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Local

Women's Club marks 100 years of service in Minooka

Club continues its tradition of service to Minooka community

Members of the Minooka Women's Club participate in a local event in this undated photo. The club turns 100 years old this year.
Members of the Minooka Women's Club participate in a local event in this undated photo. The club turns 100 years old this year.

Celebrating 100 years, the Minooka Women’s Club continues its tradition of service to the Minooka community.

Founded in 1919 by Frances Watson, the daughter of a prominent businessman, the club adopted the slogan “self improvement and community betterment.”

One of its earliest projects involved soliciting the superintendent of transportation to get a stove installed in the streetcar station so children would have heat while waiting for the school bus.

During early years of the club, meetings were held in members’ homes. Minutes from those days describe elaborate luncheons, menus, and table settings.

In addition to helping to shape the village of Minooka, women were kept informed about the local school, town politics and general information. Its meetings are held in the Minooka Village Hall board room.

The club continued its role of service to the community by providing scholarships to high school students, now awarding 11 scholarships each spring.

In 1976, Santa’s workshop, an opportunity for children to buy affordable gifts for family, was started by the club.

In 1985, the women’s club began to sponsor the “kiddie parade” and children’s games at the Minooka Summerfest.

The club since has expanded its service to the community in many ways. Members deliver Easter baskets to children of families receiving donations from the Lions Club and volunteer at the Helping Hands Food Pantry in Minooka.

They also provide a thank-you gift to teachers during Teacher Appreciation Week. Members make donations to Operation Smile, which sends doctors throughout the world.

In addition, they participate in village events such as clean up day, picnics and parades; planting and maintaining a pocket park downtown; and by hosting bingo at the Heritage Woods Senior Center.

The club donates and helps distribute items for Chanooka Wish, a nonprofit organization that helps those in need.

Thanks to Garden Walk proceeds, the club bought two benches that were donated to the fire department and veterans park.

The club’s next fundraiser will be a quarter auction Sept. 14 at Skateland in Channahon. Details will be available on the Minooka Women’s Club Facebook page.

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