Edmond has grown from a small railroad town to a community of over 100,000 citizens thanks to a culture of growth and a strong sense of community.
Local volunteer organization, Edmond Women’s Club, was founded on these very similar pillars. Created in 1983, by five women — Saundra Gragg, Mary Ellen Talleric, Penny Glass, Mary Alice Nelson, and Mitzie Shadid — this volunteer organization was built on a shared desire to serve the Edmond community through fundraising and grant disbursements. Having participated in similar organizations in Oklahoma City, these women decided it was time to invest their time and skills to support their own community in Edmond.
Countless members have participated in Edmond Women’s Club over the past 37 years, but the mission remains the same. All members live and work in the Edmond community, and several of them are Edmond business owners themselves.
Local business owners giving back
Speaker, author, and Venture Life Coaching owner, Karla Docter, joined the organization in 2019.
“Our businesses are only as strong as the community they are in,” Docter said. “Being a part of an organization that loves and serves the community is extremely important to me, and that in and of itself makes it an important investment of my time. An additional bonus is getting to develop relationships with other like-minded women that are making an impact.”
Karla started her business after losing a close friend and mentor. She realized life is precious and she wanted to leave a legacy of helping others overcome adversity to create the life and business they desire. She created a simple framework focused on helping others create more time, money, and impact so that every person she works with can lead a fulfilling life.
Edmond real estate agent, Kristin Westfahl, also has a heart for service, which is what drew her to the real estate business and Edmond Women’s Club.
“I chose to be a realtor because I love helping others make one of the most important decisions in their life.” She said. Westfahl has been an EWC member for over a year, but in that short time, she created a strong connection to the other members of the club.
“I’ll admit, I initially joined the club to meet women in the area, and I have met some wonderful friends. It soon hit me, however, just how important it is to volunteer and support those in need right here in our community,” she said. “The more work, time, and money that we can put back into our community is only going to make it better and better. My husband and I love Edmond so much and we truly enjoy investing in our community through EWC. It is so important to help the citizens of Edmond in every way that we can.”
“As an Edmond business owner, it is my calling to support the residents of the community I work in,” said Heather Langhofer, owner of Grace Allen Design. Having worked with her parents, who created plantation shutters in Stillwater for years, Heather decided to branch out and start her own business focused on drapery design. Heather has been active in the club for six years, serving various leadership roles before taking on her current role as president.
“Edmond is a great place to raise a family, and being in Edmond Women’s Club helps me connect with others, give back to my community, and forge friendships with like-minded women.”
Edmond Women’s Club supports a multitude of nonprofit organizations in Edmond. Last year, EWC members volunteered approximately 260 hours of community service, awarded $77,000 in grants to 24 area nonprofit organizations, and gifted $9,850 in student scholarships.
Cheri Weaver is the executive director of Wings, an organization whose mission is to enhance the lives of adults born with intellectual and developmental disabilities through educational and vocational training. “Our partnership with Edmond Women’s Club is rich in so many ways,” Weaver said. “Through the years, the women in EWC have worked so hard to raise money and fund our grant request for adaptive bikes, computer supplies, and hygiene kit supplies to help our members learn vocational skills and donate their work to our other nonprofit partners serving the hungry and homeless.”
Club members also volunteer their time to beautify the Wings campus, volunteer at the Day Program, and help spread the Wings mission by volunteering at the Wings Annual Fall Festival,” she said. “It takes 400 volunteers to make the 12-day event a success, and we are thankful for all of the help we receive from the Edmond Women’s Club.”
Other Edmond organizations the club supports include Edmond Mobile Meals, Miracle League, UR Special, and HOPE Center, just to name a few. This year the organization is striving to add new members so they can provide even more support and fundraising than in years past.
Member Kickoff event
EWC will host a 2020-2021 Member Kickoff event on Aug 20th at the Hilton Garden Inn. If you would like to learn more or get involved, President Heather Langhofer encourages you to register for this event on their website. Edmond Women’s Club offers the opportunity to connect with and support a variety of Edmond organizations. Whether you are a business owner or a caring citizen looking for a way to give back in Edmond, consider investing your time in Edmond Women’s Club.
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About Kelly Vaughn
Kelly Vaughn completed her Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Maryland-European Division while living overseas as a military spouse. She holds a Master of Business Administration from the University of Central Oklahoma, where she is also employed. She is a graduate of Leadership Edmond, Class XXV and is actively involved in the Edmond community. Kelly enjoys business and leadership books and podcasts, spending time with her family, attending concerts, and traveling.