The 110th annual spring convention of the GFWC of Arkansas Federation was held at the Wyndham Hotel in north Little Rock on April 27-29. The theme of this year's convention was "GFWC - Empowering Women One By One." Members of 43 federated women's clubs from around the state were in attendance to tour the Governor's Mansion, hear reports of 2006 state-wide club volunteer hours, donated funds to communities and around the world, to receive awards and recognition for outstanding service and to expand friendships across the state.
Arkansas's first lady, Ginger Beebe, was a special guest speaker on Saturday.
Mary Ellen Laister, the International GFWC second vice president from Arizona was a guest and speaker throughout the weekend.
During the Saturday night banquet, the highest award given at the convention for the year was presented to Debbie Kehrli of Cherokee Village. Kehrli was selected as the recipient of the 2006 Outstanding Club Woman of GFWC Arkansas award. This award is presented annually to a club woman who has demonstrated leadership, promoted GFWC and club activities and been active in volunteerism in her community.
Kehrli has been a member of GFWC since 2004. She is a member and Sunday school teacher at First Baptist Church of Cherokee Village, serves as president of the Cherokee Village Business Association and is a representative on the board of the Spring River Area Chamber of Commerce.
Kehrli has been on recent mission trips to India and Nebraska and assists with and plans many yearly scheduled events in Cherokee Village.
Debbie is a RN of 31 years, works at WRMC in Batesville on the Progressive Care Unit, and is a CPR (BLS) and Advanced Life Support (ACLS) instructor. Kehrli is a past member of the Timely Club of Hardy.
In October of 2006, Kehrli began the process of starting a new GFWC women's volunteer service club in Cherokee Village. This came to fruition in November with the formation of the Quapaw Women's Club, which was chartered in December 2006 with nine charter members. Because of that work, at convention, the GFWC Quapaw Club was awarded first place in the state for leadership.
Kehrli is a native of Salem, is the daughter of Cathie Griffin and Noble Coggins, and the granddaughter of the late Albert and Allie Coggins. She is married to Darrell Kehrli and is the mother of Trent and Amanda Shipley.