The Woman's Club of Warren - a philanthropic and social group of Warren women and a beautifully maintained historic home on one of Warren's main thoroughfares - will celebrate its centennial this year.
Celebrating women will be an integral part of the celebration as will marking the many endeavors of the club.
This will be a great opportunity to honor the women "who have been a foundation of our communities," said Karen Davis, centennial committee chairperson. Sometimes women get "short shrift" in our history books.
"A lot of (Woman's Club members) were movers and shakers," Davis continued, in efforts like the hospital, caring for orphans, establishing local clubs and organizations. "It a good to bring that to the forefront, and the 100th anniversary is a good time to do that."
"The Woman's Club of Warren (WCW) has been an important presence in Warren society since 1913," said current club president Tana Fegely. "Historically, the WCW has always fulfilled our need to be connected, well-informed and serving the Warren community. The WCW has given women, and a few brave men, the opportunity to be involved with a vibrant organization that strives to be an active member of the Warren community. Inversely, we offer our community and several organizations the perfect atmosphere for people to gather intellectually and socially."
The club offers "collegiality, education and information about local issues and interests to our membership, according to the club's mission statement. The club also works to preserve the "gracious Victorian home, a national historic landmark."
Club meetings feature programs that "provide the catalyst for our members and their guests to be enriched through the many varied topics that influence their lives and their thinking," Fegely explained. "We've recently had programs covering serious topics such as education in Warren County, holistic wellness, fitness for all ages and local agriculture, and fun topics such as the history of women's hats and fascinators and our annual fashion show. We've also had speakers who are ardent hobbyists in geo-caching and re-enacting the medieval ages, enjoyed the tales of local entrepreneurs and the talents of our performing youth."
Personal relationships are key to the club's success.
"Socially, our membership serves as a family for us all, as we celebrate and enjoy each other, our relationships extend beyond our clubhouse walls to support each other in the challenges of our daily lives," Fegely added. "Our membership is multi-generational; it is an aspect that serves to give us a richness as we embrace each other and have much to learn from each other."
Davis agreed, saying it's important to devote time to meeting women who have been movers and shakers in the community."
Over the years, membership has changed. Women were traditionally at home moms, but now the majority of new members are women who have families and careers.
"It's interesting to see how things have changed," Davis said.
But the spirit of the group remains the same.
" No matter our ages, our group is full of vitality and spirit and our common desire to be connected," Fegely said.
The club's efforts are much more than social. It also is dedicated to history and education.
"Our outreach to the Warren community happens in several ways," Fegely commented. "We serve the Warren community through our philanthropic efforts by providing scholarships annually to deserving students who are looking to further their education. This is accomplished through the efforts of our Education, Scholarship and Historic preservation Group. We also provide a meeting/ celebration venue for many in our community by maintaining our lovely, historical club house. Our gracious, Victorian home was built in 1872 and has been owned by the WC since 1922. It is listed on the National Register of Historic Buildings and is an integral part of the Warren Historic District. The preservation, maintenance and continued attractive presentation of the building depends solely generosity of our membership and our Warren community."
The centennial celebration - mainly planned for the club's next program year starting in September - will include a reprise of the play "Equality of Rights" in October, a house tour and Victorian tea in December, a memento booklet, a new sign for the front of the building, and a display case at the Warren Public Library in November. Many more activities to mark the milestone are planned.
"I feel it is an important milestone that the WCW has reached," Fegely explained, "that of being an ongoing, active and vibrant organization. This is definitely an achievement to be recognized and celebrated. As we enter our next century of existence, we need to realize that we are as vibrant and involved in our community as when our organization was founded. Many adjectives may be used to describe the WCW: dynamic, unique, timeless, lasting, changing, historic, and very much alive!"