Chapel Hill, NC – The Durham Chapter of Charms held The “Original” Mad Hatters Luncheon on Saturday, June 3rd at the William and Ida B. Friday Center. The Honorees were Juanita B. Massenburg (Regional Director – South Atlantic Region, Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc.), Cerelyn Davis, Chief – Durham Police Department), Cassandra Deck Brown (Chief – Raleigh Police Department), Patrice Andrews (Chief – Morrisville Police Department). United Negro College Fund was the recipient of a charitable contribution from the event’s proceeds.
Charms, Incorporate has a rich history dating back to its founding in 1952. That year, Lavera Edward Hord contacted a group of young Pittsburgh 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. Making contact with one another was limited because of family responsibilities. 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.
During the 1950s, The Squaws gave a donation to a large Pittsburgh family whose house and possessions were lost in a fire. It was from that small gesture of extending a helping hand that the club decided to continue to serve the community in other small ways. They later made a contribution to the Maurice Stokes Foundation. Maurice, a nationally known professional basketball player, was stricken with an incurable disease.
In 1962, Betty Watkins, an original Midnighters, proposed that Squaws apply for a charter and work towards the goal of organizing chapters in other cities. By 1972 there were 8 chapters.
Quincey Eaves of Durham, North Carolina contacted Bettye McLaurin of the Charlotte Chapter for information concerning Squaws, Inc.; subsequently, in April 1972, the Durham Chapter came into the Squaw tribe with Charlotte as the sponsoring chapter. Durham’s first president was Patricia Hill.
The Husbands of the Squaws are affectionately referred to as “Braves” and play an important and significant role outside of the official structure of Squaws, Incorporated.
On February 11, 1997, our name was officially changed to CHARMS, INCORPORATED. Charms, Inc. is a non-profit social, civic and cultural organization of women dedicated to high cultural standards and humanitarian service that will improve the quality of life for all. The husband are Charmers, and the children are Gems.
In 2017 Charms, Incorporated is a national social, civic and cultural organization with chapters in nine states and in the District of Columbia.
LaQuinta Parker Perry, of the Durham Chapter, is the National President. Her mother, Omega Curtis Parker, served as National President of the Squaws in 1982-1984 and 1984-1986.
For more information about Charms, Inc, visit http://www.charmsincorporated.com/
PHOTOS: Jerry Head, Jr.