Our History

Our club was started in 1984.

Barbara Weber and  Roma Bolline put an ad in the Harbor Light newspaper, inviting interested women to a planning meeting for a new service concept club, with the Kiwanis Club as their model.  Eighteen women came to that first meeting and the Harbor Springs Women’s Club was formed.  Barbara Weber was the first president.  Later the group’s name was shortened to Women’s Club to be more inclusive of women from all over northern Michigan.The club’s first official meeting included George Menzie, from the local Kiwanis club, as the speaker.  Twenty five women attended, and George challenged them that with 25 members they could do anything!   He advised them to become supporters of the local library and a substance abuse prevention program, and those became the club’s first charities.  Another man presented the group with instructions on creating their own cookbook, saying that women wouldn’t know what else to do!

The Club’s first fundraiser was a 32-booth Bazaar set up in the Holy Childhood’s quonset hut.  The Club chose a Wednesday because that was the day most women from Harbor Point and Wequetonsing came to town.  The Bazaar was a success, making $1200 that first day.  Eventually the Bazaar became the annual Art Fair and was moved to the Harbor Springs High School, and later to Nubs Nob.

The Club’s second president, Irene LaForest legalized the Club as a non-profit organization, set up a bank account and organized a scholarship fund.

Jill Turk, the Club’s third president, started a tradition of taking annual excursions to places like Chicago, Toronto, New Orleans and Stratford.  Our Women’s Club still enjoys taking trips to explore areas, though not usually so far away as in those early days.

Jean Beckley was a president who was active in Red Cross disaster recovery work.  Irene Schimmel was also a founding member, and is known for her organizational skills, energy and inspiration.

Carolyn Whittle, past president, revitalized the group and tremendous growth occurred under her leadership.

Women's Club