Millie Devine, a bank officer in New London, found it difficult to conduct business when the organizations and clubs that conducted business did not allow women as members. She understood the importance of connections and networking with others especially for businesswomen. She saw a need and created a solution. At the same time, Millie and other women realized the importance of creating a safe place for women affected by domestic violence. The Women’s Center now named Safe Futures was founded by this small group of women in 1976.Tens of thousands of women and men have been supported and saved by Safe Futures. This is the Network’s “sister organization!” Both nonprofits have changed the lives of women for the better. As Margaret Meade states “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world, indeed it’s the only thing that ever has.”
HER-STORY, history from a woman’s perspective, was created by Network member Jenny Bonnano, owner of Connect the Dots Productions. She produced, directed, researched and wrote the story.Her crew filmed old newsletters, directories, mailings, photos, luncheons and interviewed past members and Presidents.The video premiered at a May 2007 luncheon. Jenny Bonnano stated “It
was a pleasure to work on this project. How fortunate that so many of
the founding members are still in the area and remain active members of
We were reminded of many things while making and viewing
this DVD. One thing that kept coming up again and again is how we, as a
group, support our members. We have energy and spirit, and our
networking skills are always improving.”
2016 40th Anniversary Safe Futures Brick Walkway
$20,000 raised to achieve the walkway at 16 Jay St. New London dedicated to honor women in our lives.
2021 45th Anniversary
What began as an organization formed by a few women, has become in 2021, a Network that has supported and served thousands of women. What would our region have been like if Millie Devine and that small group of women had chosen not to do anything? Think of all the connections lost, the scholarships not given, the resources, knowledge and wisdom not passed on and the friendships never created. The 45-year relationship with Safe Futures to help save lives, educate and empower women and help raise funds and awareness would never have happened. However, a “courageous decision” was made and so many people have benefitted because of the over four decades of work empowering women.
Her-story, the 30-year history of the Women's NETWORK, is on DVD and for sale for $15. The history unfolds with narrative and interviews of past presidents and members. The DVDs are available for purchase at the monthly Network luncheons or by contacting the membership chairperson.
For more information on the beginning of the NETWORK