By Michelle Colesanti

The Brandon Christian Women’s Connection (BCWC) recently met in May for a picnic. It was a beautiful day, but they didn’t have to worry about bugs or rain since it was held indoors. During that recent “picnic” meeting, they were entertained by a sixth-generation Florida native, Todd Terrell, who was raised in the Brandon area. Having studied Florida History and American Studies at USF, Terrell is currently a Technical Instructor at the Bloomingdale Regional Library. He entertained with some humorous stories about trips taken in Florida.

The ladies learned that there was much about the state they may not have known, and plenty of unique places to visit. During that same meeting, they were entertained by singer Brenda Copher and Riverview resident Barbara McClamma, an educator for 52 years, who presented an uplifting Christian based speech.

BCWC is a part of Stonecroft Ministries. They are an international Christian organization designed to strengthen friendships, family and faith. Trenna Russ said, “The CWC Motto is ‘Connecting women to God, each other, and their communities.’  We work hard to do just that and we have a great doing it.”

The local Brandon group began in 2001 when Millie Warren, who had been in a CWC group elsewhere and then new to the Brandon area, was approached by the Stonecroft office to see if she would start one in Brandon. She had to have 15 women interested and Stonecroft Ministries would coordinate the start up. Presently there are 60- 80 women who participate each month.

The BCWC meets once a month from September-May for lunch and a themed program. The group is non-denominational and there is no membership required. Some of the past year’s luncheon themes included Celebrate America, Proudly Wearing Pink, Joy to the World, Tea for Two, and Brighten Your Life with Flowers.

Linda Haines, who has been a member since 2002 said, “It’s a wonderful place to meet new ladies who have common interests”. Linda Sherman agrees with her. Although Sherman has only belonged to this group for the last six months, she said, “I really enjoy coming and meeting different women.”

The next meeting of BCWC will be Monday, September 9 at Bell Shoals Baptist Church . For more information on BCWC, call Lilly Hobbs 740-0098 or Trenna Russ 689-7853.


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Michelle has been with the Osprey Observer for almost nine years, and her current position is Assignment Editor. She resides in Bloomingdale with her husband Phil, two sons, Philip and Matthew, and Tigger the cat.