Nearly 80 women gathered at Santee Electric Cooperative May 9, for the Professional Women’s Organization’s first annual Celebration Women of Williamsburg County. The luncheon included guest speaker Dr. Michelle Butterworth who presented a powerful speech about women’s issues. Not your typical mom (store bought cupcakes on a fancy plate). Butterworth used each letter of the word “woman” to describe worth, opportunity, mission, action, nurturing.
Butterworth also pointed to the disparaging fact that women are paid disproportionately less to their male counterparts. “We need to change that, and you change that by speaking up,” said Butterworth. She received a standing ovation.
The luncheon also honored four professional women: Retired educator and owner of the education consulting firm, The Gamble Group, Jennifer Gardner Sabb; Williamsburg Regional Hospital CEO Sharon Poston; Williamsburg Technical College President Dr. Patty Lee; and former principal and educator and a member of the SC State Board of Education representing the 3rd Judicial Circuit, Janice Gamble.
W.C. Probate Judge Betty Matthews was Mistress of Ceremonies. “Aren’t we proud to be a woman,” said Matthews at the conclusion of the event. “I hope this will not be the last time we come together.” Sponsors for the event were Kingstree/Lake City Alumnae Chapter Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. and WIRE (Women Involved in Rural Electrification).Delta Sigma Theta Sorority projects include tutorial programs, workshops, and participation in the Read America Program.WIRE is a nonprofit organization whose mission is to foster interest in and understanding of the rural electric program and to improve the quality of life in rural areas. Each month the local group chooses a project and during May they are collecting donated gently used purses that will be filled with personal items that will be given to women’s shelters in the area. Luncheon guests donated over 30 purses.
The Professional Women’s Organization consists of a diverse group of professional women who meet once a month to share career information, personal experiences, and other helpful subjects of interest to support and encourage each other. Each year the organization sponsors a scholarship to one graduating senior attending the four high schools in Williamsburg County.
For more information about becoming a member of the organization contact Williamsburg HomeTown Chamber Director Leslee Spivey at (843) 355-6431. If you would like to become involved in WIRE you may call (843) 355-6187.