By Libby Hopkins

The GFWC Ruskin Woman’s Club has made many strides in the Ruskin community and beyond since its humble beginnings. No longer do club members sip tea and play Bridge. The club donates approximately $10,000 each year to local students to assist with their college expenses.

“The club has also donated to all the local charities, including Mary and Martha House, Canine Companions, Camp Bayou, Special Olympics, Firehouse Culture Center, in addition to hosting annual cleanups and donating to the Ruskin Cemetery,” said club member Kathy Evans.

The Woman’s Twentieth Century Club was established in 1912 for the purpose of individual culture and civic improvements. For many years meetings were held in members’ homes. By 1919 the club joined the Florida Federation of Women’s Clubs, becoming the 19th club in Florida. The club is also a member of the General Federation of Women’s Clubs, a global organization of over 100,000 women in over 4,000 clubs, actively engaged in volunteer community service. In 1940 they changed their name to The Ruskin Woman’s Club.

“These ladies do so much more and their unselfish acts have mostly gone unrecognized due to the lack of publicity,” said Evans. “These ladies are the true givers from the heart and represent the ‘charity begins at home’ slogan.”

The mission of the club is to maximize the potential of the community by ensuring the continued development of educational, cultural and social opportunities through the service and resources of their members.

“My hopes for the club are that more ladies from the community will join our quest for charity so that these works can continue and be expanded even more,” said Evans.

To learn more about the GFWC Ruskin Woman’s Club or to join, visit www.gfwcruskinwomansclub.org. In May, the club will host its annual scholarship award luncheon where it recognizes talented young students who are looking forward to furthering their educational future. The GFWC Ruskin Woman’s Club meets monthly (September through May) at 12 Noon in its historic venue located at 503 U.S. Hwy. 41 S. in Ruskin.