History - IEWC Highlights
March 1961 Our Club was organized as a Garden Club. Hazel Crown was voted president by the twenty-eight original members.
July 1963 To accommodate the growth of the Club and the diversity of interests, the members voted to change the name to the ISLAND ESTATES WOMAN’S CLUB.
1965-67 Under Betty Damsker’s presidency, growing membership necessitated a move from meeting in homes to restaurants.
August 1971 Under the guidance of Carol Dolan, three activities were initiated for members: bowling, marathon home bridge and crafts.
August 1973 Under the guidance of Inga Christensen, Verna Daniel organized tennis.
1974 Under Inga Christensen’s presidency, the Yearbook was increased to its present size.
1978-80 Under the guidance of Rita Canan, Mr. Jules Scheffer designed a permanent logo for the Club. The fashion show was originated and a chair in the name of our Club was acquired by a donation to the Performing Arts Theater.
1980-81 Under the leadership of Tibby Scheffer, the “Golden Gavel Club” for Past Presidents was founded, the monthly newsletter was started and a marathon luncheon bridge was organized.
1981-83 Under Virginia Custer’s presidency, we celebrated our 20th anniversary. We selected Club colors of blue and white. The Club provided support for four families in the Hospice Care Program and participated in Gayler’s “Adopt-A-Family” project.
1984 President Sue Speck appointed an I.E.W.C. member to represent our Club at the Island Estates Civic Association meetings.
February 1986 During Tibby Scheffer’s second term as president, the program for the Benefit Luncheon was expanded to include paid advertising.
1986-88 Under Dorothy Brewer’s presidency a $500.00 contribution was given to the Island Estates Beautification Project.
1988-90 Under Irene Henderson’s presidency, the Annual Benefit Luncheon’s donation to Hospice was $35,800.00, making the Club’s total contribution to Hospice $101,877.00.
1990-91 Under Rita Canan’s presidency, a Dormitory Wing for the Women’s Residence, a home for battered and abused girls, was established from the proceeds of the Annual Benefit Luncheon.
1991-92 During Mary Fellouzis’ presidency, the Dormitory Wing for the Young Women’s Residence (now called Brookwood) was completed.
1992-93 President Carol Dolan encouraged friendliness towards new members and participation in Club activities.
1993-94 President Phyllis Schene recognized our 30th Anniversary as the Island Estates Woman’s Club by honoring founder, Hazel Crown and all past presidents. “Abilities of Florida” was our Benefit Style Show recipient for the second year.
1994-95 President Arline Gioli revised the Associate Membership category to include members who had moved off Island Estates, raised dues for members and published a second cookbook.
1995-96 Under President Dorothy Karras, the Benefit Fashion Show was held in the evening instead of the daytime.
1996-97 Under President Rita Canan, the scholarship fund was originated for a female high school student. The Benefit Fashion Show proceeds were given to the Brookwood Home to refurbish the 3rd floor.
1997-98 Under President Patricia Shay Ostrosky, the Benefit Luncheon, “Reflections” was held at the Belleview Biltmore with $13,115.00 raised for RCS. Two scholarships were awarded in 1998 and four scholarships were awarded in 1999. A Golfing Group was also formed.
1999-2001 Under President Norma Clayton, two Benefit Luncheons resulted in awarding $42,000.00 to Morton Plant Mease Breast Cancer Foundation and $10,368.00 to Kids Wish Network. Other additions included get acquainted luncheons for new members, tennis and “Need-a-Ride Service.” We also celebrated our 40th Anniversary.
2002-2003 Under President Hilda Trew, a decision was made to concentrate our efforts on our Scholarship recipients. Several small fundraisers and an Anthology resulted in four $2000 scholarships. Other highlights were the Walking Group, Art Horizons, Book Club and Butterfly releases.
2003-2004 Under Peggy Gibson, the scholarship fund was increased and three worthy recipients benefited. The usual civic donations were given. The club grew with its various interest groups and luncheons.
