History

The initial meeting of the Lakewood Ranch Women’s Club was held in the Library of the Out-of-Doors Academy and was attended by 20 people who developed the original charter. One of that original group, Fran Morehead, is still a member of the club. Elizabeth Norton was elected president.

LWR Women’s Club Past Presidents

1997 Elizabeth Norton
1998 Karen Michener
1999 Jane Drake
2000 JoAnn Dain*
2001 Mary Button
2002 Charlene Betourney
2003 Sandy Simmons
2004 Lyn Griffiths*
2005 Jamie Grollman
2006 Sandy Simmons
2007 Judy Heck*
2008 Pat Eilender
2009 Marian Wolfe
2010 Wilma Nourie
2011 Jean Gustafson
2012 Frankie Bailey
2013 Mary Beth Steffens
2014 Trish Newman
2015 Patti Wrobel
2016 Shirley Taradash
2017 Monika Templeman
2018 Eileen Buzzard

Presidents
Past Presidents Patti Wrobel (2015), Mary Beth Steffens (2013), Trish Newman (2014), Marian Wolfe (2009), Pat Eilender (2008), Charlene Betourney (2001), Frankie Bailey (2012), and Mary Button (2001).

From ODA the group moved to the Community Service Office located next to Summerfield Park. Back then it was the original “town hall” providing all comminity services and a meeting room which held 25-30 people.

By 2001 the WC had grown so large that new quarters were needed and the club moved to St. Mary Magdalene Church.  At that venue elaborate decorating was done for each meeting and event, the most memorable being a “beach scene theme” staged by Barbara Limon and Nancy Futch.

The WC has steadily grown over the years from 20 members to 300 [2018.] It is interesting to note the “tidal wave effect”…as new neighborhoods develop the composition of the club changes. Initially, back in 1997 most residents as well as most club members lived in Summerfield. This was followwed by an influx of women from Edgewater and then by the Country Club. Today [2018],  members continue to come from all over Lakewood Ranch.

Some social activities have been become traditions.  The first Holiday Dinner and Auction was held in 2000 at the University Park Country Club where 100 women gathered for dinner and a charity auction.  In 2002, LWRWC raised $7000 for charity in contrast to the $28, 000 donated in 2011 and 2012. By the end of 2017, the WC will have donated over $300,000 to various charities.

The Lakewood Ranch Women’s Club is a seminal part of the greater Lakewood Ranch community. It is important to remember its history and accomplishments and the hundreds of women who have served as officers and committee members and the wonderful members who support them.

By CHARLENE BETOURNEY

 

*Deceased