January 6, 2011 |

Woman's Club event aims at new recruits

If you’re a woman with an idea for a community improvement or are just interested in a way to lend a hand, the Haines Woman’s Club is looking for you.

The service club, a part of Haines for 81 years, is looking for new members so it can expand its offerings and possibly take on a larger, community project. Women of all ages are invited to learn more at a tea to be held 2 p.m. Saturday at Haines Assisted Living.

Vice-president Susan Johnston said the group has a membership of about a dozen, about half of whom show up for monthly meetings, but more members are needed to take on larger projects.

The club – which built Haines’ first public library, helped launch the Sheldon Museum, and led the Tlingit Park Re-Creation project – holds an annual holiday bazaar and holds a pie sale and other events so it can offer three scholarships to local students each year.

Recent ideas for future projects include a rope-two ski hill off FAA Road, or helping the effort for a new recreation center.

"We’ve slowly lost members. People have come to us with ideas (seeking club support), but without more people to do the work, it’s not going to happen," Johnston said.

Johnston said there are misunderstandings about the group, including the mistaken belief that new members must be invited to join the group. "We don’t have a secret handshake and we don’t make you ride a goat backwards for initiation. You just need a willingness to show up at a meeting once a month and bake a pie now and then."

Johnston said burnout and attrition due to aging has taken a toll on the group.

Some people have suggested the group take on a popular project on the hopes it will help boost the group’s ranks, but that’s a gamble. "The danger there is if we take on a project and people don’t join, six or seven people end up doing all the work again," Johnston said.