The vision of the Farmington Valley Chapter of the Links, Incorporated took form in 1978, when our first president Link Norma Smith’s aunt, Faye Price, planted the seed during a visit to Norma’s Granby, Connecticut home. She is reported to have said, “We’ll just have to do something about that!” And she did. Link Price was a strong spirited visionary and in 1978, she was a national officer serving as director of the National Trends and Services Facet. She recognized a need and acted swiftly and effectively, using her knowledge and her contacts to help facilitate the beginning of the first Suburban Chapter in the State of Connecticut.
With Link Price’s support and guidance, Norma Smith took on the challenge. She placed a number of selected calls and organized the “Farmington Valley Girls,” interest group, which was the required predecessor to our present chapter. The “Farmington Valley Girls” were in existence and involved in service projects for a year prior to becoming an official chapter. The very first service projects included a canned food pantry, volunteer work at the McLean Nursing Home in Simsbury, Connecticut and planning for the first of many fundraisers.
Norma’s vision became a reality after more than a year of intensive work. On April 28, 1979, at the Farmington Valley Country Club in Farmington, Connecticut, Link Thelma Hardiman, Eastern Area Director, officiated at the installation ceremony of the newly birthed Farmington Valley Chapter of the Links, Incorporated. Link Thelma Hardiman, assisted by Link Thelma Doby, Eastern Area Treasurer and the very spirited Link Faye Price inducted the charter members. The “Farmington Valley Chapter of the Links, Incorporated was unique because it was the only chapter of a national, predominantly black organization, in a Connecticut suburb. The historical significance of this was related to the growing black community in the Farmington Valley and to improve the quality of life of this growing population by keeping the African American heritage a part of their lives and making that heritage a part of the life and culture of the Valley.”
The charter members are Norma Smith, Edith Barnett, Marie Beane, Doris Bentil, Thelma Borbin, Cassandra Butler, Leslie Clark, Muriel Clark, Patricia Lyons, Ione Curtis, Evelyn DuBose, Irma Francis, Katherlyn Harrison, Janet Jackson, Irma Lee, Louise Malinosky, Marion McClellan, Constance Robinson, Peggy Simmons-Binion, Laura Watson.