Masontown BPW continues to champion women and give back to the community | Progress
Over 100 years ago, organizing business and professional women began as a way to support women in business.
In 1948, Masontown businesswomen started a local chapter that has since grown.
“It was always to promote women’s causes,” said Denice Robinson of Masontown BPW, who serves as a parliamentarian for the chapter. “And equal pay has always, always been at the core.”
So have the same rights and equal access to health care, she said.
“Any of the many women’s causes that we still have today,” she said. “One hundred and three years later, we are still fighting for equality, but I really see things changing.”
The organization as a whole began in 1919.
“Because women had just gotten the right to vote, it was the (BPW) women who said we really wanted to organize ourselves and do what we could to help promote women in business,” said Robinson.
Locally, BPW Masontown does a lot to help the community, including working at the Masontown Senior Center, where members sponsor holiday parties and other events. They also fundraise for children’s events, Robinson said.
Last year, current chapter president Barbara Harmon became a local chapter director of Twilight Wish, a national nonprofit whose mission is to honor and enrich the lives of people. over 65 and have an income below 200% of the poverty line. or are residents of a nursing facility. The group brought gifts to 105 Uniontown Healthcare and Rehabilitation residents in October. Gifts included clothing, lotions, perfumes, jewelry, magazines, books, puzzle books, and anything residents requested. Sixty walkie-talkies were also donated for use in weekly games at the facility.
Harmon learned about the foundation through the Business and Professional Women’s Foundation, which selected the Twilight Wish Foundation as its annual fundraiser recipient. She said that after applying to start a local, she became its director.
“I have a thing for veterans and old people,” she said in October. “It seemed like the right thing to do.”
The organization also distributes 12 scholarships of $2,500 a year through the BPW of Pennsylvania, according to Robinson.
“Depending on your interests, members could get involved in projects, advocacy, or just socially,” Robinson said.
And membership is not limited to businesswomen, she noted. All women can register, men too.
“Membership is open to everyone. We do not discriminate,” she said.
“I think the biggest myth is that you have to be a business owner to join. You don’t. We have teachers, people who work in banking,” Robinson said. is really an eclectic group of women who come from all types of professions and industries. And we have women who are housewives. For them, it’s a nice evening once a month.
Robinson said new members are always welcome.
The club meets at 6 p.m. on the second Tuesday of each month from September through June at the Masontown Senior Center, 22 S. Main St., Masontown.