Shelburne Falls Area Women’s Club looks to future with recruiting event

  • Lynda Leitner, Laurel Rollins and Missy Tetreault at the Shelburne Falls Area Women’s Club meet-and-greet, held Wednesday at the Sweetheart Restaurant. STAFF PHOTO/BELLA LEVAVI

  • Members of the Shelburne Falls Area Women’s Club converse at Wednesday’s meet-and greet at the Sweetheart Restaurant. STAFF PHOTO/BELLA LEVAVI

  • Jill Connolly and Leslie Taylor at the Shelburne Falls Area Women’s Club meet-and-great, held Wednesday at the Sweetheart Restaurant. STAFF PHOTO/BELLA LEVAVI

  • Judy Hoyt and Francie Hall at the Shelburne Falls Area Women’s Club meet-and-great, held Wednesday at the Sweetheart Restaurant. STAFF PHOTO/BELLA LEVAVI

  • Judy Hoyt and Francie Hall at the Shelburne Falls Area Women’s Club meet-and-great, held Wednesday at the Sweetheart Restaurant. STAFF PHOTO/BELLA LEVAVI

Staff Writer
Published: 9/23/2022 12:42:12 PM
Modified: 9/23/2022 12:41:33 PM

SHELBURNE FALLS — How does an organization that was formed in the 1920s stay relevant today?

That is the question members of the Shelburne Falls Area Women’s Club are asking themselves as they get closer to 2025, the 100th year since the club’s establishment.

To that end, the Shelburne Falls Area Women’s Club hosted a recruiting event this week at the newly reopened Sweetheart Restaurant, looking to better understand what their longtime and new members are looking for in the club. With about 50 in attendance, club members got some answers to their question.

“We are trying to generate interest in the club,” member Penny Spearance said. “We want to make people aware of the club and solicit ideas for us in the 21st century.”

The Shelburne Falls Area Women’s Club became the founder and sponsoring organization for the Bridge of Flowers back in 1929, known then as “the Bridge of Beauty.” Today, the club and its Bridge of Flowers Committee continue to run the former trolley bridge that connects Buckland and Shelburne.

“It is amazing that they have kept it throughout these years,” member Kay Berenson said, referencing the Bridge of Flowers.

For the past 97 years, the club has hosted speaker events, fundraisers, socials and holiday parties.

“Our programs have always been open to the public,” Spearance said. “We are just trying to figure out what our members want to see.”

Spearance said the club hopes to attract a diverse set of new members with wide-ranging interests. There are now 75 members, but the club hopes to find “new ideas and new leaders for its future,” Berenson wrote in an email.

Membership to the club costs $25 annually. Any woman in the area is eligible.

The group plans to host a program in October. A historian will talk about the legacy of Lucy Terry Prince, a Black enslaved American poet from the 18th century.

When asked why she continues to attend Shelburne Falls Area Women’s Club events, member Jill Connolly said, “Where else will you find this variety of incredible women who all have something to offer? I get camaraderie, support and good will from being here.”

Bella Levavi can be reached at 413-930-4579 or blevavi@recorder.com.


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