orlando Chapter



The Orlando Chapter of The Girl Friends®, Inc. is the 33rd Chapter and was established on October 11, 1980 under the sponsorship of the Houston Chapter. The guiding light was Linda Reddick, who organized the forerunner interest group, "Just Pals," with a plan to become affiliated with The Girl Friends®, Incorporated.

The charter members included: Mary H. Brinson, Beatrice Bruton (deceased), M. Jean C. Butler, Juanita L. Coleman, Lottie C. Collins (inactive), Carmen Danley, Virgie B. Dorsey, Alvane M. Forest (deceased), Evelyn D. Golden (inactive), Adrienne Harrison (inactive, deceased), June M. Henry (emeritus), Susie B. Jackson (deceased), Elizabeth M. Johnson (transferred out), Mary Morall (deceased), Jena E. Pertee (inactive), Marian G. Pinder (emeritus), Linda H. Reddick (deceased), Lutricia Sowell (inactive), Geraldine F. Thompson (inactive), Clifford Wells (deceased), Martha Williams (deceased) and Marjorie T. Woolfork (emeritus).

Philadelphia Chapter



The Philadelphia Chapter of Girl Friends originated in 1928 when Dorothy Townes called a group together to form a club for friendship and community service. Having spent the summer of 1927 at Camp Guilford Bower in NewYork State, Dottie met a group of young women interested in forming a club. There, the nucleus of Girl Friends was formed. During 1928 the Philadelphia group was invited by the New York Girl Friends to discuss formation of intercity social and civic activities.

At this first meeting of the two groups, the Philadelphia club was installed as a Girl Friend chapter.

The Philadelphia Chapter sponsored the Baltimore Chapter which had been formed from a group of Philly friends in that city. In addition to Baltimore, Philadelphia has sponsored New Jersey, Boston, Pittsburgh and Columbus.

Dottie Townes initiated the idea that a national organization was needed and in 1933 this was accomplished. Dottie's contributions to the history of Girl Friends also included: The "Brainchild" behind the Chatterbox and its first edi­tor; Establishing Friendship Week during her administration as National President; and the formal installation ceremony.

Pittsburgh Chapter



The Pittsburgh Chapter became the tenth chapter installed of The Girl Friends®, Inc. in 1947, when Philadelphia Chapter addressed a request of their member, the late Catherine Smith, to sponsor Pittsburgh. GF Catherine Smith was a former Pittsburgher who had moved to Philadelphia with her husband, the late DJ. Shephard Smith, a distinguished physician. Catherine Smith truly missed her Pittsburgh friends and was, therefore, anxious to have them as Girl Friends.

Catherine contacted her friends Billie Brown, Wini Houston and Tola Schalk Johnson who, in turn, called some friends to join them. Anita Wheatley, National President, installed the Steel City Chapter, in candlelight rites in the Oakmont home of Jessie and Robert L. Vann, where Toki lived. Assisting in the Initiation were Dorothy Bostic and Connye Cotterell (both New York), Altia Picott (Richmond) and sponsoring chapter (Philadelphia) members, Lucille Blondin, Ruth Jackson, Frances Rainey, Dorothy Townes and Elizabeth "Lits" Young.

Potomac Chapter



In the spring of 1979,Carol Ann Jackson Iglesias organized a group of intelligent ,talented and creative young women. We unanimously agreed that we would be called Eighteen Karats. Carol had the vision and dream that one day we would become a part of Girl Friends, Inc. We all shared a desire to strengthen the bonds of friendship and serve our community individually and collectively. Marita Nelson Turner contacted a close family friend, Doris Wheeler (Baltimore Chapter). Doris graciously agreed to share our interest with her chapter. With enthusiasm and friendship, the Baltimore Girl Friends with Helen Patterson serving as President sponsored Eighteen Karats.

On November 16, 1985, the Eighteen Karats with Deanna Ford Horton serving as President were installed as the Potomac Chapter of Girl Friends, Inc. The beautiful candlelight ceremony attended by Girl Friends from all over the country was indeed a night to remember. The following members were installed on this unforgettable evening: Nesta Bernard, Irene Carter, Joyce Chandler, Sandra Days, Jeanette Edmead, Dorothy Gaither, Anita Hall, Deanna Horton, Casma Huie, Carol Iglesias, Alexine Jackson, Shirley Jones, Eveline Lloyd, Carmel Norcom, Doris Payne, Dorothea Saunders, Jackie Threadgill, Cecile Tolliver, Marita Turner, Barbara Ward and Alease Williams.

