The Woman’s Club Holiday Luncheon was held on Dec. 9, with a festive group of members and guests.
In addition to food catered by An Angel In Your Kitchen and a delicious Holiday Sparkle special beverage, the mood was one for giving and receiving.
“This event is about gathering with friends in the spirit of holiday giving and happiness, but it’s also about raising funds to support the Club’s community outreach to help make the lives of those far less fortunate a little happier,” Woman’s Club President Kitty Malcolm said in her welcome remarks.
The Woman’s Club Holiday Luncheon has changed a bit over the last couple of years. For many years, money raised to support its Adopt-A-Child program came from proceeds received through its Tarnished Treasures sale. In 2019, the dynamics of raising money changed due to the board’s desire to develop a much broader outreach program.
“The proceeds raised didn’t equal the amount of work involved to put it all together,” Malcom said. “We also wanted the club to make more of a difference in the lives of our local kids-in-need and women transitioning from abusive relationships or homelessness. We needed to raise more money to do this, so we introduced the paddle raise to the luncheon. But we also wanted to let our members know that if we were asking more of them for financial support, we wanted to give back to them as well.”
To that end, the Big Draw was also introduced, which adds more fun and allows members who have a business to showcase their business by donating an item/gift that guests can ‘win.’
For many years, the Woman’s Club has supported the Adopt-A-Family program run by Sande St. John at the holidays, provided backpacks for kids through the School District, and supported Human Options, an organization co-founded by one of its former members, Vivian Clecak. In addition, the club provides two scholarships to young women high school seniors through the School District Scholarship Foundation, although this is not run through its Community Outreach program.
Since incorporating the paddle raise into the event, the Woman’s Club has truly enhanced its Community Outreach program, continuing to purchase Christmas gifts for kids in need through the Adopt-A-Family program, but has indeed expanded its giving throughout the community during the year. In 2022, just for Holiday Giving, the Woman’s Club provided individual gifts for 24 children and provided their families with Ralph’s gift cards for food items, provided 45 toys for the Fire Department’s Spark of Love toy drive, and 48 gifts for the teens at the Waymaker’s Shelter. The Club also provided scholarships of up to $3500 for School Power’s THRIVE Program for teen-age girls, sent two kids to Camp Pinniped through the Marine Mammal Center, provided Scholarships to send 7 kids to various City summer camps, supplied 40 backpacks to school kids, donated $5,000 to the Food Pantry, and donated $10,000 to the Friendship Shelter, specifically supporting two programs to help women in their transition out of homelessness programs.
“We are very proud of what we have been able to accomplish in the past couple of years”, says Malcolm. “But we cannot do it without the support of our terrific Board, the support of our membership, and the support of our community. We are so grateful to everyone who makes our mission their mission too.”
To find out more about the Woman’s Club, visit www.wclb.org.