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About Us

 

Chapter History
 

The ladies of The Greater Rappahannock Area Ladies League (GRALL) were friends who came from all walks of life and were united by an interest in youth and education, national and civic affairs, international perspectives and leadership development. GRALL was formally established and organized in 1999 by Sandra Evans Holland King, who served as president of the interest group from 1999-2009. The goal was to serve the community in a tangible way by promoting philanthropic and charitable activities that had a profound impact on the residents of the Fredericksburg Region to include the City of Fredericksburg and the counties of Stafford, Spotsylvania, King George and Caroline.
 

GRALL encompassed women from many professions, such as law, business, medicine, education and the arts; all with the inner need to make a difference. Despite our different occupations and talents, we remain united in our unwavering belief that through many voices coming together as one, we can have a positive impact on our world.
 

Initially, GRALL had thirty-seven members, including the following current members: Sandra Evans Holland King, Penny Juggins Hairston, Mia Newell Valentine, Melany Pollock and Jacinta Topps, MD.

 

Early on, the leaders of GRALL aligned their philanthropy with the mission of The Links, Incorporated. GRALL supported, volunteered and raised funds for the Topsy Foundation of South Africa, Kids in Distressed Situations (KIDS) Charity where school supplies and hygiene products were donated to Haiti, the American Cancer Society~ Relay for Life, the American Heart Association~ Go Red For Women campaign, Disabled American Veterans and local charitable missions to include the bi-annual Harambee 360 Black Arts Festival, the annual Barbara Hicks Geslock Women’s Forum, children’s hospitals, senior citizen facilities and the Fredericksburg Hope House ~a transitional housing for homeless women and children and many other worthy causes. An annual tea at the Jefferson Hotel and at the Ritz Carlton was a signature social event as well as the annual Hope House Festival of Trees Silent Auction.

 

Throughout the years, GRALL worked diligently to volunteer and promote literacy in elementary schools by donating an African-American themed book to each of the forty (40) area elementary school libraries. Members volunteered by visiting and reading the donated books to the students. Some of the books included Henry’s Freedom Box, The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind, Barack Obama: Son of Promise Child of Hope and The Listeners.

 

Under the leadership of President Stephanie Drummond (2009-2012), the Greater Rappahannock Area Ladies League organized and planned our signature fundraiser - the annual “Hit the Links” Charity Golf Tournament. It is the largest African-American female sponsored tournament in our region. To date, seven tournaments have taken place raising over $50,000 with annual scholarships given to area high school students.

 

In late 2012 under current President Beth Sinkler (2012-2014), the organization applied again to become an interest group of The Links, Incorporated. In February of 2013, the Greater Rappahannock Area Ladies League was notified that our application had been accepted and the ‘Journey to Linkdom’ began.

 

On February 14, 2013, the group received our official notification that we had become a formal Interest Group of The Links, Incorporated. Our first meeting was held March 16, 2013 at The Hampton Inn & Suites, 4800 Market St., Fredericksburg, VA and our first Links Orientation Workshop was held at the Hampton Inn & Suites, 1080 Hospitality Lane, Fredericksburg, VA on April 14, 2013. Our hostess was Ms. Deborah Stephens, Social Chair. Our Chartering Date was March 22, 2014. The Chartering Organizer(s) were Mrs. Sandra Dorsey Malone and Jeannine Quick-Frasier. Ms. Dianne S. Hardison was the Chartering Area Director.
 

Our elected officers are:

  • Beth Sinkler - President
  • Kavatus Newell – Vice President
  • Tracey Watkins - Treasurer
  • Giovonni Smith - Financial Secretary
  • Penny Hairston - Recording Secretary


The chartering events were held at the following location:

  • Chartering Celebratory Reception, March 21, 2014, 6:30 PM

    Wyndham Virginia Crossings Hotel & Conference Center (Terrace)

  • Chartering Ceremony, March 22, 2014, 9:00 AM

    Wyndham Virginia Crossings Hotel & Conference Center (Hanover Room)
     

  • Chartering Celebratory Luncheon, March 22, 2014 12:00 PM
    Wyndham Virginia Crossings Hotel & Conference Center (Henrico Ballroom)

Special Recognitions were received from the following:

  • Tim Kaine – U.S. Senator for Virginia

  • Mark Warner –  U.S. Senator for Virginia

  • Terence R. McAuliffe – Governor of the Commonwealth of Virginia

  • Robert D. Orrock Sr. – Commonwealth of Virginia House of Delegates