The Women’s Club of Potomac is celebrating 40 years of servie to the community. Top row, from left, are Phyliss Warshauer, Ruth Zook, Edith Mueller, Carolyn Patterson, Joan Haller and Beverly Haass. Seated, from left, are founder Jeanine Mingos, president Mary Jane Morison and founder Joan Mason.
Potomac A dedicated group of friends came together in 1972 to form an organization that would thoroughly enhance their lives — as well as the lives of countless citizens of Montgomery County. That group, the Women’s Club of Potomac has grown from eight original founders to more than 50 members. They are still committed to the original club’s goals — community service, education and fine arts — but over the years they have formed lasting friendships and donated thousands of hours as well as thousands of dollars to charities and projects within the community. The motto of the group is W-C-P, which not only stands for the Women’s Club of Potomac, but also for Working, Caring and Participating. For 40 years, they have lived their motto and made the community a better place to live.
The founders were: Linda Simpson, Darlene Frank, Diane Hetherington, Joan Mason, Jeanine Mingos, Judith Rose, Marie Smith and Betty Washenko. After many hours writing the by-laws and defining their goals, they joined the Montgomery County Federation of Women’s Clubs and then they were off and running. They began volunteer work at the Thrift Shop, tutored English at Churchill high School, became involved in the Potomac Conservation Foundation, raised funds for the Children’s Artificial Kidney and Kidney Transplant Center at Georgetown University Hospital and baked cookies for veterans at the Bethesda Naval Hospital. They also formed groups for social activities (book, bridge, needlework, gourmet cooking and more) — and additionally they traveled together to visit historical sites. Along the way, they developed life-long friendships.
Over the years, the organization has continued to raise money for their Benevolence Fund. Since their founding, the group has donated more than $200,000 to a variety of local causes. In 2012, they gave $1,000 each to the Casey House, Fisher House, St. Martin’s Soup Kitchen and the Montgomery College Summer Theater Scholarship Fund. The previous year, they donated to Bethesda Cares, Montgomery County Animal Shelter, Montgomery Hospice, Montgomery College Scholarship Fund, Fisher House and the Navy Seals Foundation. Some of the other recipients in past years have been the Potomac Community Center, Save the Bay, Ivymount School, USO, ALS Society, Lupus Foundation, Alzheimer’s Foundation, Special Olympics and many more.
Former President, Phyllis Warshaurer who served from 1981 – 1983 said, “A highlight during my presidency was our support of the Potomac Community Center. It was the first effort by the club to support a local Potomac organization. A proud moment for me was presenting a scholarship to a deaf student at the Maryland School for the Deaf.”
Jan Phillips, president from 1996-97, explained her most meaningful projects: “An exciting activity this year was choosing a new Community Improvement Project. Centering on the theme, ‘Cherish the Child,’ we continued to support Hugh O’Brian Youth Leadership (HOBY) student and again are offering financial aid to hearing impaired students. At the Ivymount School, we supported the summer scholarship fund, provided volunteer services and are purchasing an auditory trainer for the school.”
Beverly Haass was president from 2007–2009 and from 2011–2012. Her fondest memory is of the Luncheon, Bridge and Game Day Fundraiser, “When I announced that we made over $1,000, my heart skipped a beat as the room erupted with loud applause. Wow! I found out it was not only important to me but also to so many. What a wonderful feeling to have everyone be so supportive. Our interest in service to our community continues as we do the best we can to provide assistance to people in dire need.”
This year’s president, Mary Jane Morison, has chosen two goals: “I would like to increase our club membership to keep the organization alive and vibrant, and I want to enhance and build on WCP’s basic foundation or Community Service. We will be hosting an art show in the spring as one of our primary fundraisers. We will continue to volunteer and take gifts to the Rockville Nursing Home and also volunteer at the Montgomery County Thrift Shop.”
The organization is seeking new members. They meet on the third Thursday of each month (except February) at Lakewood Country Club at 11 a.m. for their meeting and lunch. Speakers and topics are presented at each meeting. This group is an opportunity to make new friends, join in many social activities (Bridge, Mexican Train, Mahjong, Book Club, Wine Tasting, outings and more) and to become involved in service to the community. To learn more, contact Mary Jane Morison at 240-558-3707 or by e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
The club’s anniversary celebration will be held at 11 a.m. on Sept. 20 at Bethesda Country Club.