2004-2005 President Sheri Dutcher updated publication of the directory to a computerized program which makes annual editing less time consuming. Three scholarships were awarded. Changes were made to bylaws that were restrictive to members serving on the Board. A motto for the Club was instituted. Plans for a club sponsored trip to London were begun. We said farewell to the Clearwater Beach Hotel and we had some fun!
2006-2008 With Marie Wadsworth as President, the club saw a growth in membership, increased attendance at luncheons and the awarding of $10,000 in scholarships. All activities within the club continued: bridge, bowling, book club and theatre group.
2008-2009 With Betty Elsesser as President, the club had a very successful “Breast Cancer Awareness Luncheon” as a new fundraiser project. We awarded a $2500 scholarship to a deserving Clearwater High School student, Nicole Barber. As always, our other activities within the club continued. In 2009, our founder, Hazel Crown passed away in the spring.
2009-2010 Under the guidance of Betty Elsesser, the club raised funds and supplies for Clothes to Kids and RCS. Interestingly, one of our scholarship winners, Sarah Kadis, was the granddaughter of long time member Joanne Devol.
2010-2011 The Island Estates Woman’s Club celebrated their 50th year with a party. We recognized five former presidents, and enjoyed a lovely cake. This year, President Barbara Blakely also ushered in a bylaws change that added a new category of membership, the Sponsored Member, to include women from outside Island Estates. The members generously donated to support Mammogram Vouchers, RCS Food Bank, Clothes to Kids and awarded three scholarships.
2011-2012 Was a busy one for the Island Estates Woman’s Club. Led by president, Barbara Blakely, members generously supported the Mammography Voucher Program with their fourth annual Think Pink fundraiser and Clothes to Kids during our Christmas program. The Scholarship fund was converted to a 501 (c) 3 non-profit trust. Our annual fashion show was a big success and the club was able to award $6,000 in scholarships to four deserving graduating seniors.
2012-2014 With Marie Wadsworth as president, members acknowledged the increasingly important role of community support by adding the word “service” to the club’s by-laws as one of the organization’s objectives. Members voted to increase annual dues for all categories of membership. College scholarships of $2,500 each were awarded to two deserving girls from Clearwater High School in 2013. In 2014, scholarships of $2,5oo each were awarded to three girls, including the first recipient of the Rita O’Neil Memorial Scholarship, which was funded by donations in memory of the recently deceased club member. Club-sponsored activities continued: bridge, bowling and book club.
2014 to 2019 have been very successful, stimulating and fun years with Lynne McCaskill as President and an energetic, productive and dedicated Board.
In 2015 we initiated the Island Estates Women’s Club website at: www.islandestateswomensclub.org and our IEWC Facebook page. Both sites have become popular with our members to view photos from monthly lunches and field trips, find dates for upcoming luncheon meetings, fundraisers and field trips and to read press releases. We have also attracted new members because of our presence on the web and great local press. In 2018 we started accepting credit cards for our fundraisers.
The club continued to try new restaurants and enjoyed old favorites, went on field trips to Tampa Bay Downs, shopping excursions, Botanical Gardens Christmas Show and Sunset Cruises. The membership enjoyed the monthly luncheon speakers that educated us and touched our hearts. In 2018 we had our inaugural club cruise aboard the RCCL “Brilliance of The Seas” and 2019 another fabulous cruise on NCL Bliss.
In 2014 we announced the Rita O’Neil Memorial Scholarship Fund and in 2016 the Marie Wadsworth Memorial Scholarship Fund donated by their loving families and friends.
For the past few season’s club fundraisers have been a tremendous success giving the club the ability to proudly donate to local organizations. In the 2018-2019 season the club raised $26,628 which was donated to the Pinellas Mammography Voucher Program (MVP), Clothes To Kids and the IEWC Charitable Trust Foundation. We were able to award $33,000 in local scholarships.
During the 2018-2019 season we celebrated with over 200 members! We are thrilled to welcome all new members and thank the existing membership for their continued support, generosity and congeniality.