The Suburban Woman’s Club’s January 2nd meeting was a perfect example of the activities and programs available to members at both the club and state level. 

President Jane Rundella’s meeting agenda began with a strategic review of the Club’s annual Fashion Show, to be scheduled in late April.  This is an important fundraising event which raises funds to award scholarships and support local charities.

The meeting continued with an update from Education Chair Debbie Boyle on the February 5th Sixth Annual Spelling Bee hosted by the Club and the South Plainfield Cultural Arts Commission.  It will be held at the Senior Center and those interested can get details from Boyle at 908-803-1573 or

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Rundella then thanked Membership Chair Jean Tietjen for bringing in new member Maureen Abbruzzese, who was formally inducted into the Club.  Abbruzzese received a warm welcome as well as the Club pin and background information on Club activities. 

Abbruzzese joins a long list of talented women attracted to the Club over its long history of sixty-eight years - one reason the Club has continued for this span of time.   One of these women, Judy Krieg, put her talents on display at the meeting by leading members in a craft project – a Valentine-themed small mat to place one’s coffee mug.  Krieg’s projects give members a break from Club business with a sense of relaxation and camaraderie.  But Krieg’s talents are truly evident in her deliciously beautiful stuffed animals, ranging from dinosaurs to frogs and cats and dogs.  These she donates to children with autism and if Krieg sells these whimsical treats, she donates the funds to Autism Speaks.  It is no wonder that she is the Club’s Arts/Creative Chair.

Krieg also discussed what is called Calm Down Sensory Bottles.  These bottles are for children with ADHD, Autism or Sensory Processing Disorder and provide an outlet for stress. They can be shaken as hard as the children want - instead of the children hitting or kicking.  They are a great tool to reduce anxiety and for sensory processing. Anyone interested in learning more about how to create these bottles can email Judy Krieg at for instructions.

Similar items for adults, Adult Sensory Blankets, provide mental stimulation to those with dementia, Alzheimer Syndrome or other special needs. A 24” to 32” square lap blanket with long ties to attach to a wheelchair, for example, should include a variety of fabric textures, zippers, buttons, suspender clips, corded bead strings, and Velcro pockets with items to insert and remove, such as a small stuffed animal. The different textures and corded bead strings help create a tactile experience that helps reduce anxiety, calm nerves and provide a sense of comfort.

Continuing with the theme of helping others, Joanne Stogoski, Public Affairs Chair, spoke about the New Jersey State Federation of Women’s Clubs Public Issues Day.  The Club is a member of NJSFWC and encourages members to participate in this important event to be held on Monday, March 30, 2020 at Hotel ML in Mount Laurel.  The event will feature speakers from Tunnels to Tower and Honor Flight of South Jersey.  Both organizations honor first responders and veterans.

Support of such charities has been part of the Club’s long history which was reviewed by Club Historian Cathy Wells.  Each member received a chronicle of major milestones of the Club’s story providing members continuity with the past and inspiration for the future. 

Wells attests that “the Suburban Woman’s Club continues with its history of unselfish service both to the state federation and to the local community.”  Wells pointed to the Club’s successful fundraisers that over the years have allowed it to donate generously to “Canine Companions” which offers highly trained assistance dogs to people with disabilities; to furnish a room for a local domestic violence shelter; to purchase a taping system for Autism education in the school system; and to help purchase fountains for a local cancer wellness community center.

Letters have been written to state and federal legislators about various bills which concern Club members and New Jersey in general.  For example, the Club supported keeping the Palisades free from high-rise buildings and helped secure passage of the Highlands Water Protection Act, protecting water quality for most of our state’s population.  An impressive history, indeed.

The Suburban Woman’s Club of South Plainfield is a member of the New Jersey State Federation of Women’s Clubs of GFWC.  In addition to fundraising to award scholarships and support local and international charities, the Club offers its members programs on a wide variety of topics designed to instruct and entertain at each monthly meeting. 

Interested in joining?  Any woman of South Plainfield or the surrounding area is very welcome to become a member!  Membership dues are $35 per year and meetings are held the first Thursday of the month at 1:00 p.m. at the American Legion, Oak Tree Avenue, South Plainfield.  To learn more, please contact Membership Chair Jean Tietjen at 908-668-0125 or  Like the Club on Facebook.