The purpose of this organization shall be to promote social, educational, and civic involvement among members. In order for Chattanooga to become a chapter of Carats, Incorporated, a group of ladies had to be active as a social group for two years. Following guidelines from national, meetings were held and plans were executed under the auspices of the Atlanta Chapter. Three organizers, Ernestine Boas, Janie Holder, and Dorothy Jones, scanned the Chattanooga circle and invites ladies to become members of a social group that would soon become “Les Bon Amies Social Club.”
In 1978, Les Bon Amies became the Chattanooga Chapter of Carats, Incorporated. Charter members are: Evelyn Barnett, Ernestine Boaz, Janie Holder, Joyce Bowles, Emily Burford, Vilma Fields, Eva Franklin, Elizabeth Gaines, Marquita Harris, Shirley Jackson, Nan Lindsey, Lyda McKeldin, Pauline Miller, Edna Morgan, Roberta Oglesby, and Allene Scott. Dorothy Jones was elected to serve as the chapter’s first President; however she passed away before we were installed as Carats. Evelyn Barnett who had been elected First Vice President guided us as an organization to be chartered.
For eight years the charter members of ladies of Chattanooga Chapter of Carats, Inc. bonded and had fun. We dressed for our meetings as this was part of our orientation. We traveled together in vans, cars and on the Choo-Choo bus to conclaves. During the first eight years we even took a cruise to the islands.
In 1986, we inducted four new members into the group: Deborah Taylor, Ruth Buffington, Beverly Cox and Madolyn Foster. Between 1989 and the present time, the Chattanooga Chapter has inducted 19 women into the organization: Anita Keith, Gladys Mance (1989), Diane Mason and Barbara Moon (1990), Elizabeth Robinson, Mary Barrow, Jacqueline Brown, Gwendolyn Williams, and Donna Roddy, Gloria McKeldin and Lorene Baldwin (2003). Since 2003, we have inducted Lora Dawson, Hester Buie, Terry James, Cheryl Key, Dorothy Grisham, Joyce Overton, Annette Adams, and Susan Keith.
Chattanooga Carats that have served at the national level are: Ernestine Boaz, Lyda McKeldin, Shirley Jackson, Ruth Buffington, Joyce Bowles, Donna Roddy, Hester Bouie, Evelyn Barnett, and Janie Holder.