CONTINENTAL SOCIETIES, INC. North jersey shore chapter chapTER HISTORY
When Dr. Rose Cooper Thomas came to Monmouth County in the 60’s, the ashes of racial turbulence were not yet cold. Much was being said about the lack of wholesome outlets and recreational facilities for Black youth. This troubled Dr. Thomas and she began thinking. Is there something she could do to provide services for Black youths? Having lived and worked in New York City she thought of the Continental Societies and the wonderful work and service being rendered by the New York Chapter. Dr. Thomas was deeply committed to the service of disadvantaged and underprivileged children and youth. The Continental Societies, Incorporated is a national organization committed to helping children and youth — children with special needs. Dr. Thomas called together a group of fifteen women and organized the North Jersey Shore Chapter of Continental Societies, Incorporated. This Chapter has been and continues to be an outstanding asset to Monmouth and Ocean Counties. Through the efforts of Dr. Thomas, we were sponsored by the Philadelphia Chapter. We were thoroughly indoctrinated to our commitments, as expected of every chapter member. We were to become “Continental Women”! The prospective fifteen were concerned, interested and dedicated to the work of children and youth. The original fifteen charter members were of various educational and vocational backgrounds. On May 22, 1971, the North Jersey Shore Chapter was installed with the following charter members: **Marie Carter Stone Marion Cooper Ruth Dallam Emma Esters **Lorraine Finley **Corrine Godwin **Corleza Holimon Canta Johnson Blanche Jones Ada Pettit Janice Sweeney Mary Tate **Dr. Rose Cooper Thomas **Elizabeth E. Williams Shirley S. Williams **Deceased
The North Jersey Shore Chapter has always been known for being among the first in everything that they do. Charter member Elizabeth E. Williams was the first Chapter member to be elected to serve as the National Historian. She was also the first member to be inducted into the Continental Societies Hall of Fame. Janice Moon was the first Chapter member to be appointed as the Eastern Region Vice Regional Director. She was followed by E. Tonya Greenwood who was elected as the Eastern Region Vice Regional Director and subsequently elected as the Regional Director for the Eastern Region.
North Jersey Shore members who served on the regional and national levels include: Janice Moon National Arts & Humanities Committee Patricia K. Thomas Acting National Recording Secretary National Scholarship Committee Regional Scholarship Committee Chair Cheryl Grant National Corresponding Secretary Regional Public Relations Officer national economic development National Fitness Coordinator Regional Fitness Coordinator Bahiyyah Abdullah national sisterhood committee National Nominating Committee Regional Scholarship Committee Regional Elections Committee Beverly Crudup Regional Sergeant-at-arms G. Venessa jones regional nominating committee Laria Hamilton Regional Corresponding Secretary Edith Boyd Regional Scholarship Committee Regional Recording Secretary E. Tonya Greenwood National President National Vice President National Nominating Committee Chair National Program & Awards Chairperson National Scholarship Committee Regional Director Vice Regional Director Regional Scholarship Committee Chair Regional Elections Chairperson
The North Jersey Shore Chapter has hosted the National Conclave, National Board Meetings and Eastern Regional Meetings. The membership has grown over the years and continues to provide outstanding programs and services to children and families with special needs. The chapter has won numerous regional and national awards for the outstanding programs that they have provided in Monmouth and Ocean Counties. One of the highlights in the chapter’s history is the honor of having member, E. Tonya Greenwood elected as National President of Continental Societies, Incorporated. She was also the second Chapter member to be inducted into the Continental Societies Hall of Fame.
In 2010, Chapter member E. Tonya Greenwood, Immediate Past National President, received the highest award given to a Continental, the “Lillian Parks Thomas Distinguished Service Award”. She is the first member in the North Jersey Shore Chapter to have received this prestigious National Award.