Getting to know president Edwina Kraemer
By Kyle LoJacono
Edwina Kraemer has been a member of the GFWC Lutz-Land O’ Lakes Women’s Club for about five years and will be the organization’s president for the next two.
Kraemer was the club’s second vice president before being elected as the group’s leader in May. She was also elected Lutz Guv’na in 2006. Kraemer and her husband, David, have been married for 31 years and moved to Lutz six years ago from Carrollwood.
The club was created March 4, 1960 and currently has 86 members. The group meets at the Land O’ Lakes Community Center, 5401 US 41 in Land O’ Lakes, from 10 a.m. to noon the second and fourth Thursday of each month.
The Laker and the Lutz News recently talked with Kraemer about her time in the club, her goals and her impressions of the area she calls home.
Q: Why did you want to join the club?
A: It’s genuinely determined to serving the community.
Q: What is the best part about being a member of the club?
A: It’s serving the community while enriching yourself and others. Of course you also make a lot of great friends in the club…There are a lot of very special women dedicated to helping the community and I love being around them.
Q: What was your reaction to being elected president?
A: I’m very humbled by it. It’s a very select group of women in the club who show tremendous community service. It’s an honor to serve as their president.
Q: Marilyn Wannamaker was the previous club president. What are your thoughts on her time as the group’s leader?
A: Marilyn has achieved great things with the club. It was a privilege to serve as her second vice president. I’ve got big shoes to fill with all the things she’s done.
Q: What do you think of the Lutz/Land O’ Lakes community?
A: Lutz and Land O’ Lakes have this old town flavor. I grew up in a little old town in Brevard County (Cocoa) so it takes me back to my youth. There are a lot of great traditions in this area.
Q: What is the women’s club’s role in maintaining those traditions?
A: It has always been involved in the Lutz Fourth of July Celebration with the cake contest and the parade, so we want to continue that. We also give scholarships to individuals in the community to maintain people’s ties of localness.”
Q: Some of the biggest events the group is involved in are the craft show at Lake Park each December, the Independence Day event and until last year Christmas in the Park. How will you maintain those and bring back the holiday celebration?
A: There was all that mess with the fees to use the park by the train depot that cancelled that and we are working to bring back Christmas in the Park while keeping those other traditions alive and well. We are also planning on bringing back Market in the Park, but instead of at the park by the depot it will be at the Old Lutz Schoolhouse. That’s like a mini Lake Park craft show tentatively scheduled for the first Saturday in October. We’ll be selling crafts and plants and other vendors will have crafts and food for sale.
Q: Do you have other goals as the president?
A: We’re trying to get back our old meeting place at the Lutz Community Center by the library. The (Hillsborough) County Parks and (Recreation) Department allows nonprofit groups like us to us the building for free, but the department has to be the co-sponsor of everything. GFWC and our bylaws don’t allow us to have a co-sponsor, so we’re still looking to see how we can move back to our old home.
Q: Are there any other things you’d like to see happen during the next two years?
A: We want to start a junior club. That’s for women who are college age. We have the Little Women of Lutz for girls in high school or younger and the regular club, but we want to expand to bring in more women between those two groups. We’re very interested in recruiting more of those people and anyone interested in the club should come to one of our meetings the second or fourth Thursday each month or send us a letter with how to get in touch with them.
Q: Where should women send their information to?
A: To P.O. Box 656 Lutz, Florida 33548.
Q: Is there anything else you’d like to add?
A: Yes. We’re planning on keeping all the old traditions and making them better while adding some new traditions to Lutz and Land O’ Lakes. We’ve got some big plans, so watch out for them in the coming months.