The Living Magazines

Hyde Park Living .....Hyde Park, Oakley, Mt. Lookout, O'Bryonville and East Walnut Hills
Wyoming Living
Indian Hill Living
Fort Thomas Living

Wednesday, June 12, 2019

The Cincinnati Woman’s Club 125th Anniversary

Contributed by Donna Perzigian
Photographs by Cincinnati Woman’s Club member Judy McKinney of Hyde Park

In 1894 seven enterprising women who were inspired by women’s contributions to the Columbian Exposition in Chicago founded the Cincinnati Woman’s Club with the expressed purpose of furthering philanthropy and education. The CWC now celebrates its 125th anniversary with the same dedication to education and philanthropy that has guided it since the founding. Throughout the past year under the leadership of Sue Showers (Hyde Park) and Joni Welsh, the CWC has found many ways to recognize this significant milestone that honors the club’s rich history while continuing the proud tradition of purposeful, meaningful activities.

125th Anniversary Steering Committee
front row:  Mary Lou Motl (Hyde Park), Sue Showers (Hyde Park), Ellen Zemke (Oakley), Joni Welsh, Mary Ellen Betz; back row: Margy Richards (East Walnut Hills), Pat Krumm, Donna Perzigian, Nancy DeCastro (East Walnut Hills), Cynthia Cole (Hyde Park), Jackie Gardiner, Michelle Nagle, Blanche Sullivan 
The year began with the unveiling of two very special items of celebration. Eliza Gantt created an anniversary logo with classical elegance and symbolic meaning. This logo has been included on decorations and communications throughout the year. The other item is a beautiful scarf designed by Grey Hall, daughter of member, Fran Hall. This elegantly designed scarf has accessorized many outfits throughout the year.

125th Anniversary Co-chairmen Joni Welsh and Sue Showers (Hyde Park) 
Philanthropic pursuits have always been a major component of the club.  One such activity is the “Can-Do,” where members perform a service that directly assists an agency or institution. These activities may involve cooking meals for residential institutions, packing boxes of “goodies” for active military, or collecting a variety of items for those in need. 

Book Co-chairs Mary Ellen Betz and Mary Lou Motl (Hyde Park) celebrate the publishing of The Life of the Future
To celebrate the 125th anniversary, Philanthropy Chairs, Charlotte Goering (Mt. Lookout) and Margy Richards (East Walnut Hills), created three Super Can-Dos over three different days. Under the umbrella of “Sheltering Our Community,” these events provided support to many agencies including Joseph House, Mary Magdalen House, Serenity House, The Center for Respite Care, the YWCA Domestic Violence Shelter, and Childhood Food Solutions. Three event speakers provided inspiration over lunch during the day of activity. 

Anniversary Luncheon “Connecting women in the Future of Our Community” panel Ellen Katz, Alecia Kintner, Ellen Zemke (Oakley), Laura Mitchell, Jill Meyer
In November, in a tribute to Veteran’s Day, Cory Paul, Executive Director of Dayton’s chapter of the American Red Cross, offered insight through his experiences in Afghanistan.  February’s endeavors focused on agencies that provide assistance to women in need. The featured speaker, Courtney Stepp, from Angie’s House of Freedom and Miracles (Serenity House), related a compelling story that illustrated the life-changing role such agencies play in our community.   

Kacey Schmitt (Hyde Park) with Craig Niemi with the Cincinnati Observatory
April activities were dedicated to Childhood Food Solutions. The speaker, Lisa Hyde-Miller, a co-founder of the agency, described the critical nutritional needs of children in our city. Through these three events, the CWC provided support for many in our community who need help and assistance. 
In memory of the early days of the club, the Artifacts Committee, chaired by Blanche Sullivan and Jackie Gardiner, conducted exhaustive research and collected interesting information and memorabilia both in-house and at the Cincinnati Museum Center, where they discovered references about founders Annie Laws and Clara Chipman Newton. Their monthly displays included many items such as copies of programs, yearbooks, newsletters and posters featuring philanthropic efforts throughout history. 
Sue Showers (Hyde Park), Mo Dunne (Oakley), Bishop Joseph Binzer of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, Joni Welsh 

Of particular interest was a picture of the first Fountain Square Christmas tree that was donated by the CWC and began a lasting tradition for the city.  