Richmond Chapter



Sixty-two years ago, in May 1938, a group of young women known as the "Dilettantes" was accepted by the National Group into membership of The Girl Friends®, Inc. Richmond became the llth chapter in the National Organization of Girl Friends. The officers and charter members were: Gussie Ferguson, President; Daphne Quarles, Vice President; Lillian Brown, Recording Secretary; Marjorie Cephas, Treasurer; Sue Clay, Corresponding Secretary; Grace Binga, Jeanette Graves, Alice Houston, Mary Mabin and Nina Motion. Later Estelle Clarke and Marie Jones were added to the original group as new members. The Richmond Girl Friends were formally introduced to the other members of the Girl Friend family at the National Conclave in Brooklyn, New York in 1939. The delegates, Lillian Brown and Gussie Ferguson, assisted by Marjorie Cephas, presented a skit entitled "A Bit of Ribbon."

The new chapter of Girl Friends made its Richmond debut at a formal banquet at the Miller's Hotel with Boy Friends as special guests. Over the sixty-two years of its existence, the Richmond Chapter has participated actively in the national life of The Girl Friends®, Inc. In 1952, 1955 and 1960, we hosted "Good Neighbor get-togethers," and actively supported the social purpose of our organization.

Roanoke Chapter



Installation: In November 1948, a group of twelve girls known as the Junior Women's Club became charter members of the Roanoke Chapter of The Girl Friends®, Inc., sponsored by the Richmond and Newport News Chapters. National President Dorothy Bostic presided at the installation ceremony held at the home of La Verne C. and Joseph G. Fuller.

Charter Members: Georgia C. Brown was our first president. Other members were Roberta S. Cassell, Ann W. Coleman, Dorothy W. Jones, Malena B. Law, Julia A. Law, Sadye V. Lawson, Alyce S. Moore, Letitia M. Penn, Elizabeth Pawley, La Verne C. Fuller and Evelyn B. Skipper.

San Diego Chapter



The mantra of Sparkles of the Pacific is persistence and staying the course. It all started in 1981 when a group of friends would get together to celebrate their birthdays. In addition to that they attended movies, entertained at each other’s homes and went on shopping excursions. They called themselves The Leos because all of them were born under that astrological sign. Around 1984, the group of ladies decided to expand their group to 10 more friends. The group continued their fun and frolic renaming themselves Del Chartier. Del Chartier had a splendid time of traveling to Mexico, sailing on private yachts, attending plays, and entertaining in their homes. The group, understanding the hardships and tribulations of others, sponsored annual coat and food drives for the less fortunate within the community.

Over the years, Del Chartier added several new members and continued their social activities in earnest while renaming itself the Sparkles of the Pacific. In the summer of 2008, Vivian Tuck and Ingrid Chapman saw GF Deane Brewer and discussed the possibility of the California Chapter of The Girl Friends sponsoring them as an interest group with the hopes of becoming a part of The Girl Friends®, Incorporated. It was decided in 2011 that the California Chapter of The Girl Friends would sponsor the Sparkles of the Pacific. At the annual 78th National Conclave held in Cincinnati, Ohio on May 25, 2013, the Sparkles of the Pacific were voted to become the 47th Chapter of The Girl Friends®, Inc. On November 9, 2013, at the pristine Marriott Resort Hotel and Spa on Coronado Island, California the Sparkles of the Pacific were installed as the 47th chapter of The Girl Friends®, Inc.

Seattle Chapter



The Seattle Girls was founded in 1998 by GF Linda Dunn Gillis with the help of her long time friend, Sheila Pitre Holmes. She called upon 20 of her friends in Seattle, to meet and form a new civic/social group, which later would be known as the Seattle Girls. Linda organized and planned this group so that some day they would seek membership, and become a part of the National Organization of The Girl Friends®, Incorporated, an organization that Linda joined while residing in a suburb of Albany, New York. October 18, 2006, the Seattle Girls were installed as the newest chapter in The Girl Friends®, Incorporated.

