Spouses' club opens door to new members|
by Kelly Deichert
Air University Public Affairs
8/12/2011 - MAXWELL AIR FORCE BASE, Ala. -- Spouses' clubs aim to improve communities and build friendships among members.
"There is nothing like being a military spouse," said Lisa McCaffrey, president of the Maxwell-Gunter Officers' Spouses' Club, or MGOSC. "We all need friends that are in the same situation that we are in to be able to relate."
MGOSC is hosting a social from 9:30 - 11:30 a.m. Thursday at the officers' club to provide information about the organization and its activities. The event is free and will include refreshments and door prizes. No reservations are required.
This year, the club will continue to host activities, such as Bunco, cooking group, mahjong and book club. Members can stay active through running, golf and bowling groups.
McCaffrey hopes more men will join and start their own groups, such as a fishing group or beer-tasting club.
"We have so many male spouses in our midst and would love to see them come out and be a part," she said. "Historically the spouses club has been female-minded. We are trying to really make sure we offer things for the male spouses, also."
Beyond the social aspect, MGOSC is dedicated to supporting the community through a scholarship fund and donations to charities.
"As the president this year, one of my goals for the club is to continue to raise as much money as we can to support local charities in the River Region," McCaffrey said.
Last year, the group raised more than $20,000 for charities and about $15,000 for scholarships, and McCaffrey said she hopes to exceed these amounts this year.
The Maxwell Thrift Shop is the primary source of funds for scholarships, said Manager Reeba Robitzsch. The facility at the Maxwell Mall accepts donations and sells items on consignment, and is operated by club volunteers.
The spouses' club today is different from organizations in the past.
"I want to get rid of the old cliché that we are just a bunch of 'ladies' who have nothing better to do," McCaffrey said. "The majority of us have degrees and are choosing to stay home to raise children or make a difference in our community by volunteering."
She hopes to see many spouses at the social Thursday to make new friends and build support for the club.
"We have so much fun and learn so much from each other," McCaffrey said. "The consensus within the spouses' club is that we can and should have fun doing what's best for the place we live."
The Maxwell-Gunter Enlisted Spouses' Club will hold a membership drive 2 - 4 p.m. Aug. 21 at the Maxwell Event Center. Light snacks and drinks will be provided. For more information, email firstname.lastname@example.org or visit Maxwell-Gunter ESC on Facebook.