Who We Are
The Charmettes, Incorporated is a national civic organization that had its beginnings when friends Gwendolyn Baker Rodgers and Frankie Drayton Thomas recognized the need for an organization that would bring together women with similar ideas, principles and backgrounds to organize themselves to utilize their skills, talents and resources for community impact. They invited ten of their friends to join them, and on June 17, 1951, the West Palm Beach Charmettes were created.
The work of the initial chapter had immediate impact in the community, and soon new chapters were being developed throughout Florida and beyond. Our chapters are engaged in programs and activities that provide assistance to individuals and families in need in areas including: education, health, scholarship, and community development. In 1981, the organization adopted a national thrust to eradicate cancer in our lifetime. In addition to our cancer awareness and education programs, we have contributed more than $800,000 to the Howard University Cancer Center (HUCC) in Washington, D.C., to support cancer research and services. In 2006, the HUCC Chemotherapy Infusion Center was named, “The Charmettes, Inc. Gwendolyn B. Rodgers Chemotherapy Infusion Suite,” in honor of our long-term generous support.
Today, The Charmettes, Incorporated is a nationally recognized women’s community service organization, known for getting results and making a difference in the lives of African Americans and their communities. With 20 chapters active throughout Florida, Georgia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia, and Washington, D.C., we are poised for even greater accomplishments in the future.
The women of The Charmettes, Incorporated are dedicated, distinguished achievers and community builders.
(Left to right): Frankie Drayton Thomas and Gwendolyn Baker Rodgers
The original Charmette chapter was founded in West Palm Beach, FL
The Charmettes Today
We believe all women can embrace who they are,
can define their future, and can change the world.
The Charmettes, Incorporated is a sisterhood of dedicated women committed to improving the quality of life within our communities through advocacy, education, service and support for cancer research.
Our commitment and dedication is to our organization, our members, and to our communities;
We welcome, value, and support the diversity of skills, expertise, tools and networks of the strong African American women who make up our membership; and
We recognize the importance and benefits of supporting the eradication of cancer and partnering with historically black colleges and universities and others who share our values and support our mission.