By Frances Weller | March 18, 2021 at 4:07 PM EDT – Updated March 18 at 7:46 PM
WILMINGTON, N.C. (WECT) – Whether they’re placing wreaths on graves at the Wilmington National Cemetery on Memorial Day or shipping Girl Scout cookies to troops overseas, the women of the Wilmington Woman’s Club are always lending a helping hand.
“We’ve had drive-bys where we’ve collected items like this past summer,” says Pat Hardee, President of the Wilmington Woman’s Club. “We had a drive-by and we helped Communities in Schools, Domestic Violence, Good Shepherd.”
The club is approaching its 58th anniversary.
“Going back to 1964,” says Carol Query, first vice president of the organization. “Up until 2 years ago, one of the original members was a member of our club and continued contributing to our club until her last year of life.”
The club started in 1964 with eight young women. Membership then took off and has reached upwards of 75 members. The current membership is close to 40 women.
The Wilmington Woman’s Club is probably best known for hosting the Coastal Living Show which was started in 1980.
“We stopped at our 40th year because it had gotten to the place that a lot of our money was going to pay the bills instead of money to give back to the community,” Hardee says.
Whether its buying backpacks for school kids or helping victims of domestic violence, the women stay busy.
“In May we’re having a baby shower for Boys and Girls Homes (Lake Waccamaw) for girls who live in the lake houses,” Hardee says. “These are for the ladies–the young girls that are housed there that either have babies or are getting ready to have a baby.”
Over the years the organization has raised at least $800,000 helping the community.
“But I can surprise you with something even better,” Query says. “Not even having a fundraiser this year, the generosity of our members’ hearts, we gave back to the community over $18,000 in monetary donations and in kind donations.”
Both Query and Hardee, members of the club for over three decades, say its the joy of helping others that keeps them coming back.
“It’s just a fulfilling thing to know that you are able to help ladies and organizations and children that otherwise are just sometimes forgotten,” Hardee says.
Query adds, “You know in your heart-of- hearts you’re not the one responsible for giving all of it. You just gave a little piece of it. But with all of the women with whom you work, look at what you can do.”
If you are interested in becoming a member, click here.
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