It was a year-long party of gala events that celebrated the 100th year (1916-2016) of the Three Rivers Woman’s Club. As of Wednesday, June 1, at the club’s last meeting of the 2015-2016 year and during its annual luncheon at St. Anthony Retreat, next year’s officers were installed.
During the past year, the club contributed greatly to the community, as usual, by continuing operation of The Thingerie, a thrift store that has been the primary source of income for the club since 1972. From the funds raised, the club provides generous scholarships annually to graduating Three Rivers high school seniors and gives to other philanthropic causes around town.
According to the Three Rivers Woman’s Club history, compiled by Wilma Kauling, here is how the club would raise funds in the early years:
To earn money for their various charities, the ladies of the Three Rivers Woman’s Club held old-time dances and card parties on a regular basis, served meals to many local and out-of-town organizations, held apple festivals and bazaars, presented plays, sold magazine subscriptions, and baked pies to sell.
Among the recipients of the funds raised were Kiddie Kamp (an annual donation for many years), French orphans (following World War I), the Tulare County Tuberculosis Society, the Near East Relief Drive, Chinese Famine Relief, and fruit, nuts, homemade cookies, and candy-filled gift boxes for disabled veterans. They donated money for gates to the Three Rivers Cemetery and for the restoration of Tharp’s Log in Sequoia National Park.
In March, the club provided a gift to the community and its visitors by installing a bench on the lawn of the Village Shopping Center with a plaque commemorating its 100th anniversary.
On March 20, a Centennial Celebration was held at the Retreat where a packed house enjoyed a catered dinner and wine and were regaled with tales of the club’s yesteryears.
Also according to Wilma’s history: In 1921, the club had a membership of 35 ladies. When roll was called at each meeting, members responded with quotations, verses, or current events and songs were sung.
At the conclusion of the club’s 100th year, there are about 115 dues-paying members in the Three Rivers Woman’s Club.