Standing, left to right: Betty Wood, Thingerie scheduler; Peggy Huddleston, president; Kitty Guthrie, treasurer; Polly Kelch, director; Kathryn Comfort, membership; Jayne Yahne, hospitality; Evelyn Thompson, courtesy; Leah Launey, hospitality; Sue Rothhammer, call girls; Bonnie Lasswell, director.
Seated, l-r: Bev Slinger, secretary; Betty Powert, historian; Kathy Bohl, vice president; Wilma Kauling, historian, Jacki Fletcher, Thingerie chair.
Not pictured: Linda DeLisio, publicity chair.
The Three Rivers Woman’s Club had their first meeting of the 2015-2016 year, and with that gathering the philanthropic club embarked on its 100th year. The Three Rivers Woman’s Club has been having similar meetings since 1916.
These days, club members mostly gather at the Three Rivers Memorial Building, but in the early years, they actually had their own clubhouse when the Hayes home (today the Three Rivers Arts Center) was bequeathed to the club.
At a welcome-back luncheon on Wednesday, Oct. 7, members planned how best to celebrate a century as a club. The Three Rivers Woman’s Club is the oldest service organization in the community.
The club’s motto is “In Union There is Strength.” The giant sequoia is the club’s emblem.
In 1922, a giant sequoia seedling was planted in the front yard of Nellie Britten’s home on South Fork Drive. In 1996, a commemorative plaque was placed on a rock at the base of the tree stating, “SEQUOIA GIGANTEA PLANTED MARCH 7, 1922, BY THREE RIVERS WOMAN’S CLUB.”
One of the club’s most lasting projects was undertaken in 1923 when the financing was provided to restore Tharp’s Log in the Giant Forest area of Sequoia National Park. This hollow sequoia log was occupied during the summer months in the latter part of the 19th century by cattleman Hale Tharp, the first white settler in the Three Rivers area (1856).
Between 2001 and 2014, the Three Rivers Woman’s Club has donated $146,400 to academic scholarships for Three Rivers students. And in the 2014-2015 year, community donations totaled $31,678.62.
The money comes mostly from the sales at The Thingerie Thrift Shop. The Thingerie is located in the Village Shopping Center between Three Rivers Drug and Pizza Factory.
The Three Rivers Woman’s Club meets every first Wednesday of the month at 1 p.m. from October to May. New members are always welcome. For more information, call Bev Slinger, (559) 561-3601.
Information for this article was contributed by Linda DeLisio, Three Rivers Woman’s Club publicity chairperson.