Published in the Virginia Mountaineer on September 26, 2013.
Jennie Award Winner
Robertson Receives Prestigious Woman’s Club Honor
by JoBeth Wampler
After over 50 years of service, one of Grundy’s most iconic women has received a prestigious award in honor of her work.
Ginger Powers Robertson was presented with Virginia’s Jennie Award at the General Federation of Women’s Club Virginia Conference in Staunton last month.
“It’s a great honor because it’s one of the highest honors you can receive,” she says. “I was very surprised when they announced it was me.”
As one of the most active members of the Grundy Woman’s Club, Robertson had been unsuspectingly in attendance at the conference. As one of her fellow Grundy club members and current GFWC Virginia First Vice President/President-Elect Betty Shields rose to present the award, Robertson had no idea her name would be the one announced.
This state award is the only national honor given to identify and commend General Federation of Women’s Club (GFWC) members for extraordinary personal achievement.
Each nominee is judged based on her performance on club, state, regional and national levels of volunteerism within her club and community.
Robertson, who first joined the Grundy Junior Woman’s Club in 1960, has served in numerous positions throughout the years, including as the first district president to come from the Grundy club in 1988.
But despite her enthusiasm for Buchanan County, Robertson is actually a Haysi native, who resided there until 1944 at the age of 11.
It was a brief stint, however, as her father Noah Powers was relocated to Florida from 1946 to 1948 with the service. It wasn’t until afterwards that Robertson became thoroughly engrained in the little town of Grundy, where she graduated in 1955 and returned after college at Radford.
From that moment on, she became an active member of the junior club, working her way through the ranks until joining the senior club in 1978.
Since then, she has held nearly every position and been named the Grundy Woman’s Club Outstanding Member and received the Southwest District Dean Stephens Citizenship Award.
Currently, Robertson serves as the GFWC Virginia Community Improvement Program Award Chairman, Southwestern District Treasurer, Southwestern District Mentor, Grundy Woman’s Club Parlimentarian, Grundy Woman’s Club Reporting Chairman, and GFWC Virginia’s Sapphire Dogwood Society and Century Club Member.
But, Robertson’s accolades do not revolve only around Grundy Woman’s Club’s activities.
She is also a member of the Florence Ann Chapter 133 since 1962, a lifetime Girl Scout, and a founding member of Buchanan County Youth, Inc. and the Drug Free Community Coalition.
She is also a current secretary/treasurer and founding member of Buchanan-Dickenson County Community Health, Director and Century Club Member of the Buchanan County Chamber of Commerce, a Hokie Benefactor, member of the Caldwell Society at Virginia Tech, member of Ut Prosim Society at Virginia Tech, member of the Pylon Society at Virginia Tech, member of the Founders Circle at the Appalachian School of Law, and a member of the Friends of the Buchanan County Public Library.
She’s also played roles in the lives of such organizations as the March of Dimes Walk America, the Sequoyah Boy Scouts and, with her brother and aunt, she helped establish the first Endowed Scholarship at ASL in 1998.
As co-chairman of the Buchanan County Public Library’s fundraising project, she assisted with the construction of the Children’s Wing in 2003 – a project she helped fund through her own donations.
Of course, these are just a few of the many other contributions she’s made to our county, as demonstrated by Robertson receiving the 1999 Buchanan County Chamber of Commerce’s Volunteer Award.
“I just enjoy the people and enjoy helping,” she says. “It’s meant a lot to me because this is home and it will always be home.
While others have moved away, Robertson says she couldn’t imagine her life apart from Buchanan County.
As the recipient of the GFWC Virginia Jennie Award, Robertson will represent GFWC Virginia at the Southeast Regional Meeting to be held in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, in early November.