Poway Woman's Club

Club members bond over projects

Women's group celebrates 45 years of community service

Poway News-Chieftain
February 16, 2006
by Pat Kumpan

Don't try to pinpoint what projects members of the Poway Woman's Club are known for, because after 45 years the group supports library and historical projects, awards scholarships, focuses on the arts and stays tuned to public affairs.

"We do a little bit of everything -- and we're proud of it," said President Joye Davisson.

Davisson is wrapping up her second consecutive term as president, but has enjoyed that same post at various times since she joined in 1983.

"Established in 1960, when subdivisions were being established in Poway, local women turned to the Woman's Club for projects and the camaraderie of social gatherings," Davisson said.

Donna O'Connell remembers her mom, Beth, joining after the family moved to one of the early housing tracts in the 1960s. Beth O'Connell along with Quida Lynch followed in the footsteps of Betty Davis," not the famous star with the remarkable eyes, but a local housewife who wanted a positive outlet for women intent on helping the community.

And the local chapter just grew from there, always fashioning its goals according to its members' needs, which has been in keeping with the national and international organization's motto "Unity in Diversity."

Following the ideals of the original charter group, which celebrated a significant milestone in 1990 as a centennial club, the Poway chapter keeps close ties with the California Federation of Women's Clubs and its international chapters through the world.

Back in 1986 (CORRECTION! 1886), noted New York journalist Jenny June Croly and Woman's Club member, created a stir by requesting to hear Charles Dickens speak to the male-only New York Press Club.

The members put up a curtain that she sat behind so she could listen to one of her favorite writers, which didn't start a wave of feminism. It did, however, bring some attention to the female club -- always interested in public affairs since then.

"One of our favorite programs was the Christmas Basket Project," Davisson said. "We organized food, toys and clothing so local families could enjoy the holiday."

Along with assistance from other civic groups, that goal was met during several holidays before it folded a few years ago, not because of lack of interest, "but the task became too demanding," Davisson said.

The upcoming "Celebrate Women," which focuses on acrylic, oil, ceramics and other art media, will adorn the walls of the Poway Center for the Performing Arts throughout March.

Last year's show attraced 63 entries


and this years' venue is expected to draw even more, according to Davisson.

Local artists can price their wares for public sale and 15 percent of sold items comes back to the city of Poway, which operates the PCPA.

Through that particular art show, the Poway women met artist Ardel Uvon Bloomquist, who later agreed to create two outdoor pieces of art for the Poway Library at a very "reasonable" price, Davisson said.

And when it comes to helping kids, 10 percent of funds raised during the year will go toward arts and crafts material, video games, sports equipment and kitchen supplies for the Sulpezio branch of the Boys & Girls Clubs in Poway.

College-bound students at Abraxas High School are usually the recipients of at least one annual scholarship, four local high school students get funds to attend the Hugh O'Brien annual leadership seminars and one local student receives the Diana Smith Art Scholarship, aptly named after charter-member Smith.

Membership dues are $35 for active members and $45 for those who can only attend periodically. For more details about the club, call Davisson at (858) 748-7441, or go to the club's Web site at: powaywomansclub.org (CORRECTION: www.powaywomansclub.org).

Members meet at 10 a.m. on the second Tuesday at Templar's Hall (CORRECTION: In the Porter House) in Old Poway Park.