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The original list was 14 names long. By the time the Arkansas Newspaper Women officially organized, 26 women counted themselves as founding members.

Arkansas Press Women, or APW as the statewide group is now known, will celebrate its 65th birthday next year. To celebrate this milestone, two long-time members have offered to pay half the  $25 cost for new associate members’ dues as part of an organizational challenge to increase APW’s membership by 65.

“We have benefited from the great legacy of trailblazers in the communications profession, and now, our hope is to grow the organization by 65 members for our 65th anniversary,” said Debbie Miller, incoming APW president. “We all benefit from bringing new members and new expertise into the organization.”

Associate members can participate in workshops, attend networking events and participate in APW’s annual communications contest.

“It’s a great opportunity for new members to become better acquainted with our organization and all that we have to offer, at a very affordable cost,” Miller said.

APW has changed a lot in 65 years – the group opened its membership to men and expanded beyond newspapers as the communications field evolved to include layout and design, nonprofit communication departments and blogs. APW continues to honor the work of Arkansas communicators and their ever-changing job duties.

The limited $12.50 associate membership rate will be available between now and Oct. 31, 2013. Click here to fill out the Associate Member Application, which should be mailed along with a check (made out to Arkansas Press Women) to our treasurer, Terry Hawkins, Dumas Clarion, 136 East Waterman Street, Dumas, AR 71639-2227.

The full membership rate, which includes membership to the National Federation of Press Women and eligibility to enter the national communications contest, is $91. To apply to become a professional member of APW, visit http://www.nfpw.org/join.cfm.

APW members are encouraged to share the membership challenge with communicators who aren’t already part of APW. For more information, contact Kristin Netterstrom Higgins, First Vice President, at zesty_krstn@yahoo.com or by calling 479-799-6058.

*Read our APW 65 invite to prospective members