In 1951 a select group of innovative, talented and successful women of the Tampa Bay area collaborated to create the St. Petersburg – Tampa Chapter of the Links, Incorporated. Linked in friendship and dedicated to working together as friends to help others, the newly formed group aspired to provide community service with a mission to ensure cultural and economic survival while improving the quality of life for African Americans and people of African decent. As founders and Charter Members of the St. Petersburg – Tampa Chapter, Rose Marie Archer, Alice White, Maggie Williams, Helen Ayer, Juanita Johnson, Eddie M. Williams, Johna Andrews, Jewel Archie, Mae McRae, Fannye Ponder, Altair Leggett, Mary Polk and Preston Pughsley were extraordinary women dedicated to upholding the standards and embodiment of the Links organization and making Links not only a chain of friendship but a chain of purposeful service.
After 36 years of outstanding service to the community the St. Petersburg – Tampa Chapter of the Links recognized that the time had come to make an even greater impact on their two emerging communities by separating the regional Chapter into two Chapters to serve the Tampa Bay region. St. Petersburg residents Helen Ayer, Angela Ayer, Jacqueline Cottman, Mozell Davis, Shirley Davis, Diane Green, Theresa Goss, Maude Harris, Tammy Jackson, Mendee Ligon, Frankie Minnis, Anna Walker and Lucinda White set Link history in motion by being the driving force and Founding Members of the soon to be Chartered St. Petersburg Chapter of the Links, Incorporated.
“A New Beginning, One United – Two Strong” was the theme for the historic weekend of the 36 year old Chapter of the St. Petersburg – Tampa Links. On June 27, 1987, the Tampa Bay organization became two separate distinct Charter Chapters during two days of ceremonies and workshops. The Chartering Ceremony was presided over by National Vice President Marion Sutherland, National Secretary Dolores Albury and Southern Area Director Barbara Moore. Ten women from the St. Petersburg, Clearwater and Bradenton area were inducted into the St. Petersburg Chapter joining into Linkdom with the Founding Members of the St. Petersburg Chapter and setting the foundation for what has become a record of community service that has positively impacted the St. Petersburg community.
St. Petersburg Chapter of the Links, Incorporated proudly introduced Charter Members, Angela Ayer, Helen Ayer, Nancy Bryant, Jacqueline Cottman, Keturah Creal, Mozell Davis, Shirley Davis, Lynette Edwards, Diane Green, Theresa Goss, Maude Harris, Jacqueline Hubbard, Yvonne King, L. Michelle Ligon, Mendee Ligon, Donna McRae, Yvonne Matt, Frankie Minnis, Pam Peterson, Patricia Stewart, Delceda Thompson, Anna Walker and Lucinda White to the greater St. Petersburg community. The Charter Members of the St. Petersburg Chapter of the Links, Incorporated, building upon their history of service positioned themselves to continue to address community service through their national program facets in the area of Services to Youth, National Trends and Services, International Trends and Services and the Arts.
Keeping with strong tradition of Link Service of the Community, the newly chartered St. Petersburg Chapter immediately commenced with serving the St. Petersburg community and began what has become a long history of service in St. Petersburg. The Chapter’s first event was “Homage to Hometown-Motherland”. The proceeds from the event went towards efforts in Zimbabwe, Botswana and other African villages to dig fresh water wells furthering the mission of the organization.
For the last 32 years, the St. Petersburg Chapter of the Links, Incorporated, has maintained the high standards and history of the Links, Incorporated through service and commitment to the mission. Whether it has been hosting receptions for world renowned artists and musicians, mentoring to youth, sponsoring health forums, honoring our Everyday Heroes and Military at White Rose Luncheons, the St. Petersburg Chapter continues to find creative and unique ways to uphold their organizational mission by sharing resources and skills to meet the challenging times of the community that we serve.
As the St. Petersburg Chapter of the Links, Incorporated moves toward its 33rd year of service in June 2020, the Chapter will once again prepare to serve an era where collective dreams, hopes and partnerships established through serving the community will bring about much needed change and make an impact in our community.