AFWC headquarters hosts Holiday Open House event

The GFWC Alabama Federation of Women’s Clubs held its Holiday Open House Dec. 3 from 11 a.m. until 1:30 p.m. at Foster House – the official headquarters for the group.

Invitations were mailed to all Board of Directors members and club presidents, along with area dignitaries and special guests. Three members of GFWC Book Lovers Study Club serve on the Board of Directors and on the district board.

Members spent a weekend decorating the headquarters to prepare for this festive event that is held every other year. More than 75 guests enjoyed delicious refreshments, beautiful holiday decorations, tours of the headquarters and Christmas music performed on the grand piano.

AFWC was organized in 1895 and was chartered into the General Federation of Women’s Clubs in 1907.

For more than 125 years, AFWC has worked to address the most pressing needs of our communities and our state. This includes promoting education, preserving natural resources, stressing good citizenship, moral and spiritual values and good health, contributing to world peace and international understanding and supporting participation in the arts.

Foster House was purchased in 1983 through the generosity of members and Federation funds. The building houses the AFWC office, Federation archives and meeting rooms, and it includes overnight accommodations, all of which are used regularly for Federation meetings and social events.

The main floor features a large foyer, living room, solarium and dining room, which are open and connecting to allow for comfortable gatherings. The breakfast room and spacious kitchen provide for efficient serving of meals. The second floor has three bedrooms, the office and the archives library, which are furnished for small group meetings and can accommodate 20 for sleeping. The building has three full bathrooms and two half baths.

As a result of the generosity of districts, clubs, members, corporate sponsors and friends of the Federation, AFWC can be proud of the beautiful building where its members can work and be served, have meetings and enjoy festive social occasions.

The home was built in 1913 for Dr. Sterling Foster, a Birmingham theologian who was a minister of South Highland Presbyterian Church. The neighborhood was home to many of the city’s prominent families, and the address on Niazuma Avenue was only a few blocks from Dr. Foster’s church on Highlands Avenue.

Mrs. Foster was active in many civic organizations, including the Cadmean Circle, one of the charter clubs of the Alabama Federation of Women’s Clubs.

Their three children were involved in politics and served with F.D. Roosevelt in the New Deal government.

Josephine Foster married Hugo Black in the living room of Foster House. Black later served as a United States senator and was appointed as a justice of the United States Supreme Court.

The AFWC State Headquarters may be reserved for tours, meetings and special social occasions with the sponsorship of an AFWC member.

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