WOMEN’S HISTORY MONTH SALUTES THE LEAGUE OF EXTRAORDINARY WOMEN: THE LATCHKEY LEAGUE
“A woman’s work is Never Done as the Song says and happy Shee[sic] whos [sic] Strength holds out to the End of the rais [sic].”
So wrote Martha Ballard in her diary, which spanned nearly three decades from 1785-1812. It was written at time when fewer than half the women in America were literate.
A year later, on March 31, 1776, Abigail Adams wrote to her husband, and warned “if particular care and attention is not paid to the Ladies, we are determined to foment a rebellion and will not hold ourselves bound by any laws in which we have no voice, or Representation.”
That time finally came in 1919. For those who complain about standing in line to vote, see the movie “Iron Jawed Angels” then let me know how you feel about those horrible lines. Naples local culture has woven its unique tapestry from the determination, courage, and strength from women like these in our history.
In September 1932, The Naples Woman’s Club was formed when Doris Gandees called a meeting from the Community Church(the only church in town until 1930). The club motto was: “Coming together is a beginning; keeping together is progress; working together is success.”
No one embodies this motto more than Myra Jacob Daniels, founder of the Latchkey League. In 2013 Myra(no last name needed for this icon), founder and former CEO of the Philharmonic Center for the Arts in Naples, Florida, responded to the predicament of more than 10,000Collier school children who came home every day to empty homes. She agreed to chair the Salvation Army’s $5 million capital campaign for the construction of the new Fran Cohen Youth Center, which was officially dedicated in April 2017.
In July 2017, through Betty A. Bailey, president of the Latchkey League, I was connected to some of the Latchkey Kids, who made parachute bracelets for our Greatest Generation and Beyond Breakfast, held every second weekend in August.
I met Betty through the Above Board Chamber of Commerce and learned that she had moved to Naples in 1986 after a lengthy career with Marriott Hotels and recently retired from Bentley Village as the director of home care. She noted that the Latchkey League offers a plethora of fundraising opportunities throughout the season, which gives grants to organizations to provide funding for kids to learn about dance, music, art and theater in addition to mentoring and tutoring.
In 2015 the Latchkey League, a 501(c)(3) non-profit, was formed under the guidance of Myra and Peggy Coppola. Their mission is to support and provide educational, cultural and recreational services to children in the greater Naples area who are in need of after-school supervision and activities and to promote educational development for their future.
This past November, two years – let me repeat – two years- after its founding, the Latchkey League received the prestigious Excellence in Civics Leadership Award from the Community Foundation of Collier County at their 2017 Celebration of Philanthropy luncheon.
The League’s current board of directors, Betty Bailey, Bob Young, Karole Davis, Sally Bettin, Judy Tedder, Wendy Schaedel and Wilma Boyd, were beaming with pride as Myra, their tireless leader, received the award.
One of their many events in 2018 is a luncheon and fashion show coming Tuesday, March 6, 2018 at Wyndemere Country Club with registration beginning at 11:30 a.m. followed by lunch and fashions to help maximize your fashion potential.
While I’m no celebrity or model, I will join other local celebrity models and Latchkey ladies who will take to the runway in fashions from, Chicos, Audrey’s of Naples, K B Designs and Panache Wigs.
To “lunch and learn”, contact 239.738.4199. To become a member of the Latchkey League, which I did today, visit www.latchkeyleague.org.
So here’s a big salute to all women in our community who know that their work is never done – especially when it’s for the kids – especially for this League of Extraordinary Women.
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