Celebrating Presidents’ Day LWRWC Style
At the LWRWC General meeting held at Town Hall on Thursday evening, Feb 11, 2016, Women’s Club members celebrated Presidents Day” with eight LWRWC Past Presidents who helped shape the Club into an organization that exemplifies “fun, friendship and community service” and has become a seminal part of the greater Lakewood Ranch community.
The panel shared highlights of the club’s history and a backdrop of lovely photos, including key social events, philanthropic fundraisers, a variety of outings, terrific speakers and enriching events and took us on a poignant journey down memory lane.
Frankie Bailey hosted the panel comprised of 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).
With a mixture of humor, pathos, pride and charm, the esteemed ladies shared how the club evolved from a group of 20 members, primarily from Summerfield, meeting in the library of the Out of Door Academy, to over 350 members strong, holding meetings in the largest room at LWR Town Hall and representing all the new neighborhoods in the vastly expanded greater Lakewood Ranch community.
During the presentation, the members learned that by 2001 the Women’s Club had grown so large that new quarters were needed and the club moved to St. Mary Magdalene Church. This fact was accompanied by an amusing story of a very large alligator barring the door to the church. Fortunately, through divine intervention or luck, the alligator gave up on its quest for membership and returned to the pond behind the church.
The ladies reminisced about enchanting holiday dinners, some in restaurants that have since closed their doors, exciting fundraisers, including holiday bazaars, delightful fashion shows that ran the gamut from funky to chic and the very successful Casino Night, complete with a James Bond double and a Monte Carlo flair.
Listening to the past presidents speak, it was clear that fun, friendship and community service went hand in hand and became the very fabric of what the club is today: an organization of dynamic caring women, who foster a welcoming environment of friendship and have donated over $300,000 to charity.
The presentation was followed by a short business meeting conducted by current president, Shirley Taradash,