The Apollo Beach Woman's Club recently recognized women who have been active for 10 or more years in the Club.

It has been a great start to the New Year for members of the Apollo Beach Woman’s Club (ABWC). At the monthly luncheon in February, food items were collected for Backpacks on a Mission, an outreach ministry program at Shore United Methodist Church which provides a weekend supply of nutritious food to 108 children. These children have breakfast and lunch in their schools—Summerfield Elementary, Summerfield Crossing Elementary and Corr Elementary, Friday through Monday. The backpacks are delivered with food on Friday to the schools and the empty backpacks are picked up on Monday.

The ABWC has been serving the community since 1959 and will soon celebrate 60 years of serving its community. The primary mission of its 144 members is providing scholarships for the education and training of students who live in Apollo Beach and surrounding areas with a demonstrated financial need and also helping local elementary schools with clothing and food needs.

Back in January, some members were recognized for their longevity as active members. Sonja Davidson was recognized as having belonged to the club for 40 years.

“I consider all of the ladies as my sisters, which is important because my sister is gone. I spent my 40 years as an ABWC member in happiness. I’ve done different things as a member. I appreciate being an honorary member. I’m always trying to help someone. I’m always giving something to the ladies at every luncheon, like a thoughtful poem, fun fact or candy on Valentine’s Day. I like to make the ladies smile and laugh. That’s the point. When you make them laugh, you’ve done your job. Laugh and smile and be happy for that moment.”

As chair of the ABWC sunshine committee, Davidson sends out cards to members and their loved ones who are sick, celebrating a birthday or just to say that the ladies at the ABWC are thinking about them.

“I’m not rich, so I give from the heart.” The ABWC gives her the opportunity to spread her sunshine. Janet Pizzichetti has belonged for 35 years. “I just enjoy coming and being with the different women; seeing how the club has changed. It’s great. It has changed and grown,” she said.

Also recognized were Carole Newsome and Beverly Fletchall for 25 years, Ginny Burrow and Genevieve Waite for 20 years and Kathy Baryza, Beverley Brooks, Stephanie Betz, Marion Loverde and Dottie Drouin for 10 years.

ABWC meets at 12 Noon on the second Wednesday of each month, September through May. If you are interested in membership, the next monthly luncheon will be held on Wednesday, April 10 at Apollo’s Bistro, located at 6520 Richies Way in Apollo Beach. Michelle Michaud, Supervisory Librarian for Hillsborough County, will present on the free resources available from the local library. The cost is $18.

For reservations, contact Sharon Vasquez at 641-7856 or sharonlvasquez@verizon.net. Reservations must be made and paid for by Friday, April 5.

For information, visit www.apollobeachwomansclub.com or contact Claudia Gassett at 352-258-4580 or claudiagassett@me.com.