Francie Morrison with Priscilla Ungers (both Hyde Park)
At a meeting in January the Artifacts Committee honored the accomplishments of two CWC authors with reviews of books published in the late 19th and early 20th Centuries. Carolyn Clodfelter (Hyde Park) discussed two books by M. Louise McLaughlin, an artist who wrote on oil painting and painting on china. Mary Prudence Wells Smith (a founder of the club) was a prolific writer who wrote historical fiction for children. Betsy Bazell and Donna Perzigian reviewed two of her books.

Jane Clarke (East Walnut Hills) Deborah Scott of the Taft Museum of Art
On March 26th at the 125th Anniversary Luncheon, members shared the club’s heritage with 60 organizations that also have enjoyed a significant Cincinnati presence for 125 or more years. Under the leadership of Shannon Carter (Hyde Park) and Pat Humphrey, representatives from the organizations attended a reception, program and lunch. The day featured a panel discussion on “Connecting Women in the Future of our Community” with moderator Ellen Katz President/CEO of the Greater Cincinnati Foundation, and panelists, Alecia Kintner President/CEO of ArtsWave, Jill Meyer President/CEO of  Cincinnati USA Regional Chamber, and Laura Mitchell, Superintendent of Cincinnati Public Schools.  

President Ellen Zemke (Oakley) with Luncheon Co-chairs Pat Humphrey and Shannon Carter (Hyde Park) 
For the April celebration Gary Copes chaired “Teatime on Lafayette,” a unique event that featured eleven creatively designed, themed “tablescapes” that were accompanied by a gracious traditional tea reminiscent of evening educational programs in the early years.

President Ellen Zemke (Oakley) welcomes panelists Ellen Katz, Greater Cincinnati Foundation president and CEO, Jill Meyer, president and CEO of the Cincinnati USA Regional Chamber, Alecia Kintner, president and CEO of Arts Wave, and Laura Mitchell, superintendent of Cincinnati Public Schools.
Throughout its history, the CWC has created several commemorative documents.  Under the leadership of Mary Lou Motl (Hyde Park) and Mary Ellen Betz, the tradition was continued with the publishing of the 125th anniversary book, The Life of the Future. This ambitious project of 116 pages and more than 100 pictures was unveiled in March. The book focuses on a year in the life of the club to epitomize the club’s persona and provide direction for the future. Through the book we view the evolving role of women over the last 125 years and see the continuous change and progress reflected by the women in our club. 

CWC 125th Anniversary Scarf Models: Mary Corley, Nancy Hancher, Sue Showers (Hyde Park), Jodelle Crosset (Hyde Park), Susan Noelcke, Grey Hall, Gary Copes, Melissa Loyd, Nancy VandenBerg (Mt. Lookout), Terry Robinson (Hyde Park), Fran Kohl, Joni Welsh
What a year it has been! This year of celebration honored the rich history of the past while continuing the educational and philanthropic activities that personify the Cincinnati Woman’s Club.   

“Sheltering Our Community” - Jamie Palmer, Maris Bernard (Mt. Lookout), Cindy Berre 

“Sheltering Our Community” - Michelle Sullivan (East Walnut Hills), Donna Perzigian, Linda Holthaus

“Sheltering Our Community” - Elaine Sicking, Marney Weis (Mt. Lookout), Patti Schutte (East Walnut Hills), Kathy Setzer, Susan Bacevich

The Anniversary Steering Committee  - from bottom left to top right: Joni Welsh, Mary Ellen Betz, Donna Perzigian, Jackie Gardiner, Sue Showers (Hyde Park), Mary Lou Motl (Hyde Park), Ellen Zemke (Oakley), Blanche Sullivan, Pat Krumm, Margy Richards (East Walnut Hills).  Not pictured: Cynthia Cole (Hyde Park), Nancy DeCastro (East Walnut Hills), Charlotte Goering (Mt. Lookout), Michelle Nagle.

From the Cincinnati Woman’s Club website

An energetic group of seven women from Cincinnati had worked together to create the highly successful Cincinnati Room in the Woman’s Building at the Chicago World’s Fair of 1893. The inclusion of the Woman’s Building was a daring, even radical, experiment for its time and it was popular beyond all expectations. When the Fair was over, the women returned to Cincinnati, filled with enthusiasm for other challenges they could undertake in the fields of education and philanthropy, and through their efforts the Cincinnati Woman’s Club was established.
The Club was originally located on Oak Street, but that building was torn down in the 1960s to make way for Interstate 71. The organization is now on Lafayette Avenue and still remains dedicated to education and philanthropy.
The Cincinnati Woman's Club Mission Statement:  A center for women organized to enrich lives through philanthropic action and educational opportunities

No comments:

Post a Comment