Ethel McCormack was a past Fresno County Women’s Chamber of Commerce (FCWCC) president and a member of the National Federation of Business and Professional Women’s Clubs, Fresno Chapter. In 1968, during her time on the FCWCC Board, she founded an event called the bi-annual Garden Give & Take in conjunction with professors from the Plant Science Department at Fresno State.
This free public event was created to bring the community together and help facilitate the exchange of all types of plants from the attendees’ home gardens – “GIVE what you have, TAKE what you need.” The event catered to both new and experienced “green thumbs.” Professors and students from Fresno State and Reedley College, along with local Master Gardeners, were on hand to answer all gardening questions. Ethel believed that by encouraging gardening, Fresno and the surrounding communities would benefit from beautification and cleaner air.
The Garden Give & Take lives on today under the care of another local organization. A group of volunteers who participated in Ethel’s Garden Give & Take established a non-profit 501 (c) 3 in June 2011 called Community Volunteers Central Valley. This organization currently serves Fresno, Madera and Merced Counties through Plant Give & Take events and other fundraisers throughout the year.
In 2019 the Fresno County Women’s Chamber of Commerce voted to maintain the scholarship in Ethel McCormack’s name. The Scholarship is given each year through the Community College Foundation with no designated area of study required.
Fresno Pacific University Fresno County Women’s Chamber of Commerce Annual Business Scholarship
The Fresno County Women’s Chamber of Commerce Annual Business Scholarship Fund was established with Fresno Pacific University with the intent to support students who have an interest in business as a course of study, promote personal and professional development and to foster entrepreneurial thinking that will benefit our communities.
The Fresno County Women’s Chamber of Commerce Annual Business Scholarship Fund shall be awarded to female students enrolled in the Degree Completion Business Program at Fresno Pacific University.
Criteria for selection include:
Applications open up for the 2023-2024 academic year on April 2023