Orinda Woman’s Club Builds Friendships while Helping Others

(Jeff Heyman, Photographer)
Orinda Woman’s Club holds a “Happy Hour Orientation” to welcome new and prospective members. (L-R) back row: Janet Clark, Festival of Trees (FOT) chair, Deborah Eiben, new member, Charlene Antal, Linus project chair, Pamela Woy, prospective member, Diane Lautz, new member, Hilma Johnsen, member, Kelly Davis, FOT silent auction chair, Donna Schuppert, membership chair, Mary Ann Gunderson, member, Nancy Royster, auditor; (L-R) front row: Carol Morehouse, FOT stage/light/sound chair, Adeline McClatchie, FOT major beneficiary chair, Jean Barnhart, president; Margaret Bentson, newsletter editor, Elene Lee, community service chair.

    The Orinda Woman’s Club (OWC) has a 75-year history of community involvement, enrichment and helping make Orinda better.
    Members organize fundraisers, community-building events and social gatherings. Their major donation source is the Festival of Trees, slated for Friday, Nov.17. This annual event features a fashion show, luncheon, silent auction and raffles.
    The primary beneficiary of funds in 2022 was Familias Unidas in Richmond. Other recipients include White Pony Express, CASA, Friends of Wagner Ranch, Monument Crisis Center, Hospice Orinda Tree of Lights, The Orinda Association, Orinda Library, Seniors Around Town and educational grants to high school graduates, especially foster children.
    Past President, Barbara Rogan, enjoys the lasting friendships formed through the club.
    “The club gives me the opportunity to meet many wonderful, intelligent and philanthropic women who give freely of their time to help local charities and provide scholarships,” said Rogan. “These friendships are cemented by many fun, social activities as well. If one is new to the community or a recent retiree, the Woman’s Club is a fine opportunity to get involved in charitable endeavors.”
    Janet Clark said she wanted to meet people when she moved here. “I found a group of women dedicated to helping people in the Lamorinda area who have become good friends. I enjoy working with the team, and am now chairperson of the Festival of Trees.”
    Club President, Jean Barnhart said, “We look out for each other and our community. We have fun enjoying and enhancing life, be it a book club, playing American Mahjong, walking together, the genealogy group, meals, etc.
    “Our members are from Orinda, Moraga, Lafayette, Oakland, Pacifica and Rio Vista – really anyone willing to do the work,” she said. “Many think because it is called Orinda Woman’s Club, they must live in Orinda.”
    The club welcomes new members with fresh ideas and energy to help improve the lives of others.
    According to the Club’s “Who We Are” statement, “The Orinda Woman’s Club is a community-based organization which focuses on addressing urgent and ongoing needs of women, children and families, both in Contra Costa and Alameda Counties.”
    “I am honored to be the president of this fine group,” said Barnhart. “It enhances and gives purpose to my life and the chance to get to know a group of strong, caring women from varied locations. The friends and relationships I have enjoyed over the past 24 years are priceless.”
    Meetings are the second Tuesday of the month at 9:30 a.m., Sept. – May at various locations. Visit www.orindawomansclub.org or email Barnhart at jeanr.barnhart@gmail.com.

Bobbie Dodson can be reached at bobbiedodson109@gmail.com.

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