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National History

Founding Members

On November 9, 1946, Margaret Roselle Hawkins and Sarah Strickland Scott, two young Philadelphia matrons, invited seven of their friends to join them in organizing a new type of inter-city club that would respond to the needs and aspirations of Black women.


Thus, the Philadelphia Club was born. Elected officers were: Margaret Roselle Hawkins, President/Founder; Sarah Strickland Scott, Vice President/Founder; Myrtle Manigault Stratton, Recording Secretary; Frances Atkinson Corresponding Secretary; and Dorothy Wright, Treasurer. Katie Green, Marion Minton, Lillian Stanford, and Lillian Wall were other members.



About The Links, Incorporated

Today, The Links, Incorporated is an international, 501c4 nonprofit corporation. The membership comprises more than 17,000 professional women of color in 299 chapters in 41 states, the District of Columbia, the Commonwealth of the Bahamas, and the United Kingdom. It is one of the nation’s oldest and largest volunteer service organizations of extraordinary women committed to enriching, sustaining, and ensuring the culture and economic survival of African Americans and other persons of African ancestry.

Links members contribute more than 1 million documented hours of community service annually; strengthening their communities and enhancing the nation.


The Links Foundation, Incorporated

The Links Foundation, Incorporated is the philanthropic arm of The Links, Incorporated.  The Foundation is a non-profit corporation operated exclusively for charitable and educational purposes within the meaning of Section 501c3 of the Internal Revenue Code of 1954, as amended.


Visit to learn more about The Links, Incorporated, and The Links Foundation, Incorporated.


Chapter History 


The Fort Pierce (FL) Chapter, The Links Incorporated was chartered on October 30, 1976.  The name was officially changed to The Treasure Coast (FL) Chapter on December 5, 2012, by The Links, Incorporated Executive Board.

The chapter’s chartering was a result of the efforts of our co-organizers, Arlena Benton Lee and the late Ernestine Davis. They were encouraged to organize a chapter by the late Leola Nixon, who was a member of the Orlando (FL) Chapter and a sister of the late Ernestine Davis.

Twenty-two women were inducted in a formal ceremony held at Holiday Inn Oceanside, Fort Pierce (FL) with Southern Area Director, Julia Purnell, of Baton Rouge, Louisiana, as the installing officer (who later became the 7th National President). Assisting in the induction ceremony were Delores Albury, Southern Area Secretary of Pensacola, and Regina Frazier, National Member-at-Large of Miami (who later became the 9th National President). A very impressive “get-acquainted” social evening was held at the home of Arlena Benton Lee, President.

The chapters represented in this historic occasion were: West Palm Beach, Daytona Beach, Jacksonville, Orlando, Pensacola, and Miami, Florida, and Brunswick, Georgia.


Our chartered members are/were: Irene Baker (deceased), Helen F. Barr, Algernon Bolen (deceased), Carnelle B. Clifton, Ernestine Davis (deceased), Gertrude Baker Dixon, Parolee P. Ellington (deceased), Lon McIntosh Floyd (deceased), Theresa D. Gaines, Delores Y. Hayes (deceased), Joelene M. Hayling, Zanobia Jefferson (deceased), Arlena Benton Lee, Annie Frank Little (deceased), Emma Adams Loman, Florida Mobley (deceased), Wilester Moore Caynon (deceased), Cora L. Monroe (deceased), Margaret Paige (deceased), Barbara J. Scott, Katherine Washington, and Marian C. Williams.

Our first officers were: Arlena Benton Lee (President), Ernestine Davis (Vice President), Parolee P. Ellington (Recording Secretary), Delores Y. Hayes (Corresponding Secretary), Annie Frank Little (Treasurer), Helen F. Barr (Parliamentarian), Algernon Bolen (Reporter) and Wilester Moore Caynon (Chaplain)

In our first year, major accomplishments include:  

  • Developing special reading programs and tutorial services to help educationally disadvantaged and culturally deprived students.

  • Sponsoring a guest lecturer, Mrs. Hooshang Kadivar, from Lebanon, who shared information concerning Iranian culture, government, food, agriculture, and economic resources.

  • Presenting holiday gifts and musical entertainment for the elderly at Abbiejean Russell Care Center.


The first inductee into our membership was Jovita Williams in June 1982.

Our chapter has continued to exemplify the vision and promote the initiatives of The Links, Incorporated and The Links Foundation, Incorporated for more than forty-five years.

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Treasure Coast Regional History

The Treasure Coast is a region in the state of Florida along the Atlantic coast comprising Indian River, St. Lucie, and Martin, and in some definitions, Palm Beach counties. The region, whose name refers to the Spanish Treasure Fleet lost in a 1715 hurricane, evidently emerged out of residents’ desire to separate themselves from Miami and the Gold Coast region.

The area includes two metropolitan statistical areas designated by the Office of Management and Budget and used for statistical purposes by the Census Bureau and other agencies: the Port St. Lucie, Florida Metropolitan Statistical Area (comprising St. Lucie and Martin Counties) and the Sebastian – Vero Beach, Florida Metropolitan Statistical Area (comprising Indian River County).

Palm Beach County is part of the Miami–Fort Lauderdale–Pompano Beach, FL Metropolitan Statistical Area.

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