Oleander 2 Civic and Social Club celebrates 20 years

Published 9:15 am Wednesday, February 28, 2024

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February and Black History Month are always special for the Oleander 2 Civic and Social Club, but this year is even more special as the club is celebrating its 20-year anniversary.

The club was established in February 2004 as legacies of their Founding Mother’s The Oleander Club.

The Oleander Club was established in June 1975 by the six founding members: Ethel Robertson, Addie Simpson, Annie McGhee Glover, Hazel Lewis, Betty Trawick, and Ruby Crittenden. Ethel Robertson served as the organization’s president. Hazel Lewis was the vice-president, Addie Simpson was the secretary, and Betty Trawick was the assistant secretary. Addie Simpson, Annie McGhee Glover, and Ruby Crittenden are the remaining living founding members.

Emma Locke and Lelia Horry Sims are the current president and treasurer, respectively. Although the remaining nine members are not as active as they were in the past, they are instrumental in supporting the projects of the Oleander 2 Civic and Social Club.

Affectionately known as the O2’s, the organization strives to follow the principles of The Oleander Club’s “Service, Fitness, Unity, and Scholarship” in their quest to advocate on behalf of persons throughout the community by providing programs and services in the empowerment areas of education, health, economic development, gender equity, and leadership development.

The club has hosted several projects that include back-to-school drives, donating toiletries to Southern Care Hospice, providing support to grieving families, providing scholarships to Andalusia High School and Covington County High Schools African American seniors, hosting a Tasting Fair, and hosting the annual HBCU and Career Fair. This fair provides the community and surrounding areas with information on Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU), educational opportunities in the area of forestry, and natural resources at Lurleen B. Wallace Community College. In addition, potential internship and job opportunities with the USDA Forest Service and other local career and job opportunities are offered.

The club is looking forward to collaborating on some projects with other clubs and organizations in the Andalusia area that are currently being discussed. Members are excited about giving back to the community and keeping their Founding Mothers’ spirit alive, while they also charter the club’s own course.

The club currently consists of 20 members who primarily live in Andalusia but also have members located in cities in Florida, Georgia, and Texas that live by the club’s motto “Temporary Defeat Never Spells Failure.”

The club’s Executive Board consists of President Paula Simpson, Vice-President Michele Robertson, Secretary Bridgette Trawick, Treasurer Shirley Trawick, and Financial Secretary Traci Locke.

The club’s leadership closed with a quote by Denzel Washington, which states, “At the end of the day, it’s not about what you have or even what you’ve accomplished. It’s about what you’ve done with those accomplishments. It’s about who you’ve lifted up, who you’ve made better. It’s about what you’ve given back.”

For more information about the O2’s visit linktr.ee/oleander2civicandsocialclub or email o2.sist3rs@gmail.com.