On March 25, 1968, 10 women met with the GFWC/CT president and president elect and voted unanimously to form a federated club. Of the founding members, Coke Cramer is still a member. Lorraine VanderWende served as the clubs first president from 1968 to 1970. Membership still includes two charter members – Flo Caron and Jean Swanhall. By September 1968, the club grew to 75 members.
The club seal designed by Maggie McMaster and Lorraine VanderWende, symbolizes Newtown or “civic affairs”; the clasped hands, “friendship”; the book, “intellectual aspects”; and the crossed brushes, “culture.” For almost 25 years the club has created Pewter Ornaments highlighting historical buildings throughout the town as a major fundraiser.
Conservation has planted dozens of trees and almost 5,000 daffodil bulbs at the Holcombe Wildlife Preserve and other Newtown locations. Club projects include the support of Newtown Volunteer Ambulance Corps, Insurance Programs for the Fire Departments Widows and Children’s Benefit Fund, Hospice, Meals on Wheels, CH Booth Library, Newtown High School scholarship. Many awards and accolades have been presented to the club for their participation in GFWC and GFWC/CT projects.
Most recently in celebration of the clubs 40th anniversary in 2008, the club “adopted” the kitchen in the Edmond Town Hall Alexandria Room as their Community Improvement Project. Raising more than $7,000 through a “Stay-At-Home-Tea,” the club helped with kitchen renovations.
Areas of Interest
Community Service Projects in the Arts ~ Conservation ~ Education ~ Home Life ~ International
Outreach ~ Public Issues ~ Advocates for Children ~ Domestic Violence Awareness and Education ~ Scholarships ~ Support of Local Agencies and Food Pantry’s ~ Veterans
Ellen S. Woodward
CT Governor Ella Grasso
Julia Ward Howe
Nellie Taylor Ross
Bertha Ethel Knight Landes
Margaret Chase Smith
Notable GFWC Clubwomen
Co-Presidents: Millie Anderson and Pat Bailey
First Vice President: Carol Fullman
Co-Second Vice Presidents: Marie Sturdevant and Evelyn Watts