By Wendy Holdren
For The Register-Herald
Quota International of Beckley celebrated its 50th birthday Tuesday and honored a member who has been a part of the club since its inception.
Gladys Lafferty is the only local original charter member who is still active in the club, which was originally chartered in Beckley in October 1963.
Former president and former district governor Susan Pietrantozzi said the night was about “celebrating the strong women on whose shoulders we stand.”
“She (Lafferty) has taught us the real meaning of sharing and how to enjoy your sisters’ company,” Pietrantozzi said.
Lafferty was presented with a framed certificate of achievement.
“I feel like Quota has given more to me than I have given to Quota,” Lafferty said.
“I’ve had friendships, had fun and worked hard. That’s what makes it a success.”
Current president Pam Vance said this club is comprised mostly of professional women, some of whom are retired.
“We’re a very diverse group of women. We have women from all walks of life.”
She said the club focuses its efforts on underprivileged women and children, as well as those who are hearing- and speech-impaired.
Vance said the club also works with organizations in Beckley that need help. For example, some funds were given from Quota to Hospice for the purchase of a therapy dog.
Pine Haven, Storm Haven and Carpenter’s Corner are just a few of the local organizations that have benefited from Quota’s service.
“Our major project right now is Empty Bowls to raise world hunger awareness,” Vance said. “Beckley Area Foundation awarded a grant for the supplies and the Youth Museum is offering its kiln for us to work with.”
She said this campaign is running through March and a fundraising dinner will then be held. Donors will get a meal, such as soup, and then they will get to take their bowl with them.
The money raised from Empty Bowls will benefit local food pantries, such as the Dream Center and Fishes and Loaves.
“This is a top-notch group of ladies to work with. I have grown professionally and personally.”
Vance said Quota is always looking for new members and they are currently hosting a membership drive.
Pietrantozzi also praised the club.
“I’ve been with Quota for 26 years. I heard what a good reputation the club had for doing great things in the community and I wanted to get involved.”
She said the experiences and the friendships have been wonderful.
“It’s the hardest-working group of women, all in an atmosphere of fellowship and fun. I’ve met some of my closest friends through Quota.”
During the celebration Tuesday, a letter from Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin was read, commending Quota for “outstanding volunteerism.” Beckley Mayor Emmett Pugh also sent a proclamation making Oct. 15 Quota International of Beckley Day.
Quota meets every second and fourth Tuesday at noon at the Beckley-Raleigh County Convention Center.
For more information about Quota or how to join, contact Pam Vance at 304-573-1538.
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