WellesleyWeston Magazine


Launched in 2005, WellesleyWeston Magazine is a quarterly publication tailored to Wellesley and Weston residents and edited to enrich the experience of living in two of Massachusetts' most desirable communities.

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Page 141 of 195

Beyond the monthly programs, the WHWC makes significant con- tributions to Wellesley, which it has done since its inception. In 1910 WHWC established the school lunch program, which lasted for 19 years, until the town assumed the responsibility. All club members took turns purchasing food and preparing, cooking, serving, and cleaning up lunch for about 500 students a day, at no charge. In 1929, the club established the Wellesley Hills branch library at 210 Washington Street. They donated the books and furniture and reached out to Isaac Sprague, who provided the house where the library still resides today. Sprague also offered the women a barn to use for civic purposes, which became the town's first community center. "The Barn" evolved into a center for dance classes, story hours, the Boy's Club, Campfire Girls, Girl Scouts, various town committees, and the Village Improvement Society. In its lifetime, the WHWC has donated hundreds of thousands of dollars and work hours to worthy causes. But the club's primary inter- est has been scholarship aid for Wellesley High School graduates. From a modest beginning in 1914, when $200 was given to one student, club members have given scholarship aid continuously for 100 years. Over time, they have been able to increase their donation amounts and the number of recipients. This year, in honor of the 125th anniversary, the club donated $5,000 to each recipient. "It's a lovely group of women," says Toni Connolly, club co-publicist and a former English teacher. "We represent old Wellesley. We've raised our children here and have been active in this club since we've been young women. Before women had careers of their own, volunteer work was our life. This club has made amazing contributions that many people aren't aware of, and it has shaped much of Wellesley's history, including spawning the Wellesley Hills Junior Women's Club." Over the past 125 years the WHWC has contributed enormously to the town of Wellesley in a quiet, consistent way – from creating the first town directory and PTA to donating historical items to the town and mannequins to the fire station for their CPR program. The club has an incredible history – from building schools, libraries, sports programs, and a community center, to being the only organization in Wellesley that supports its scholarship recipients through their entire four years of higher education. "The Wellesley Hills Woman's Club is not just about tea and cookies – it's so much more," adds Connolly, "and we hope people will stop by one of our Wednesday meetings to see what it's all about. The women who created this club were true pioneers and visionaries and we want to continue their legacy." 140 W e l l e s l e y W e s t o n M a g a z i n e | s u m m e r 2 0 1 5 Toni Connolly (left) and Jane Kettendorf at a recent WHWC luncheon. good works "an incredible history" D A R R E N B O V I E

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