Washington Women's History Consortium
Women's Clubs and Organizations
Ada McKinney, President, 1972-1974
Washington State Federation of Women's Clubs
Mrs. George Robb McKinney (Ada L. Moyer), the 41st President of the Washington State Federation of Women's Clubs, was born
in Barry, Illinois where her parents were farmers. She moved to Danville, Illinois where she married George McKinney June
27, 1928. They moved to Richland, WA, in 1943 when her husband was transferred to the Hanford Project.
Continuing the devotion to volunteerism begun in Illinois, Ada has had an outstanding record of community service. She
served as a troop leader and President of the Richland Girl Scout Council. She was a member of the Richland Community
Chest Organization for six years and President for two years. She was Matron of the Order of Eastern Star, Rainbow
Mother Advisor, political precinct committee woman, and founder of the Mid-Columbia Art Council.
The Richland Toastmistress Club named her Woman of the Year. She served the Washington State Heart Association as a
volunteer for 28 years. Another activity was the Presidency of the Mid-Columbia Medical Emergency Services Council.
She did volunteer work for the library and the Richland Chamber of Commerce, and wrote articles for the Tri-Cities
Senior Living Newspaper. United Way honored her with the Distinguished Volunteer Award, as did the U.S. Department
of Health and Social Services.
Somehow, she also found time to pursue her hobbies of sewing, gardening and arts and crafts.
Mrs. McKinney's Federation activities began with active participation in the many programs and projects of her clubs. She
became President of the Richland Federated Woman's Club as well as the Tri-Cities Federated Woman's Club. She was also
President of both the Yakima Valley District Federation and the Desert Rivers District. Serving on committees and
chairmanships, and elected offices of the WSFWC culminated in her being elected President for 1972-74.
As expressed in her incoming address, Mrs. McKinney's theme for her administration was "THINK ANEW, ACT ANEW - IN OUR WORLD
OF TRANSITION." A major goal was the development of leadership, as well as increasing membership, improving communications,
better reporting and programming, and strengthening the districts. "Plans of work" covering all phases of GFWC and WSFWC
were distributed to each club president. A membership kit was assembled for all districts. A rules and procedures handbook
was compiled to clarify duties of officers and chairmen, which included a chapter on protocol. She also published at her
own expense, a monthly bulletin known as "Federation Facts." Emphasis was given to Home Life, as Mrs. McKinney felt "the
structure of our homes is the foundation of our country."
At the WSFWC post-convention board meeting following her installation, it was voted to open a resale store named The Thrifty
Sense Shop in Seattle. Donations of good, used items were sold to benefit the Washington Clubwoman newspaper. Volunteers
statewide collected the items, delivered them to the shop and served as clerks. The funds earned made it possible for the
Washington Clubwoman to be mailed to every member of WSFWC instead of just to club presidents.
At the WSFWC Board Meeting in Yakima, October 6-7, 1972, Mrs. McKinney announced the raising of the GFWC dues from 35 cents
to $1.00, effective with the 1974-76 administration. She was instrumental in a Gestetner copy machine being purchased for
the use of the Executive Secretary, enabling the WSFWC to markedly cut printing costs.
Shell Oil Company sponsored an Environmental Conservation Program. A Conservation Workshop, "A Way of Life," took place in
the summer of 1972, at Fort Worden on the outskirts of Port Townsend. The 1973 Conservation Workshop was at Hanford House
Mrs. McKinney and State Director of Junior Clubs, Iris Lohman, worked well together. At the Junior Leadership Round-Up at the
Holiday Inn in Yakima, September 29, 30 and October 1, 1972, Ada McKinney and Kathy Estep, Advisor to the Junior Clubs,
shared in the weekend. Topics covered included Shoreline Protection, State ReDistricting, obtaining a typewriter for a
blind student, and the Equal Rights Amendment.
At the WSFWC convention in Olympia at the Evergreen Inn May 2-5, 1973, a guided tour of the Legislative Building and the
Capitol grounds and a tea at the Executive Mansion were part of the program. An historical style show was presented by the
Ladies of the Associates of the State Capitol Museum.