Brenda Doucey, president of the Progressive Women’s Association, welcomed members and guests to the Woman of the Year and Business Associate of the Year Banquet held recently at the White Hall City Hall.


Vice President Alice Erwin announced that the 2019-2020 Woman of the Year is Mary Ann Davis.


“Davis is a very generous person and always willing to help,” according to a news release. “She has served on several committees in the Progressive Women’s Association. She has always strived to be a faithful wife, a loving mother and grandmother. She raised her two children with love for God, family, and friends. She is a gifted quilter and homemaker.”


Doucey announced that the 2019-2020 Business Associate of the Year is Phyllis Huddleston, who along with her son, Christopher Scott, own the Clothes Line and Resale Shop at White Hall.


“In the past, she (Huddleston) worked for lawyers in Malvern and Monticello and as an office manager and advertising for a manufacturing company,” according to the news release. “When she moved to Pine Bluff, she worked for the government at the Soil Conservation Department. Huddleston is also a registered nurse and worked 20 years for Jefferson Regional Medical Center in home health and as a hospice nurse. Huddleston retired 25 years ago and opened her consignment shop on Dollarway Road as a children’s shop which grew to a family clothing store. In 1998, they changed the name and incorporated as The Clothes Line Consignment and Resale Shop Inc. Huddleston is lovingly referred to as ‘the Purple Lady’ as she puts purple streaks in her hair. She always greets you with a smile.”


Also durning the Progressive Women’s banquet, Doucey introduced her board members: Vice President Alice Erwin, Secretary Linda Hurd, and Treasurer Jan Adam.


After Pat Hooks gave the invocation, dinner was served. Erwin introduced the speakers, Kirsty Lawrence and Jayme Yarbrough, former scholarship recipients. They spoke on what the PWA scholarships have meant to them and the successes they have had.


Bernice Foster and Erwin announced the current scholarship recipients: Camryn Williams, Megan Tyler, Emily Welch, Erica Smith, Hannah Williams and Jodie Garner.


Besides scholarships, Progressive Women’s Association does community service. Some of the community service projects included: school supplies for the TOPPS program at Townsend Park Elementary School, bingo prizes for Ft. Roots VA Hospital, bottles of water for the White Hall Museum, coffee mugs filled with chocolate candy for the White Hall Food Pantry, bingo prizes for nursing homes, and birthday cake project (cake mix, frosting, and candles) for the Southeast Arkansas College Food Pantry.


The scholarship donors are: Anderson Electric, the Clothes Line, Cycle and Marine Supercenter, Ann Douthit Memorial (Hershel Douthit), Linda Scallion Eifling, Brenda and Ricky Doucey, Erwin Family, Dr. Maxwell Fleming, D.D.S., Bernice Foster, Foster Motors (Joel Foster), Larry Goodnight, Pat Hooks, Lee and Linda Hurd, Ed and Louise La Grone, Della Lovorn, Margie Murphy, Dianne’s Adult Health Day Care, Bob and Nancy Rosen, Lisa Tyler, and the Upshaw Family.


The ad donors are: Anderson Electric of Pine Bluff, Carrie Scott’s Antique Mall, Catering by Scott Ray, Cycle and Marine Supercenter, Dane’s Auto Sales, Dianne’s Adult Health Day Care Center, Foster’s Motor Company, Relyance Bank, and Tracy Robinson Auctioneers.


Nancy Rosen presented the chapter history. Progressive Chapter was chartered July 14, 1979. Bernice Foster was the last one to join so that they could charter. She is the last charter member left. In the beginning, Progressive gave one scholarship a year for $500. They now give several young ladies a scholarship for $1,000 a year for four years provided the group has the funds. Ann Douthit, one of the charter members, came up with the idea to get scholarship donors for $100 per year. The chapter also sells ads, has a fall auction, and raises money in other small ways. The chapter has given well over $100,000 in scholarships to deserving young ladies. A few years ago, the PWA Scholarship Fund was renamed the Ann Douthit Memorial Scholarship Fund in memory of Ann.


After Dottie Yarbrough announced the door prize winners, Doucey thanked everyone for attending.