In the beginning, the GFWC Woman’s Club of Zephyrhills was a group of 15 women, who decided they wanted to form a civic club.
They established the club on Nov. 11, 1915 and voted to join the Florida Federation of Woman’s Clubs, automatically making them part of the General Federation of Woman’s Clubs, a national organization.
On Nov. 15, about 90 people gathered at the Zephyrhills’ woman’s club’s stone building to celebrate a century of service.
Service continues to be the mission of the club, said current club President Linda Weyer.
“The GFWC in and of itself is responsible for a lot of beautification of streets, for public libraries, the National Park system, the Everglades. The Everglades would not be the Everglades National Park without the GFWC,” Weyer said.
“And, in Zephyrhills, we help with all of the local charities, especially relating to children.
“We help Everyday Blessings, the Pregnancy Care Center,” she said. “We’re working with Thomas Promise this year, to make sure the children, that are poor in the schools, get backpacks with food to take home for the weekends,” she added.
“We do help sponsor a second-grade classroom at West Zephyrhills Elementary School. And, every year, we collect school supplies in August and take them over to West Zephyrhills Elementary, and let the liaison distribute them to the children that need them. That way, they don’t get embarrassed,” she said.
The club also awards scholarships, and donates time and money to local charities such as Meals on Wheels, Hernando-Pasco Hospice, Support Our Troops, Everyday Blessings, Relay for Life and many others. The club also gives to national and international relief efforts, according to Granger.
Weyer was excited about the club’s centennial celebration.
“It is a very big day. I’m very honored to be the president of this club at this time,” Weyer said, noting she expected people from Tampa, Spring Hill, Brooksville, Ruskin and St. Petersburg to join the celebration.
When the club began, it chose moss gray and pink as the official colors, the Cherokee rose as the club flower, and “America the Beautiful” as the club song, according to a historical account compiled by Gina Granger.
The yearly dues were $1, and early meetings were held in various buildings and members’ homes, according to Granger’s account.
In exchange for two lots bought by members in 1925, which the club later deeded to the city, the city gave the club a 99-year lease on a native rock building erected on the site in 1946—a public works project that was part of the Works Progress Administration under U.S. President Franklin D. Roosevelt. The clubhouse was built from native rock hauled from a quarry on the Hillsborough River. Club members raised funds by hosting various events to complete and furnish the interior, Granger adds.
The club, which now has 36 members, is always welcoming new members. It meets every first Friday of the month, during the months of September through May. The meetings are at 12:30 p.m., in the clubhouse located at 38545 Fifth Ave. Membership is open to any woman age 18 or older. Current annual dues are $25.
To learn more about the Woman’s Club of Zephyrhills, you can find them on the web at GFWCWomansClubOfZephyrhills.com.
Published November 25, 2015