Central Area History

Central Area History

The St. Louis ladies organized February 20, 1948, at the home of Blanche Sinkler, sister to Francis Vashon Atkinson, a member of the Philadelphia Links, the original club. Two months later on April 15th, Atkinson used the organization’s first installation service to induct the women, making St. Louis the fourth club and first contingent of what became the Central Area.

The chartering group was composed of eight members: Blanche Sinkler, President; Olive Carpenter, Vice President; Mary Evans, Recording Secretary; Joy Blanche, Treasurer; Charlotte Ford, Alice Harding, Annalise Scott and Melba Sweets.

Thirteen months following the St. Louis installation, the Dayton Club debuted on May 28, 1949 with 13 charter members. It was the last central area group chartered before a convention was called to nationalize the group. On June 4, 1949 the St. Louis and Dayton clubs joined 12 other Links clubs in Philadelphia to form National Links with units that would now be called chapters.

Six Links chapters were chartered in the Central Area during the 1950s extending the link of service to Columbus and Cincinnati, Ohio; Chicago, Illinois; Omaha, Nebraska; Cleveland and Wilberforce, Ohio. In 1951, six chapters were chartered in the central area: Southern West Virginia; Detroit, Michigan; Indianapolis, Indiana; Charleston Institute, West Virginia; Greater Kansas City, Kansas and Louisville, Kentucky.

By 1958, the Central Area had 24 chapters and over the next two decades 21 more chapters were added.

We invite you to explore the Central Area of The Links, Incorporated and the transformational, sustainable and replicable programs to improve the quality of life for individuals, families, and communities served in the 17 states by our 70 Chapters. Located in the Midwest, we are the “Heart of Linkdom” delivering national award winning programs developed and produced by more than 3,000 members.

The Links, Incorporated, founded in 1946, is a women’s volunteer service organization committed to enriching, sustaining and ensuring the cultural and economic survival of African-Americans and other persons of African-American ancestry. A premier international service organization with more than 15,000 members in 283 chapters located in 41 states, the District of Columbia, and the Commonwealth of the Bahamas, continues its legacy of friends providing service that changes lives, established by the original circle of nine friends in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.   With over 2 million service hours recorded in the past three years, members regularly contribute more than 1,000,000 documented service hours in their respective communities annually. The Links Foundation, Incorporated, the philanthropic arm of The Links, Incorporated, has made more than $24 million dollars in charitable contributions since its founding. Working closely with its sponsors and supporters, The Links, Incorporated are ‘Linked in Friendship – Connected in Service’. For more information, visit www.linksinc.org.