From left, Jo Grogan, Pat Stripling, Carolyn Watson, Dianne Semmes, Patsy Whitfield, Loretta Watkins, Patty Fisher, Tunnie Miller, Laura Baxley and Dana Boyer told the history of the GFWC Wewahitchka Woman's Club as it celebrated its 80th year. 

The GFWC Wewahitchka Woman's Club did some time traveling last weekend and asked others to join along.

The Woman's Club celebrated its 80th year with a program of history and good eats at the Honeyville Community Center.

History was a theme, not only of the country and world but also the club through the decades, and also a celebration for the community outreach, focusded on literacy and beautification among so many efforts the club has preformed since its inception.

A labor of love, sweat and tears; we are here to honor the memory of the women who started this club.

The club, with irony that can only be understood 80 years later, was founded in the early 1930's as the "Idle Hours Club".  Amazing since women were never idle.

In 1936, the birthday celebrated the club lasdt week, the Woman's Club was formally federated by the General Federation of Women's Clubs, but it was already four years into the work that would mark its path ahead.

The first community center was built behind the energy of club members and, later after it burned down, would be rebuilt again behind the club's drive in the ensuing decades.

The club brought the first garbage cans to the community, beginning of what would be a central mission to beautify, over and over through the decades, the community of Wewahitchka.

Weather planting trees, adding bushes or wrapping flag and utility poles with ribbons to honor law enforcement, providing the best face for Wewahitchka has always been among the club's charges.

The women of the club also spearheaded drives not only for the two first public libraries in the county, but also the establishment of libraries at the Gulf Correctional Institution and Gulf Forestry Camp.

That emphasis on reading was also brought into the public schools through a variety of efforts, urging third-graders to receive a library card, for example, reading to children and donations of reading materials.

Since its inception literacy and libraries were at the forefront of the club's efforts

Community health has also been one of the club's pillars, whether in the 1950's and 1960's with efforts against polio, including "Sugar Lump Sundays", as well as the beginning of the Heart Fund.

Yearbooks collected through the years, reams of newspaper stories and items on display for the birthday celebration attested, there is much more to this club.

The primary point to remember: from the beginning this has been and will continue to be a volunteer effort, the club a product of the passion and civic minds and hearts of those who have joined over the decades. 

People don't understand just how much volunteers can affect people's lives.  The folks gathered at the Honeyville Shelter for the 80th celebration understood.

                                        

                    Carolyn Watson's cake celebrated the club's birthday                                               Yearbooks handed down through the years reflected                                                                                                                                                                         the Woman's Club outreach. 

 

 

 The Program