Magnolia Society holds annual Spring luncheon

Published 4:43 pm Wednesday, March 27, 2019

Approximately 60 women gathered Tuesday afternoon for the Magnolia Society’s Annual Spring Luncheon hosted at Hills & Dales to socialize, take part in a silent auction and listen to Dr. Kelly Veal speak on the effects of trauma in children and the intergenerational transmission of trauma.

The Magnolia Society is the United Way of West Georgia’s women’s leadership council and is open to all women who give at least $500 to United Way annually. The focus of the leadership council centers around early childhood education, and proceeds raised at the luncheon will go to support organizations working in that space.

“Every women’s leadership council has a focus area,” said Patty Youngblood, President of United Way of West Georgia. “When our steering committee was trying to get this going, we chose early learning. This is a way to get people excited about early learning and showcase what we are doing.”

The United Way of West Georgia has a grant process for organizations to apply for those funds raised by the Magnolia Society. This year, United Way has approved a $3,000 grant for the Chattahoochee Early Learning Academy in West Point as well as a grant for the Troup County School System and Success by 6 to buy books for pediatricians’ offices and health department offices that encourage parents to read to their children.

Dr. Veal runs The Veal Group, a private counseling practice, and is also an assistant professor of clinical mental health counseling and clinical coordinator at LaGrange College. She helped bring attention to the nature of trauma in early childhood during her speech at the luncheon.

“I am talking about the impact of trauma on early childhood and the intergenerational transmission of trauma,” Veal said. “We’re now beginning to understand that you can inherit trauma genetically and environmentally. We’re actually passing down trauma to offspring, making them more vulnerable to be traumatized. They don’t have the resources at birth that they should have to withstand certain stressors.”

The silent auction raised $515 on Tuesday, which will go toward a future grant supporting work related to early childhood education.