By RHEA-FRANCES TETLEY – Staff Writer
The Women’s Club of Lake Arrowhead held its monthly luncheon at the Mountain History Museum on Wednesday, May 17. Members were delighted by the surroundings and heard a PowerPoint presentation on the 97-year history of their club from Rim of the World Historical Society President Bill Pumford.
The Women’s Club of Lake Arrowhead began in 1926 with founding club President Mary Putnam Henck and has been involved in major issues that have positively advanced the living conditions of the mountain over the decades. Pumford had given a similar presentation to the club members last year, also to a full house, highlighting the first 50 years of the club. This year, he gave a short review for those who were not at the first presentation and then shared the last 47 years of accomplishments and changes in focus and programs. The club is still actively involved in many aspects of improving the community through hard work and charity donations.
The museum had set out several displays of Women’s Club items, including the fine china and silver they formerly used at their luncheons and award ceremonies, photos of the club over the decades and several of the engraved, golden trays and awards they have won while a part of Women’s Club Federated.
The women were very impressed by the accomplishments and honors the club has achieved over the decades. Some of the major accomplishments were getting white lines painted on the High Gear Road for seeing the road in the fog and helping the California Department of Highways (now known as Caltrans) in the planting of Spanish Broom plants to help hold the soil in the cuts and fills they made when constructing the roadway. Those plants are still blooming their fragrant yellow flowers in the fill areas along the highway each spring and summer. Their extensive root system has held the soil and, although not native and burn well, have also not really invaded the surrounding areas and taken over, but are mostly seen in the cut and fill areas of the widened four-lane sections of Highway 18.
Women’s Club President Polly Sauer thanked all who attended and thanked the Lake Arrowhead Sports Grille for the delicious catered luncheon and the many members of the Mountain History Museum who served and cleaned up from the luncheon, singling out Past President Cindy Burnett. She then presented Pumford with a $500 donation from the Women’s Club to support the ongoing projects and displays the free museum has for the public to enjoy.
The museum will be opening for its summer season on Memorial Day weekend, all four days, and will continue to be open every Friday, from noon to 4 p.m. and weekends 10:30 to 4:30 p.m., through October.
The Women’s Club of Lake Arrowhead meets at a different location each month for lunch and raises funds for many projects. Some of the previous locations where they have held their luncheons recently include the UCLA Conference Center and Pinecrest. They donate money to worthy charities and people, including local scholarships. They raise those funds though their volunteer hours at the Mountain Thrift Shoppe in Blue Jay, where they are one of the 10 nonprofit organizations that work at the shop and then split the profits at the end of the year, based on the number of hours donated to run the shop. They emphasized that the clothing and household donations to the thrift shop help every organization that contributes their time.
The thrift shop is now closed due to storm damage to the Blue Jay Mall. All of the organizations that depend on this income to donate scholarships and run their programs are suffering from this income stoppage. They suggest people hold on to their discards and bring them when the shop can reopen.
The Women’s Club of Lake Arrowhead is dedicated to the advancement of the mountain communities and provides social opportunities for its members. They continue to do excellent work, supporting other nonprofits, education, as well as groups and projects with members from Cedarpines Park to Green Valley Lake, making the mountain communities a better place to live. For more information, see their Facebook page or contact them at [email protected].