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The Madison Woman’s Club discusses building’s future

On Thursday, May 14, at 11:30 a.m., the Madison Woman's Club came together for their final meeting before Summer; the ladies will reconvene in September. While the atmosphere was festive and light-hearted, with decorations in the theme of a Hawaiian luau, the meeting's agenda was of serious urgency. Upon every floral, brightly-colored plate, rested two slips of paper. One read, “I vote to continue meeting at the Madison Woman's Club building,” and the other stated, “I vote to turn the building over to the city and start meeting at Divine Events.” As club president, Ethel Barefoot, called the meeting to order, it was evident many around the room were eager to speak on the matter at hand: the decision to keep or abandon the historic Madison Woman's Club building-- a building whom dozens consider to be legendary, as it was built many years ago for a group of women who were dedicated to serving the Madison community. However, the building has become a financial burden to some of the members, who feel more money is spent on upkeep than community service. As people began to speak, financial records were brought up. Records from 2013 show that $5,723 (73 percent of funds) went to building maintenance. 2014 records show $4,300 (64 percent of funds) went to maintenance while only $336 was given in donations. Currently, the roof is in need of repair and the air conditioning unit either needs repair or replacement. Some fear that bearing the weight of the high costs will only make it more difficult to carry out the duties of the club. The wish of the aforementioned is to give the building to the city and to convene at Divine Events so that all funds can directly impact community outreach. However, there are many others who wish to keep the building, considering it an invaluable component of the Woman's Club. They began to speak, claiming if everyone became positive, pulled together and worked hard to raise funds, the building's expenses would be paid and there could even be money left over for service projects. They asserted it was all about priority and that, with negativity, nothing would ever be accomplished. Despite differences, everyone in attendance agreed serving the community in the most effective way possible was their number one priority. The votes were cast and everyone partook of a delicious meal and managed to put differences aside while they fellowshiped with one another, sharing smiles and laughter. During lunch, the ballots were counted and, after everyone had finished eating, it was announced that the Madison Woman's Club would keep their beloved building. The final tally was 23-7.

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