President's Message from Chris Rigamonti

     Who's Smarter than a Fifth Grader, you ask? For many years in my teaching career, I taught this grade level. Although I thoroughly enjoyed my job, it was challenging at times. I often did not feel "Smarter than a Fifth Grader."
     I can definitely tell you a group of women that is in all respects.  Everyone who took part, from the script author to the actresses to the AV crew, is Oscar deserving. I would be surprised if anyone left The Woodlands Resort and Conference Center without smiling that afternoon.
     During the past 35 years, scores of "Smarter than a Fifth Grader" CWJF women have dedicated themselves to doing what they do best ... serving children, families and the elderly in our community, while simultaneously bringing joy and friendship to its members.  Since this is the beginning of the 35th anniversary year of CWJF, it is going to be a year of celebration.  
     Let’s begin with the Provisional Class, The Crowns.  What an appropriate name for these 22 ladies who have already donned their Blue Army attire to serve in our programs.   When HMUS needed a few extra hands to assist with the flood donations, some of them answered the call being shining examples of having hearts for service.
     It has been written that “Happiness comes when you believe in what you are doing,  know what you are doing, and love what you are doing.”  This describes our members and their dedication to our Service Programs.  We celebrate our Signature Programs, ones that CWJF is solely responsible for implementing.  Baxter the Bookworm, a reading advocacy program for preschoolers, is expanding this year to include a Pre School Center in Klein ISD.   BookSmart successfully presented “Bubba the Cowboy Prince” in Title I schools in our area and is actively seeking an affiliation with Texas Children’s Hospital new facility being built in The Woodlands.   Our four Forum Friends programs served countless lunches to seniors with so many creative themes.   FAST Friends North and South entertained their senior friends with everything from movies to tea parties.
     We also celebrate our partner programs that involve the area’s seniors.  Volunteering at NAM 50+ may have had you watching these active “29” year olds dancing to a Mariachi band.  The same group performed at Regent Care, where there may not have been much dancing, but toe tapping and many smiles told the story.   The Melodies also provide entertainment at our senior programs and Paradise Springs Thursday Night Bunco Group is an evening filled with laughter.
     Moving on to the younger set, school supplies brought grins to children both at NAM and Interfaith in August.  While the immunizations at NAM and TOMAGWA probably didn’t bring this same feeling to the children, their parents had the comfort of knowing that they were protected.  CWJF ladies are perfect guides for students at both the Klein Art Days and the CWMP Children’s Festival.  Our programs at New Danville and Reach Unlimited working with adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities provide a true understanding of the depth of our service.  While assisting the families at MCWC Gift Distribution, MOW or TEAM, the ladies are rewarded by the recipients’ appreciative expressions.  And, don’t even try to compare Lucy and Ethel to the volunteers at the Humanitarian Peanut Butter Canning Project!
     Did we impact the community?  Well, this year, Operation Interdependence, a Service Program where our volunteers assemble boxes of C-Rations and prepare them for shipping to our armed forces and their families was the recipient of our $15,000 Community Outreach Spotlight Grant which will be used for postage.  After interviewing senior girls from six area school districts, 36 Scholarships were presented to these talented young ladies.  Just like the Melodies provide entertainment at our Service Programs, the Petticoats and Parasols presented their vintage fashion show in several locations that drew praise from all of the spectators.
     After reading about all of the Service and Community Outreach programs and what they accomplished this year, one has to wonder how many hours did our women spend in our community.  Drumroll, please….the totals were 13, 061 Service Hours and 17,367 Support Hours for a grand total of 30,428 hours!  If one wants to take that number a step further, CWJF wonder women spent the equivalent of 3.47 years dedicated to making a difference in the lives of children, families and the elderly.  Can you imagine if we had a total of all the hours spent since 1981?
     Cypress-Woodlands Junior Forum women are successful at whatever they set out to do.  They “Shoot for the Stars” in all aspects of the organization, so this was an appropriate title for this year’s Fundraiser.  Members and friends were invited to enjoy an evening at one of the three Soirees that were spaced over the course of the year.  Proceeds amounting to $119,136  will help finance our Service Programs this coming year.  Many thanks go out to all who worked on making this 28th Annual Fundraiser the profitable event that it was.
     We have many reasons to celebrate CWJF and its members during this 35th year of service to our community.  We are a wonderful combination of very kind hearts joined with a wish to serve others.  I am proud, but also very humbled to serve as your President this year.  Thank you so much for this privilege. 

Chris


 

Cypress-Woodlands Junior Forum

16000 Stuebner Airline, Suite 240, Spring Texas 77379
Phone: (281) 379-1391 Fax: (281) 379-1393
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