By: Evan Wechman
Dorothy Prisco became a member of the Long Valley Woman’s Club (LVWC) in 2015 because she was touched by the service and volunteerism of the group. Now, she is the President and still takes pride in the amount of philanthropy the organization continues to perform. She states “I am very proud of the LVWC, especially for its place in the evolution of women, their place in society and what they have accomplished through volunteerism and service.”
The club which is 105 years old held its flagship event this past February. The Long Valley Woman’s Club held its 33rd annual antique show at the Long Valley Middle School. The show, which attracted over 700 visitors, raised approximately $12,000 for various local charities. Students benefited in great ways as six $1,000.00 scholarships were awarded to members of West Morris Central High School. Among other organizations that will see funds from the success of the show are local fire departments, the First Aid Squad, and domestic violence organizations.
This annual show is a juried event. This means that several of the antique dealers who have established a first-class reputation from years past, review prospective dealers to determine if their merchandise is of the high caliber that people have come to expect. If they do not meet these standards, then they are denied entry to the show. According to President Prisco, the event features not only valuable merchandise, but a wide assortment as well. She expressed the joy the club feels in showcasing high end furniture, artwork, dolls, figurines, and even jewelry.
Though this show brings much needed resources to local organizations, the LVWC performs various volunteer services all year long. Their “current focus,” states Prisco, is CASA. This stands for Court Appointed Special Advocates for children. The president say’s “we support the organization by offering gift cards and clothing that is needed as well as attending fundraisers to support CASA.”
Another project that is close to Prisco’s heart is the annual support of the Girls’ Career Institute at Douglass College. The club sends several high school women who have completed their junior year to provide a “mini college experience” for them. These students get to sample college life, attend career workshops, and also take part in a service project.
The LVWC has only 56 members but Prisco is proud of the life experiences her fellow members have to offer both younger women and those in need. To become part of this great group, one needs to be sponsored by a current member. Prisco had the privilege of being sponsored by renowned journalist, Sheila Abrams. The late Abrams was an entertainment editor and staff writer for the Star -Gazette in Hackettstown. Among other pursuits, she was President of the Friends of the Washington Township (Morris County) Public Library where she volunteered with Prisco.
The current president admits that there are challenges ahead for her group. “It is more difficult to fill volunteer positions because so many women are in the workforce and working full time. Many of us in LVWC are retired, and at least a portion of our time can be devoted to volunteerism and service projects.”
However, Prisco, an accomplished educator who taught several subjects at various colleges throughout New Jersey, is no stranger to learning new things. She received her doctorate from Rutgers and believes her educational experience will serve the club well. She contends “keeping the energy and excitement about volunteering is challenging,” but we will continue to thrive. One of her major endeavors for the club is to “prepare ourselves for social media,” in the next few years.