Pittsburgh Charms host executive board meeting

FIRST NATIONAL PRESIDENT—Rebecca Hairston—seated, with daughters Myra Hairston and Jean Hairston-Jenkins

by Debbie Norrell, Lifestyles Editor

Charms Inc. is a nonprofit social, civic and cultural organization of women dedicated to high cultural standards and humanitarian service that will improve the quality of life for all. During the weekend of July 24-28, the Pittsburgh Chapter of Charms hosted the 28th National Board Meeting at the Doubletree by Hilton in Monroeville. During the weekend several business meetings and social gatherings were held. On July 27 the Charms hosted a luncheon themed “Spotlight on the Arts.” Guests enjoyed the poetry of Kim El and two selections from Charm Twyla Glasgow. On that evening guests enjoyed a Black and Gold Gala. The Charms were honored to be joined by their first national president, Rebecca Hairston of Pittsburgh.

There are 21 chapters of Charms. The group was formed in 1952 in Pittsburgh when Lavera Edward Hord contacted a group of young women, suggesting that they meet one evening a month, if possible, to socialize and catch up on the news in and about Pittsburgh. The majority of them were friends or acquaintances who had recently become brides or new mothers.  The ladies usually gathered late in the evening, they jokingly referred to themselves as “The Midnighters.” As their children became older, the Midnighters decided to organize formally and select a name for themselves.  After various names were submitted and a vote was taken, “Squaws” was the winner—thus, the Squaws were born. Over the years chapters in cities outside of Pittsburgh were added. On Feb. 11, 1997, their name was officially changed to CHARMS, INCORPORATED. Their motto: “Smile, help your fellow man, and aspire to greater things.”

This article originally appeared in the New Pittsburgh Courier print edition Aug. 28.

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