By Gretchen Althoff Snyder
Nearly 85 years in the making, The Woman’s Club of Rye continues to gather steam. Originally established as a social club in 1933, the organization now boasts over 160 members, has grown significantly in service, and operates as a charitable and educational 501(c)3 organization. Notwithstanding its name, membership is open to all and is not restricted to Rye residents.
Members congregate on the first Tuesday of every month (Club Day) at Christ’s Church to plan fundraising events, listen to educational speakers, and catch up with friends, old and new.
The Club has several different sections that meet throughout the year, offering a wide range of opportunities for those who want to get involved. Stitch and Chat gathers once a month to create items for local veterans in need. The committee recently donated 13 lap blankets to veterans at Montrose Hospital, and is now busy sewing baby hats, booties, blankets, and sweaters for babies of our local service men and women.
Crossroads raises funds to help women facing a grave hardship, such as a serious financial, emotional, and/or health-related need. In addition to a book club, this section also enjoys monthly outings such as group dinners, a trip to a museum, or a movie.
Andiamo, which means “let’s go” in Italian, was started a few years ago to provide exciting and memorable monthly outings for members. What began as “empty nester field trips” has grown popular with the younger set as well. A fan favorite was definitely the trip to Gary and Liz Stone’s Red Maple Vineyard in Hudson Valley. “Gary certainly gave us a day to remember,” says Co-President Anne O’Connell. “We were treated to a delicious farm-to- table lunch and a tour of the property on a gorgeous fall day.”
The Woman’s Club Committee for Philanthropy organizes several fundraisers each year to support the Rye High School Scholarship Awards, as well as local organizations and others in need throughout the community. Last September, they, along with the Committee for Children’s Philanthropy, partnered with Rye Recreation to present the first-ever, highly successful “Disco Night” at the Copacabana in Port Chester.
The Committee for Children’s Philanthropy, which often attracts members with young children, recently donated Thanksgiving food gift cards and holiday gifts to 50 Rye families who participate in the federally-funded lunch program. This committee also participates in annual fundraisers, such as the ever-popular Family Portraits in the park with Carroll Hudders and the Halloween Window Painting Bake Sale.
Co-President Carolyn McGinnis, a member of the Woman’s Club for 18 years and counting, says, “What’s most special about this group are the friendships – some of the women have been friends for over 40 years.” She also loves that the Club’s charitable work is done quietly – no need for pomp and circumstance or a pat on the back, just good works along with good friends.
<To learn more about The Woman’s Club, visit womansclubofrye.org.>
Co-Presidents Carolyn McGinnis and Anne O’Connell