Ouray Woman’s Club Goes County-Wide
by Watch Staff
Jun 04, 2012 | 920 views | 0 0 comments | 4 4 recommendations | email to a friend | print
OURAY – In March 1897, a very small group of women met in the jury room of the Ouray Courthouse to organize a club whose purposes would be self-improvement, community service and philanthropy. The club was named the Woman’s Club of Ouray. One hundred and fifteen years later, the Woman’s Club continues the traditional values set forth by its original founders.

Recently, club members voted to amend their constitution and change the name of the organization to the Woman’s Club of Ouray County.

“At the inception of the WCO, travel around Ouray County was a slow process, and naturally the majority of the founding members lived in the City of Ouray,” explained longtime club member Vicki Caldwell. “As our modern age emerged and transportation and travel became more easily available, the Woman’s Club quickly added members from the entire Ouray County area. Today, less than half of the membership lives in Ouray; the majority of our 80-plus dedicated members live throughout Ouray County. Hence, the need and the recognition of our organization’s name, which represents unified women committed to making Ouray County a better place to live.”

Club members have diligently volunteered to provide services needed in Ouray County for the last 115 years. From the establishment of the Lincoln Memorial Library in 1898 to the recent funding and maintenance of a hospice room in Valley Manor Care Center, as well as the opening of the first Medical Loan Closet available to all people in Ouray County, the Woman’s Club continues to keep the tradition of philanthropy alive.

Last October the Woman’s Club granted over $9,000 in funds to 21 Ouray County non-profit organizations in order to support other important groups within the county. The Woman’s Club also concluded a series of outstanding monthly programs in May centered around “Uncommon Women: Uncommon Lives,” all of which highlighted exceptional Ouray County women and their unique contributions to the county.

Other highlights of 2011-2012 WCO activities have included monthly monetary and food contributions to the Ridgway Community Food Pantry, participation in the 4-H Holiday Bazaar, selection of Joan Fedel as WCO Woman of the Year, reorganization of the Medical Loan Closet, an annual salad luncheon to honor all Ouray County graduating senior girls and their mothers, and sponsorship of the Cedar Hill Cemetery Clean-Up. Installation of new officers is coming up on June 12.

All projects, donations and grant monies provided to others have one common monetary funding source – The Woman’s Club of Ouray County’s Annual Rummage Sale. This rummage sale is a long-standing tradition for Woman’s Club members, and it provides a much-needed opportunity for special purchases for many people. Woman’s Club members accept gently used clothing, books, linens, housewares, sporting goods, home improvements, arts and crafts, floral items, furniture, luggage, jewelry and decorative/miscellaneous items each year. Two generous families (the Corleys and the Wolkins) allow their garages to be used for storage. Members work many hours sorting and pricing the items, and the community receives incredible bargains.

This year’s Annual Rummage Sale is set for Friday, June 22 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Saturday, June 23 from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.

“This year’s selection of merchandise is incredible, and the Woman’s Club of Ouray County cordially invites everyone to mark their calendars now and shop early to find unbelievable sale items,” Caldwell said.

After your “spring cleaning,” if you have donations to make, please contact Caldwell at 325-4816, Nancy Wolkin at 325-4368 or Nancy Rule at 325-4306.

Donations will also be accepted on Wednesday, June 20 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. or on Thursday morning, June 21 from 9 a.m. to noon at the Ouray Community Center. If anyone has large, gently used furniture items or other bulky donations, arrangements can be made for pick-up on Wednesday, June 20. Once again, contact Caldwell to make such arrangements.

“As the years have flown by (1897 to 2012), people, names and buildings may change. However, the Woman’s Club of Ouray County continues its one unifying principle – community service and philanthropy,” Caldwell said. “We invite any interested woman to attend a meeting, to learn our history and goals, to share great programs and to serve fellow Ouray County citizens.”
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