This Friday, January 18, 2019 marks the second consecutive year that New West will be holding its winter formal at the Santa Monica Bay Woman’s Club. Many of you may be unaware of the vital role the Club has played in the community, serving as the setting for both private events as well as important civic projects.
The Santa Monica Bay Woman’s Club, declared a city of Santa Monica Historical Landmark in 1991, has been used as a meeting room, charity and fundraising center, infant care clinic, dance room, and more over the course of its 113 year history. Female rights advocate Elmira T. Stephens created “The History Class,” a club that enabled women to stay abreast of current events. Under her guidance, Stephens’ club then evolved into the Santa Monica Bay Woman’s Club in 1905, which strove to support progress in the fields of welfare, service, education, culture, and civic affairs. In 1910, the Club became a member of the General Federation of Women’s Clubs (GFWC).
One of the first philanthropic acts of the members of the Santa Monica Bay Woman’s Club was to provide funds for the construction of the Orphans’ Home of Los Angeles. The Club went on to aid mothers and their children in need of medical assistance with its complementary Well Baby Clinic, which featured a doctor and two nurses. The Club offered this service for thirty-nine years, at which point the Santa Monica Hospital managed the clinic at its own facility.
The Santa Monica Bay Woman’s Club supported the nation after the start of the first World War, during which its founders coordinated knitting circles with the Red Cross, organized dances to raise funds for servicemen, subsidized a WAVES (Women Accepted for Volunteer Emergency Service) recruiting station, and sold war bonds. Over the span of a year and a half, between fifteen and twenty thousand members of the community were in attendance at the Club’s dances for servicemen.
In 1927, the Club began its eponymous Elmira T. Stephens Fund, named after its founding member. This still active fund’s purpose is to provide scholarships to promising youths from Santa Monica High School. Laura E. Hubbell, one of the Club’s original members, left the club an endowment with which to aid impoverished women in Santa Monica. The Club has since made donations to WISE Senior Services, Heal the Bay, Santa Monica College, the Rape Crisis Center, Pennies for Pines, Operation Smile, and other charitable organizations.
In 2012, the Santa Monica Bay Woman’s Club and other groups associated with the GFWC donated a combined $12,800,309, took part in 90,945 projects, gave $13,649,882 in In-Kind donations, and volunteered 4,439,653 hours. For its humanitarian deeds, the opportunities it provides to those in need, and the bond it strengthens between its members, it goes without saying that the Santa Monica Bay Woman’s Club is indispensable to the community. To learn more about the Santa Monica Bay Woman’s Club, check out their website here.
If you would like to purchase tickets to New West’s “Winter in the Woods” Formal, Student Government will be selling tickets on Monday, January 14th through Friday, January 18th during recess and lunch in the Main Common Area. From Monday to Wednesday, one ticket will cost $30 and a special $50 for two tickets deal will be offered. If you wait until Thursday or Friday to purchase tickets, they will be $40 each. If you have any questions, please email Cady Latt, a Student Event Coordinator, at email@example.com.