Springfield Chapter



The Springfield Chapter of The Girl Friends®, Inc. exists because of the combined efforts of Agnes Borole Clarke, a New Haven Girl Friend, and Lillian Jones of Springfield. In the early thirties, Agnes was visiting in Springfield and while at the home of "Lil" Jones, they talked about their involvement in various civic and social activities. "Lil" was very enthusiastic about a local group of young women called "Junior Matrons", and Agnes talked about Girl Friends. At that time Agnes suggested that the Junior Matrons consider membership in the national organization of Girl Friends. New Haven agreed to sponsor this Springfield group.
At the 1935 National Conclave in Baltimore, New Haven submitted our cre­dentials and we were accepted by the National body. On September 5, 1935, at the installation held at the Hotel Kimball, the Junior Matrons became the Springfield Chapter, the seventh chapter of The Girl Friends. The candlelight ceremony conducted by our national officers and the New Haven members ended with Girl Friends drinking from the "Cup of Friendship".

St. Louis Chapter



In November of 1972, a quest that spanned almost ten years was fulfilled when the St. Louisiennes became the St. Louis Chapter of The Girl Friends®, Inc. The St. Louisiennes came from two dynamic nuclei: the Clique, a club which sought membership in Girl Friends in the 1960s; and GF Louise Bond of Louisville, KY, who brought the message to a group of Anita Bond's friends that Girl Friends planned to expand in the 70s. In 1970 the two groups joined in a mutu­al desire to pursue the St. Louis application for Girl Friends. On November 25, 1972, sponsored by the Trenton Chapter, a sparkling installation weekend took place at the Chase Park Plaza Hotel.

Toledo Chapter



The Toledo Chapter of the Girl Friends and its twin Ohio Chapter, Cincinnati, were established in 1960 with twelve members. Charter members were: Thelma O Adams, Louise Brower, Joan Coleman, Genevieve Dale, Dorothy Dennis, Helen Duffy, Yvonne Gandy, Catherine Holland, Thelma Jones, Katie Martin, Margaret Smith and Jacqueline Thomas. The current roster consists of twenty-three active members, six emeritus members, one member-at-large and one life member. The chapter has been committed to social and humanitarian service from the outset. Among our civic, cultural and philanthropic contributions were an African Tea honoring African college students in the area; a lecture on mil­itary heroes in the post civil war era, "The Buffalo Soldier," by William Leckie, former dean of the Graduate School at the University of Toledo; a concert by the Toledo Afro-American Youth Choir to provide scholarships for young stu­dents; a seminar at the University of Toledo on "Women and the Law;" an exhi­bition of the work of P.H. Polk, the renowned Tuskegee, Alabama photogra­pher, in conjunction with the University of Toledo Library; and a "Jazz Concert for Charity" with proceeds given to the Kitchen for the Poor and Mom's House, a day care center for children of single mothers.

Trenton Chapter



Beginning as a group of sixteen friends known as the "Jewels," we endured many months of high expectations and hard work to achieve our goal of becoming members of Girl Friends, Inc. Under the guidance and leadership of our sponsor, the New Jersey Chapter, official recognition of our acceptance as a new chapter occurred on May 29, 1962 at the National Conclave hosted by the Albany Chapter at the Concord Hotel in Lake Kiameisha, New York.

Less than a year later on March 30, 1963, the "Jewels" were duly installed as the Trenton Chapter of Girl Friends at the Palmer Motor Inn, Route One, Princeton, New Jersey. Following a memorable installation service and an afternoon of fellowship and fun, we celebrated with a fabulous party at the home of new Girl Friend Eloise Williams.

Washington Chapter



Friends are God's precious gift, gifts of warmth and care that come when some-one takes the time to listen and to share, gifts of joy and grace found in the touch of gentle hands, the smile on someone's face. As we move into the new millennium, we reflect on the past especially the last five years.

The Washington Chapter of Girl Friends was sponsored by the Baltimore Chapter and was accepted into the national organization on May 8, 1936 at the Annual Conclave in Boston, Massachusetts. (Vivian "Buster" Marshall was the National President at the time).

The Charter members were formerly eight friends known since 1933 as the "Jolly Eight."