April 02, 2014 - Clarkston Community Women's Club celebrates its 60th anniversary with a community tea, 2-4 p.m., Saturday, April 12, at the Clarkston Independence Library.
"Our number one goal is to raise funds to help others," said club member Gail Ferguson. "In the process, we also have found friends to share a laugh and have a little fun."
Since the club was founded in 1954, members started the library, sponsored library programs, provided college scholarships, and raised funds to support Clarkston Area Youth Assistance, Concerts in the Park, Clarkston Rotary's Shoes for Kids, and other community projects.
It's a community organization with a social aspect, said Sue Sajdak, club member.
"In this day and age, we're so involved with family. This is an opportunity to get together with women for a girls night out, with food and community," Sajdak said.
"It's a great opportunity for those new to the community," said Louise Bisogni. "There's no obligation. Come in, sit, and be welcomed."
Carolyn Morrison joined in 2003.
"I saw a little blurb in the paper," Morrison said. "They had a speaker on feng shui. I'm into feng shui and yoga. It was interesting. I've missed very few meetings since."
Every meeting includes a program dedicated to expanding knowledge in gardening, cooking, crafts or personal or financial growth.
"Most speakers are very interesting. I can always learn something," Morrison said.
They also invite speakers on women's issues, health, cancer awareness, identification theft, a psychic, handwriting analysis, photography, and other topics of interest to ladies of all ages.
Over the years, they've organized trips around Michigan as well as Toronto, Chicago for the Oprah and Donahue shows, and south for the Kentucky Derby.
"We've had some good trips over the years, Ferguson said.
Their biggest fund raiser is their annual Poinsettia and Greens Sale, Bisogni said.
"Each year it gets bigger and bigger," she said. "A lot of people in the community buy them."
Bisogni has been a member for 20 years, and Ferguson joined in 1971.
"I joined as a young stay-at-home mother," she said. "A good friend said you ought to come, it's a fun group, a way to get out for the evening."
They met at the old township hall, 90 N. Main Street.
"It was very proper," she said. "We all wore dresses and had afternoon tea service and a speaker."
Pat Smolen has been in the club for eight years.
"We moved to Clarkston over 15 years ago," Smolen said. "I was working at the time, near retirement. This was something to do. I saw a notice at the library, came by to see what it was all about, and stayed. It's a nice group of women. I like what they stand for, helping children."
The club meets at 7 p.m., third Tuesday of the month at the library from September through April. For more information or to RSVP for the anniversary tea, call 248-623-9462.
Phil is editor for The Clarkston News. He is a veteran of the first Iraq war, having served in the U.S. Army.