Breakfast Club celebrates 25 years of serving community _lowres

Photo provided by Jessica Johnson -- The Breakfast club celebrates its 25th anniversary. Members include, seated from left, Gloria Dean Matthews, Lenora M. Williams and Vice President Rosa S. Pugh; and standing, Josie Cushenberry, Eula Franklin, Jean Styler, Georgia Hampton and President Edna Patterson.

For 25 years, a group of south Baton Rouge women have gathered for breakfast and to plan good deeds to help their community.

It all started with four women who took morning walks for exercise.

One of the walkers, Edna Patterson, decided to invite the women to her home for a Friday morning brunch. Eventually, the group grew and they were meeting once a month at each others’ homes.

The original Breakfast Club members were Patterson, Rosa Pugh, Dorothy Lusk, Mary Clark, Betty Parker, Mammie Puro, Ida Knox, Madelyn Landry, Onell Harris, Elizabeth Davis, Anna Brown and Delphin Thomas.

The group’s purpose is to give back to families in need, members said. Over the years, they’ve helped families at Polk and Buchanan elementary schools by purchasing socks, undergarments, uniforms and other necessities. In addition, monetary donations were given to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, Greater Baton Rouge Cancer Society, Eliminate through South Baton Rouge Kiwanis Club and scholarship donations to students at Southern University and LSU.

They have provided food baskets and toys for Christmas and Easter and helped meet the needs of young girls and the sick.

The Breakfast Club is known for distributing plants and fruit baskets.

Current members are Patterson, Pugh, Josie Cushenberry, Lenora Williams, Gloria Matthews, Georgia Hampton, Eula Franklin and Jean Styler.

The group gathered July 25 at Israelite Missionary Baptist Church of South Baton Rouge’s Fellowship Hall to celebrate its 25th anniversary.

The members are all dedicated, family-oriented women.

Patterson enjoys working in her garden on Georgia Street as well as cooking and baking for her family. She is the president of the senior choir at Israelite Baptist Church.

Pugh, who is described as very crafty, enjoys quilting and making aprons.

Hampton enjoys canning fruits and vegetables.

Cushenberry is married and is dedicated to her church.

Williams is an usher at Israelite Baptist Church.

Franklin spends some of her time attending the Council on Aging senior programs at Dr. Leo S. Butler Community Center. She lso is a member at Living Faith Christian Center, where she’s a greeter.

Matthews likes reading novels, and Styler, from Chicago, is the newest member.

While the women no longer walk, they do meet once a month, sometimes dining out at a restaurant.

During the Christmas holidays, the members exchange gifts and have a potluck dinner.