The Links, Incorporated of Wichita, Kansas, was organized December 7th, 1968.
Charter Members, Wichita, Kansas Chapter
|Annabel Bell||Mildred Ingram|
|Dora Bronson||Maxine Jackson|
|Josephine Brown||Vashti Lewis|
|Anita Burney||Ruby Parker|
|Pauline Gardner||Josephine Stewart|
|Xavia Howard||Wilma Turner|
Brown Burney Howard Ingram Lewis
Our Chapter History
The occasion of the chartering of the Wichita Chapter of Links, Incorporated took place at the Lassen Hotel on Market and 1st Streets in downtown Wichita, Kansas, when the chapter was organized on Saturday, December 7, 1968.
Link Evelyn Harper, Central Area Director, presided during the chartering ceremony. She was assisted by members of the sponsoring chapter, Link Joy Williams, President of the Topeka chapter and the Wichita chapter organizer, Link Alyce Christopher .
Link Alyce Christopher was inducted into the Norfolk, Virginia Chapter, and was a member of the Topeka, Kansas chapter while serving as the chapter’s organizer. She transferred her Link membership to the Wichita chapter after it was established.
Charter members were: Annabel Bell, Dora Bronson, Josephine Brown, Anita Burney, Pauline Gardner, Xavia Howard, Mildred Ingram, Maxine Jackson, Vashti Lewis, Ruby Parker, Josephine Stewart, and Wilma Turner. (I also have Mrs. Abner B. Jackson, Sr. as a charter member)
Link Alyce Christopher served as the chapter’s first president. Other first officers included: Link Pauline Gardner, Vice President, Link Vashti Lewis, Recording Secretary, Link Ruby Parker, Corresponding Secretary, Link Mildred Ingram, Financial Secretary, Link Anita Burney, Treasurer, and Link Annabel Bell, Historian.
Over the years, our chapter membership has grown to include 33 Active Members, five Charter Members, and nine Alumni Members.
During the 1970’s The Wichita Chapter of Links has impacted the Wichita community with exceptional programs that have educated, empowered, and improved the lives of our citizens. In 1974, our chapter was recognized with The National Grant-In-Aid Projects appreciation.
The Beautillion program, a scholarship recognition program for African American high school male seniors has been presented to the Wichita community annually by our chapter since Sunday, March 28, 1976. During the past 38 years, over 1000 African American high school seniors have participated in college awareness tours, participated in mentoring workshops, and have been publicly recognized for their scholastic achievements through Beautillion.
From September 1989 to August 1998, Linkages to Life, was a year round program that the Wichita Chapter implemented to provide at-risk middle school students with tutoring and counseling services. The program also included workshops that addressed careers, healthy behaviors, choices, and positive decision making skills. The program was held at Curtis Middle School during the school year, and at McAdams Park during the summer. From 2000-2003 Services to Youth also supported elementary school aged students with our Hats & Gloves Project. Elementary students were provided with winter hats, gloves, and socks during the coldest months of the year.
In the late 1990’s each September, our chapter increased local awareness for healthy lifestyles through our community wide two-mile walk-a-thons. We have supported The Health & Wellness Center, a viable necessity for those who do not have access to health care. In August 2009, we promoted the Arts by featuring the talents of Wichita’s local artists at our Summer Jazz Poetry Slam Night.
Our global efforts have allowed us to forge international partnerships beyond Wichita. Through International Trends & Services, we have continued an collaborative partnership with “Clinic In a Can”, a medical clinic that offers medical support to those in need in Haiti. In 2011, we also supported the Teshie Orphanage in Ghana, West Africa, and supported our central region in building a South African school.
Voter empowerment, breast cancer awareness, and partnerships with community organizations to include The Kansas African American Affairs Commission, The Kansas African American Museum, NAACP, and Urban League to educate the community about issues that impact our community continues to remain a priority. In 2012, our chapter was recognized with “A Community Giving Thanks Service Award” by the WG Williams Foundation, for the service that we continue to provide to the Wichita community.