By Jacki Ragan
What an honor it was to attend the gala event Thursday night hosted by the Commonwealth Catholic Charities in Richmond, Virginia, where Mrs. Geline B. Williams, Chairman of the National Right to Life Board of Directors, was honored as an outstanding and extraordinary volunteer.
Geline’s list of charitable and community services is more than most of us would hope to achieve in five lifetimes. They include:
- Volunteering for various organizations including Visiting Nurses Association, Catholic Family and Children’s Services and Christian Children’s Fund among many others
- Founding and raising the Virginia Society of Human Life in 1967 (the oldest state pro-life organization in the nation)
- Serving on the Richmond City Council for ten years (two of them as Mayor of Richmond, only the second woman to hold that office)
- Raising a wonderful family with five children while remaining well-attuned to the needs of her hometown.
Among those attending the gala were prominent members of the Virginia Society for Human Life: Executive Director Maggie Disney, Krystal Solzbach, President of VSHL Powhatten Chapter, NRLC Alternate Director Lisa McNerney, and long-time activist Kathy Nowinski.
National Right to Life was represented by David N. O’Steen, Ph.D., NRLC Executive Director, Emma Dean O’Steen, alternate director from North Carolina Right to Life, myself, as Director of the State Organizational Development and Conventions, Inc. Department, and Olivia Gans Turner, NRLC’s Director of American Victims of Abortion who also serves as the President of VSHL.
Three of Geline’s five children were in attendance, Gina Williams and her husband David Urban, Ph.D.; Alex Williams from Los Angeles; and Jay Williams from Baltimore.
Also in attendance was former Congressman Tom Bliley.
Geline was further honored by the Virginia General Assembly which passed the following resolution and was read and presented to her by Delegate Manoli Loupassi of the 68th District in VA.
Also receiving awards at last night’s event were Bliley’s Funeral Home; Reverend Michael M. Duffy of St. Jude Catholic Church in Mineral, VA and its Mission, Immaculate Conception in Buckner, VA; and Cliff Hocker.
The Master of Ceremonies for the evening was Richmond Times-Dispatch’s Tom Silvestri.
HOUSE JOINT RESOLUTION NO. 5010
Offered April 11, 2012
Commending Geline Bowman Williams.
WHEREAS, Geline Bowman Williams of Richmond will be honored by Commonwealth Catholic Charities as a 2012 Community Service Award winner; and
WHEREAS, an involved citizen, Geline Williams has made many contributions to communities across the Commonwealth through her involvement in civic and community affairs and public service over the years; and
WHEREAS, a graduate of St. Catherine’s School, Geline Williams attended Goucher College and raised five children with her now late husband, Alexander Williams; and
WHEREAS, Geline Williams has generously given of her time and talents to such organizations as the Instructive Visiting Nurse Association; United Givers Fund, now known as the United Way; Catholic Family and Children’s Services; and Christian Children’s Fund, now known as ChildFund International; and
WHEREAS, Geline Williams, along with her husband, Alexander, founded the Virginia Society for Human Life and also established the organization’s high school oratory contest, which provides scholarships to students; and
WHEREAS, for over three decades, Geline Williams has served as chair of the board of the National Right to Life Committee, providing strong and stable leadership to assist the organization in meeting its objectives; and
WHEREAS, dedicated to the well-being and prosperity of her hometown, Geline Williams served four terms on the Richmond City Council, including a term as mayor, only the second woman in history to hold that position; and
WHEREAS, Geline Williams worked tirelessly on behalf of her constituents and collaborated with local and state officials to ensure the construction of a flood wall that continues to protect businesses and residents today; and
WHEREAS, a dedicated public servant, Geline Williams served two terms on the Commonwealth’s Commission on Local Government and provided valuable insight to aid the commission in its work assisting counties, cities, and towns across the state; and
WHEREAS, Geline Williams has also been an active member of St. Bridget Catholic Church and the Catholic Diocese of Richmond; she previously served as president of the Richmond Diocesan Council of Catholic Women and currently serves on the diocese’s McMahon Parater Foundation board of directors; and
WHEREAS, Geline Williams was honored for her contributions to religious and civic life by Pope John Paul II with the Benemerenti medal and has earned numerous other awards and accolades; and
WHEREAS, Geline Williams has devoted countless hours over the years to serving those around her, demonstrating a true commitment to community service; now, therefore, be it
RESOLVED by the House of Delegates, the Senate concurring, That the General Assembly hereby commend Geline Bowman Williams on her selection by Commonwealth Catholic Charities as a 2012 Community Service Award winner; and, be it
RESOLVED FURTHER, That the Clerk of the House of Delegates prepare a copy of this resolution for presentation to Geline Bowman Williams as an expression of the General Assembly’s congratulations and appreciation for her commitment to serving others.