Bay Women’s Club Centennial: The second 50 years
The Bay Village Women’s Club is celebrating its 100th birthday this year. Its first 50 years focused on children, community health and education, along with social activities of the era. The second 50 years evolved to support new essentials for the growing community and the changing role of women. Club support for Bay Village included:
- Selling zip code books for the new five-digit codes (implemented in 1963)
- Performing many needed tasks at the library by the Club’s literature group, eventually forming the Friends of the Bay Village Library
- Refurbishing the Community House, including a “modern electric range with self-cleaning oven,” a soap dispenser in the restroom, and a railing outside (early 1970s), followed later by new furnishings, drapes and a sink
- Spearheading the drive for a Bay Village Paramedic Unit which was the club’s Bicentennial Project (1975)
- Assisting with Swine Flu shot drives in the 1970s
- Contributing toward the Fire Department’s rescue boat (1977) and later a CPR monitor
- Donating a recorder to the Police Department to trace calls (1980)
and the list continues.
The Club began awarding college scholarships in 1935. In 1967, Laura Hassler, a retired school teacher, and her brother Robert began donating $1,000 to the Club each year for scholarships in memory of their sisters Gertrude and Edna. In 1976 the Hasslers established an endowment with the Board of Education, designating the Club to select the recipients. The Club gave Laura an annual gift – plants, cookies, jam – through her 103rd birthday in 1987. Laura died a year later just shy of her 104th birthday.
Scholarships have been so important to the Club that it added another source of income in 1969 with an annual Antiques Show. Within a few years the show was netting almost $1,000 and members were hand-addressing 2,300 post cards announcing the upcoming Antiques Show to past attendees. The Club just held its 48th annual Antiques Show, still funding scholarships.
To date, the Bay Village Women’s Club has awarded almost $500,000 in scholarships to students and donated nearly $300,000 to civic organizations.
In other notes, Ida Sadler (1988-1973) was the Club’s last surviving charter member. Many street names in Bay Village are the family names of early Club members, including Aldrich, Foote, Oviatt, Saddler and Tuttle. The 2005-2006 Club Directory began listing the women’s first names instead of “Mrs. John Doe.”
Club members dine out, generate funds for supporting community projects and activities, play bridge, and visit area sights. With continued community support, the Club looks forward to its next 100 years.
Join us to celebrate these past 100 years as we reminisce at a luncheon on Saturday, April 8, at the Dwyer Center. Cost is $22. Call 440-334-7539 or visit our website at BayWomensClub.org.
The Bay Village Women's Club and Foundation is a non-profit charitable organization that promotes cultural, social and civic activities in the City of Bay Village.