Sand River Woman’s Club representatives, Mary Lou Wallace, Sandra Terry, Jean Schwalbert, Claudette Strickland, Janet Watkins and Gail Ebner, were joined by approximately 140 clubwomen from across the state at the 116th annual Convention of the General Federation of Women’s Clubs of South Carolina. The “Touching Hearts – Changing Lives” themed convention was held April 25 through 27 at the Columbia Museum of Art and the Columbia Marriott in Columbia.

Convention attendees learned more about the issues concerning many South Carolina club women via guest speakers, S.C. Gov. Nikki Haley and Attorney General Alan Wilson.

Haley said, “South Carolina tops the list as one of the fastest growing economies in the nation.”

She stressed the importance of a well-educated workforce as a real factor in attracting businesses and jobs.

On Saturday, Wilson updated attendees on the progress of a task force dedicated to investigating and addressing the problem of human trafficking. The task force stems from legislation, effective December 2012, combating human trafficking in South Carolina.

General Federation of Women’s Clubs of South Carolina officers presented awards recognizing various clubs and clubwomen for their volunteer efforts during 2013.

Sand River Woman’s Club member Sandra Terry was named Volunteer of the Year. The award is given in recognition of the one clubwoman in the entire state who has been most outstanding during the club year through volunteer work in club projects and in other community work.

The 2013 Leadership Award went to Sand River Woman’s Club for best overall in the state, as did the best-in-state Membership “Shining Star” award. Sand River Woman’s Club was awarded the 2013 Program Council Award – Category II (15 to 29 total members), which recognizes clubs that effectively carry out the program guidelines of strengthening their communities and enhancing the lives of others through volunteer service. The best in state winners will represent South Carolina internationally during the 2014 General Federation of Women’s Clubs convention in Phoenix, Arizona, on June 22 through 24.

Sand River received Category II first place awards for arts community service programs, home life community service programs and leadership advancement. Sand River Woman’s Club was honored with the Debbie Alexander Adult Education Award, a best-in-state award for projects promoting literacy.