Since 1918, Lemon Bay Woman’s Club (LBWC) has played an integral role in the lives of many Englewood residents. Formed by a group of community-minded women organized by Dr. Mary Green, the organization, first named Lemon Bay Mother’s Club until 1924, the club has offered women an opportunity to socialize, raise funds for local charities and their clubhouse has been used as a meeting place for numerous civic groups, churches and as a polling place. It has been recognized as the oldest service organization in Englewood and celebrated 100 years in 2018.
Membership in LBWC offers women a sense of being a part of the community and the chance to see Englewood grow and thrive through the charities supported by the community. Some of the charities the club supports are Kids Needs of Greater Englewood, FISH of Englewood, Englewood Helping Hand, Englewood Community Care Clinic, Tidewell Hospice, Linus Project, and scholarships for Lemon Bay High School students. The funds are raised through events such as annual book sale, rummage sale and holiday bazaar.
The club offers many activities for women to connect. Monday mornings, 9:30am to 1pm, are a time when the women do various craft projects and also work on creating quilts that are raffled off during fundraisers. They also quilt blankets for the Linus Project which provides blankets for newborns that are given out in neonatal centers, hospitals, police and to adopted babies. Dessert card parties are held monthly. Zumba, line dancing and yoga classes are offered at the clubhouse.
The clubhouse itself was placed on the National Register of Historical Places in 1989. The women raised funds to obtain a mortgage to erect the building that was completed in 1926. It is a one-story prairie style clubhouse at 51 N. Maple Street, the corner of Cocoanut and Maple Streets in downtown Englewood. It has undergone some upgrades like adding a kitchen and bathrooms in 1939, and various repairs. Right now, there are some necessary building repairs like window replacement that need to be undertaken and the club is accepting donations from the community to raise the necessary funds.
The club has many members who have surpassed their 30th anniversary year and one club member who is older than the club itself! Marie Truman is 103 years old, although she wasn’t a founding member. When club members were asked why they joined, they gave reasons such as a way to meet people, a way to be part of the community, an avenue to give back, and the ladies have fun. Applications can be downloaded on the club website and annual membership dues are only $30. To learn more, contact the club at 474-9762, visit www.lemonbaywomansclub.com or visit them on Facebook.