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Carsons Top Ladies of Distinction answer the call to serve

Juliana D. Norwood | 10/3/2012, 5 p.m.

Top Ladies of Distinction Inc. was chartered in the state of Texas on Sept. 8, 1964, as a nonprofit educational, humanitarian organization with eight members. These trailblazers started contacting other persons to ascertain if enough concern, interest and strength could be generated among distinguished women who would agree to work cooperatively to help alleviate the myriad of problems confronting youth in their respective communities.

A group of distinguished and respected women answered the call. It is from this idea and nucleus that Top Ladies of Distinction Inc. (TLOD) has developed into an internationally known and respected public service organization.

Since its inception, the organization has expanded its objectives to include its focus on youth (known as Top Teens of America), improving the status of women, service to senior citizens, community beautification and community partnerships. Chapters nationwide support the National Council of Negro Women, the NAACP, the United Negro College Fund, Sickle Cell Disease Awareness, and the awarding of national scholarships to at least one in each of TLOD's six geographic areas. Moreover, TLOD has included in its program, a cooperative peer education facet with Top Teens of America and the national foundation of the March of Dimes.

Recently, a group of energetic Top Teens and their parents gathered at the home of Mary Louise Batiste, president of the Carson chapter, to plan their program of work for the upcoming year.

"With the plans in place and calendared, there was a time of relaxation and enjoyment as everyone partook of the refreshments provided. Everyone returned home with the feeling that there was direction and stability for the year ahead," said Publicity Chair Eulah Williams.

In keeping with their humanitarian work, TLOD, Carson chapter, donated six backpacks filled with school supplies to the Greater Zion Church family. This contribution was a part of the church's "Back to School Project," and was provided for the underprivileged and lower-income families in the community.

Staying involved in community events, 10 members of the chapter also participated in the American Cancer Society Carson Relay for Life. This event took place at Andrew Carnegie Middle School in the city.

Relay for Life is an annual event that brings together more than 3.5 million people in various cities and states. Participants run the relay to celebrate survivors, to remember loved ones lost to the disease, and to fight back against a disease which claims far too many lives.

The organization held its annual retreat in August, at the Holiday Inn in Torrance. The theme of the retreat was "Create, Communicate, Collaborate--Continuing Our Legacy of Service: conquering challenges of youth and adults."

"The purpose of the retreat was to plan the year's program of work, to create new opportunities for service, communicate these ideas, and to work collaboratively with the community, thereby, continuing the legacy of service established by the founders of this organization," said Williams.
One of the highlights of the retreat was special guest Betty Edwards, director of Area VI. She welcomed the ladies to the beginning of the new year [of the program] and encouraged them to use the necessary tools to ensure the success of their programs that will ultimately impact the organization at the chapter, area, or national levels.

To learn more information about the Top Ladies of Distinction Inc., Carson chapter, email eulahywilliams@gmail.com.