By Kyle LoJacono
The New Tampa Junior Woman’s Club has lost a familiar member from its board of directors.
Patricia Murphy, the club’s public relations chairwoman, has resigned her position citing actions by new members on the board.
“I have donated over 3,000 hours to the club, and I assumed the new board would be loyal to my projects,” Murphy said.
Kim Rothman, president of the New Tampa organization, said the decision to direct money in other directions is in keeping with the 16-year-old club’s current vision.
“This current administration’s focus is mainly geared to children’s and women’s health, safety and education issues, and GFWC’s signature project, domestic violence awareness,” Rothman said. “Additionally, the presidents at the state and national level spearhead projects, and our club will be utilizing our fundraising efforts to support those two chosen projects in addition to our many others.”
Murphy, a Land O’ Lakes resident, said she joined the club in 2009 because she “wanted to work together with other woman to improve the community.”
Murphy said her main focus has been with the Books for Troops project that collected 6,500 books last October to send to U.S. soldiers serving abroad.
Murphy said the New Tampa club awarded the project $1,000 in February, but the board rescinded that offer while announcing that it would not give any financial support to Books for Troops in 2012.
“I couldn’t believe the finance committee didn’t provide any financial support for the project this year,” Murphy said.
Murphy said the club had $8,000 in unallocated funds, but stated the “beginning of the end” of her time with the board was when she learned a past president gave $300 to the wait staff at Stonewood Grill & Tavern in New Tampa.
“The $300 was a catering cost for monthly meetings that we have at Stonewood,” Rothman said. “We have a great partnership with Stonewood, and they are very generous to our club. However, the $300 was taken from our administrative/operating budget, not from our special projects/fundraising budget.”
Murphy said she will maintain her club membership in order to work as an advisor with the Juniorettes, the branch of the General Federation of Woman’s Clubs (GFWC) for girls ages 12 to 18.
“It’s unlikely I will be providing any assistance to the Juniors this year,” Murphy said. “Fortunately, there are several other GFWC clubs in Tampa that support Books for Troops, so I will still be very busy.”
Murphy has received several honors for her work with GFWC organizations. She is the current Junior Volunteer of the Year and has received the Gail Hill Smith Marketing Award from the Florida GFWC on behalf of the New Tampa Juniors for her work on the Books for Troops project.
“I am committed to volunteer service and proudly donate at least 1,000 hours a year,” Murphy said. “It was humbling to be recognized by my peers for my volunteer service and commitment to community.”
Rothman said she and the board appreciates Murphy’s volunteer service and commitment to Books for Troops.
“We continue to support other military-related advocacy programs and GFWC partners, such as Sew Much Comfort, United Services Organization and also provide funds for the men and women at our local VA hospital,” Rothman said. “We remain committed to serving the needs of the communities and GFWC adopted partners, not the individual member.”
Murphy said the Books for Troops drive is on track with the help of the Lutz-Pasco Juniors and the Lutz-Land O’ Lakes Woman’s clubs.
Book collection sites will be in set up in New Tampa, Wesley Chapel, Land O’ Lakes, Lutz and Carrollwood. Locations will be announced later this month. To participate, call (813) 991-6152.