About The Links, Incorporated
The Links, Incorporated is an international, not-for-profit corporation, established in 1946. The membership consists of 16,000 professional women of color in 292 chapters located in 41 states, the District of Columbia and the Commonwealth of the Bahamas and the United Kingdom. It is one of the nation’s oldest and largest volunteer service organizations of extraordinary women who are committed to enriching, sustaining and ensuring the culture and economic survival of African Americans and other persons of African ancestry.
The Links, Incorporated is a voluntary service organization of concerned, committed and talented women who, linked in friendship, enhance the quality of life in communities throughout the world. The mission and vision is to contribute to the formulation of a positive, productive and culturally diverse society. A strong focus is given to education, cultural enrichment, health, wellness and civic involvement. The Links, Incorporated is an entity which through its chapters and the Links Foundation, Incorporated has granted more than ten million dollars to charitable organizations.
The Niagara Falls (NY) Chapter The Links, Incorporated chartered on May 24, 1950 in Niagara Falls, New York. Dorothy Reid, National Treasurer, installed the chapter which was sponsored by Catherine Adams, Baltimore, MD and Lucille Cuthbert, Pittsburgh, PA. Alice C. Hayes organized and was the founding President of the Niagara Falls Chapter. The chartering was the 14th chapter to be installed into Linkdom. Charter Members were Theresa Evans, Doris D. Fields, Thelma N. Griffin, Corresponding Secretary, Thelma Ayers Hardiman, Alice C. Hayes, President, Vera Johnson, Cora P. Maloney, Corrine H. Risdon, Ruth Scruggs and Vera B. Trimier. The chapter grew immensely - thus the Buffalo Chapter and Erie County Chapter of The Links, Incorporated were subsequently chartered.
The Niagara Falls (NY) Chapter The Links, Incorporated dedicated members have reached out near and far to assist others. Annually the chapter has made charitable contributions and given support to the United Way of Niagara, Niagara Community Center and Girls Club, Niagara Hospice, The Center for Young Parents, Community Missions, Inc., and Family and Children's Service of Niagara, as well as many others.
Additionally, the membership has sponsored and co-sponsored youth development programs and conferences, mentoring seminars, cultural festivals, theme luncheons and walk-a-thons for health and hunger. In the field of education, we administer The Dr. & Mrs. Charles Beresford Hayes Memorial Medical Scholarship and The Mariella Gentry Memorial Scholarship Fund awarding scholarships to students entering medicine or medically related field.
Activities over the years, have included:
"Art Expose" - An African American art exhibit and lecture.
"A Celebration in the Arts" - featuring the renowned Ami Jackson of Detroit, Michigan, an actress, singer, storyteller, pianist and harpist.
"A Evening Repertoire in the Arts" featuring the Duke Ellington School of the Performing Arts Show Choir - Voices in Motion" of Washington, D. C. under the direction of Mr. Samuel Bonds.
"Month of the Woman", Spellman College Glee Club, Atlanta, GA, directed by Dr. Norman Raybon assisted by a Link, Dr. Joyce F. Johnson.
"God Squad" - the goals of the project were to reach out to incarcerated women, counsel with them, officer encouragement and provide personal items for their use during the holiday season.
"Way to Go! Helping Teens Make Educated Choices"
"Colleges and Universities Impacting our Community" - continually working with and in support of the Black Family Center at Niagara University, each year we assist with the planning and implementation of the 2 - 3 day conference.
"Linking Hands" - with the City Mission of Niagara Falls, we meet the needs of refugees providing them with toiletries and clothing, aiding in the transition of life style and the standard of living in North America.
"The Witness Project", a project to provide information and education on cancer in women which culminated in a Salute to African American Cancer Survivors Luncheon and in 2008 and a "We Wear Hats" Luncheon in 2009.
"Chasing the Dream" in cooperation with the Niagara County Youth Bureau, a program aimed at the importance of abstinence for young people.
The Niagara Falls (NY) Chapter The Links, Incorporated has often been honored for it's outstanding and dedicated service to the Niagara Falls and Western New York area.
1952 - Scholarship Winners
Charter Members at Chapter Meeting
1950 Christmas Party
The Niagara Falls (NY) Chapter of The Links, Incorporated was chartered on Friday, May 24, 1950 in the home of the late Alice Hayes, organizer and first President. In all, eleven civic-minded, dedicated women were organizing members of the chapter: Vera Johnson Hayes, Thelma Griffin, Ruth Scruggs, Theresa Evans, Thelma Hardiman, Doris Fields, Cora P. Maloney, Vera Trimper, and Corine Risdon. Niagara Falls was the 14th chapter to be chartered in the Eastern Area and the 20th to be chartered nationally.
Kimberly Jeffries Leonard
17th National President