A group of Riverview women have joined forces to raise funds for the community. And if they make some friends and have some fun in the process, that's OK, too.
The brainchild of Riverview businesswomen Jeanne Burkeson and Donna Lee Fore, the new Riverview Woman's Club was incorporated as a nonprofit organization in April. Over the past two months, the club's membership has swelled to 30 paid members.
"The club got started in March," said Fore, who serves as the club's vice president while Burkeson is the charter president. "Jeanne and I were both talking about forming a woman's club in Riverview since Riverview really doesn't have a club for women. We just felt it was something the community needed. So five and six of us hashed it out and decided it was a good idea. Since then, every meeting has gotten larger."
Fore said it's been exciting to watch the fledgling club grow.
"When we started this, we had no idea how popular the idea would be and how much women want to be involved with other women," she said, noting that dues are just $25 a year. "We're getting people from all over."
Fore is co-owner of PF Auto Glass in Riverview and is president-elect of the Greater Riverview Chamber of Commerce.
Burkeson and her husband, Joe, run Square-One Inspection Services, a home inspection business in Riverview.
They view the club as not only a way to meet new people but as a business networking opportunity as well.
"It's really about empowering women," Fore said. "The club is open to all ages, working and nonworking women. But we see it as a great way for the women in the community to support the women-owned businesses. We'd love to have 100 women wanting to get together and build friendships and empower one another."
So far, the club has been meeting once a month at lunch but that may change as more members join up.
"We plan to have night meetings as well as lunch meetings so we can please all schedules," said Fore. "In addition, we're talking about doing fun things like bunco nights."
Fore said the club also is planning events such as a tour of the Mosaic Co.'s "green building" in Riverview as well as montlhy speakers.
Hillsborough County Commissioner Sandy Murman will be the guest speaker at the June 20 meeting to be held at the Doc's Grill at the , 13050 Summerfield Blvd., Riverview, from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. The cost is $12 at the door.
And Hillsborough County Supervisor of Elections Earl Lennard will speak to club members Sept. 19.
"We're looking for interesting speakers and we'll be showcasing businesses as well," said Fore.
Fore said the club also wants to put the "fun" back in fundraising, hosting various events to benefit a scholarship fund for Riverview High School students.
"We'll give scholarships at end of the year to Riverview high school students. They're our future, so we'll be raising money for them," Fore said.
The first fundraiser, the Party Yourself into Shape Zumba Fundraiser, will take place Saturday, June 9 from 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. at 6437 Watson Rd., Riverview. A certified Zumba instructor will be on hand to lead the event and there will be raffles and door prizes. Admission is $10 for adults and $5 for high school students. Sponros are the Great American Cookies Co. and P.F. Auto Glass Inc.
"It's all about having fun," said Fore. "Vendors will be set up and everyone will be doing Zumba. All the profits will go to the education fund."
For information on joining or reservations for the next luncheon, contact Fore at 813-528-0902 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.