The Dover Century Club nominated Carolyn Forbes to complete at the state, regional and national levels for the General Federation of Women’s Clubs Jennie Award, the federation’s highest honor for outstanding commitment to club, community and family.
The Jennie Award is named in honor of Jane Cunningham Croly, who founded the GFWC in 1890 and wrote for national newspapers under the pseudonym, “Jennie June.” The award, which honors one club woman from each GFWC region, is a national honor that recognizes individual members for personal excellence.
Forbes has been involved in all aspects of GFWC projects. She has been a member of the GFWC/DSFWC Dover Century Club for 17 years, serving two terms as president and in several other capacities, including vice president and chair/co-chair of every community service project. Forbes is also a GFWC Leadership Education and Development Seminar graduate and was elected DSFWC president 2016-18. Presently, she is president of the DSFWC Past State Presidents Club and GFWC Home Life Chair.
As state president, Forbes implemented “Hands Against Hunger,” an initiative that helped alleviate hunger through nutritional education, donations to the Food Bank of Delaware and other food pantries, and volunteering at local missions and soup kitchens. Twenty clubs that comprise the DSFWC embraced “Hands Against Hunger,” implementing the initiative and feeding thousands of needy Delawareans throughout the state. The initiative has far-reaching benefits, as clubs continue to administer “Hands Against Hunger" by donating to food banks and volunteering at local missions.
In addition, Forbes has demonstrated a commitment to community, sharing her time, talents and expertise with charities and nonprofits, including the Stockley Auxiliary Board, Friends of Old Dover, Dover Days Committee, Kent County Tourism and Economic Development, the Delaware Restaurant Association and the Central Delaware Chamber of Commerce.
Forbes’ commitment to family can be found in her deep, strong family bonds. For the past 42 years, she and her husband, Dennis, have worked side-by-side as owners/chef of independent restaurants, including the award-winning Cool Springs Fish Bar and Restaurant near Dover. Her daughter, Desiree DiAntonio, who she refers to as “the best daughter in the world,” along with Desiree’s husband, Dwayne, are partners with the Forbes’ on another successful restaurant, Restaurant 55. In addition, Forbes’ three grandchildren, Elise, Grace and Ethan, are the joy of her life, and she serves on the PTA at their school, Allen Frear Elementary in Magnolia. Forbes attributes her passion for community service to her mother, Della Mae Hacker, whose kindness, love and encouragement, shaped her values and commitment to help others. So, when her mother became ill with dementia, Forbes, along with her close sister Mary, took turns caring for Della Mae, enabling her mom to continue to live at home surrounded by the family that she loved and loved her.