By SCOTT MIMS / Editor
COLOMBIAN — A life-size crocheted bulldog was just one of the unique creations that won first place for members of the Columbiana Culture Club at 126and Alabama Federated Women’s Clubs (AFWC) State Convention held June 3-5 in Orange Beach, Alabama.
Karen Sweeney made the bulldog for her granddaughter, modeling it after her real-life pet, Dyson, who died in 2020. Sweeney didn’t follow a set pattern, and the result seemed to surprise even Sweeney herself. same.
“I made the bulldog for my granddaughter to look as much like a real dog as possible. I had no idea when I was making it that it would be almost life-size,” admitted Sweeney, the second vice president. of the club.
She and club president Pamela Raines were thrilled with the number of awards the band won, especially after the 2020 convention was canceled. As a result, the band had two years of photography, artwork arts and crafts from which to choose candidates.
“We were thrilled,” Raines said. “We are a very small club; we were delighted. It’s an incredibly talented group of women. They are all very civic and very generous.
Sweeney added: “Having so many of our club members participate and then win so many first place awards was just over the top.”
The Columbiana Culture Club is a closed 24-member club and has been in existence since 1910. The Shelby County Museum and Archives, located in the Old Courthouse at the Main Street roundabout in Columbiana, houses every minute of the club plus it over 100 years ago.
All the money the club raises goes to the community, county or state. They donate a certain amount to each Columbiana school as well as feeder schools to help fund school media centers. The club also contributes to the Shelby County Historical Society, the Boys and Girls Ranch in Alabama, the Ronald McDonald House and more. Group members log well over 10,000 community hours a year.
“When I came back from the convention, I took our scrapbooks to the Shelby County Historical Society. They store all of our history,” Raines said.
Here is a list of individual awards won at this year’s conference:
- Pamela Raines, First Place, Natural Wonders Photography
- Judy Quick, runner-up, Natural Wonders Photography
- Karen Sweeney, first place, Reflections Photography
- Karen Sweeney, First Place, Our World Up Close Photography
- Judy Quick, second place, Our World Up Close Photography
- Karen Jensen, first place, albums 2019 and 2020
- Mary Louise Jones, third place, Watercolors for her painting “Sunflower”
- Judi Elliott, First Place, Quilting for her ‘Angels Among Us’ Quilted Wall Hanging
- Karen Jensen, First Place, Patchwork for her “Create a Bee-u-tiful Life” Patchwork Pollinator Jacket
- Karen Sweeney, first place, jewelry for her “Music Love Note” necklace and “Treble Cleft” bracelet
- Karen Sweeney, first place, Crocheted for her crochet bulldog.
The club has also won a few awards overall. These are listed below:
- First Prize for Awareness and Prevention of Domestic and Sexual Violence
- First place for fundraising and development
- First place for health and well-being
- First Place for Women’s History and Resource Center
- Certificate for AFWC Pop Top Tab Special Project Supporting Ronald McDonald House Charities
- AFWC President’s Award of Excellence
- Arts and Culture Community Service Program
- GFWC Alabama Camp President’s Special Program Seale Harris
- GFWC General Scholarship Fund
- Suellen Brazil Outstanding Club Award
- University of Alabama Scholarship
- 2728 Society
- A total of 22 certificates in total