Chapter History


On April 29, 2012, a select group of more than 30 women was invited to learn about establishing a chapter of The Links, Incorporated to serve the communities within Upper Montgomery County, Maryland.  Excited about the possible venture, the prospective members started on their journey under the guidance of the organizers, Annie Whatley, and Shirley Watkins Bowden. In May 2012, the group met to formally organize and establish the Pearls of the Patuxent River ("Pearls").  


At the May meeting, newly elected President and chapter Organizer Sandra A. M. Britt recommended that the group create a program working with youth in Upper Montgomery County, Maryland. Statistics showed a significant population of African Americans (approximately 180,143) who face challenges such as poor access to health care, teen pregnancy, lower academics, lower home ownership, lower employment, etc. There were also significant indications that bullying and self-esteem were issues with youth, especially young girls. To address this need, the Pearls voted to develop a mentoring program for 4th and 5th-grade girls and their parents at Germantown Elementary School; ultimately creating a 2-year transformational program known as the G.E.M.S. of Germantown Elementary. The goal of the program, with its monthly activities, is to create an environment where elementary school-aged girls are empowered by promoting self-awareness, self-respect, and encouraging leadership skills. 


The Pearls held its first fundraiser in October 2012 called The Harvest Bash, where guests were invited to an evening of games, food, and music. The Pearls held another successful fundraiser (October 19, 2013 - Harvest Gala) and a Health & Financial Wellness event (March 29, 2014). All events promoted the organization’s programs and services in the community.


After serving in friendship for more than two years, the tight-knit group of 48 professionally diverse women applied to become an interest group of the Links, Incorporated. In August 2013, the Pearls were notified that they were selected as an official interest group of The Links, Incorporated. In May 2014, the group became the Patuxent River (MD) Chapter-Elect. On June 27, 2014, The Patuxent River (MD) Chapter was chartered as the 281st chapter of The Links, Incorporated and is part of the Eastern Area.

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