SPARTA, NJ – The Sparta Woman’s Club was honored with a proclamation at the Sparta Township Council meeting on Tuesday.  Mayor Molly Whilesmith invited the club members into the well of the council chambers as she commemorated the 70 anniversary of the organization in Sparta.

The Sparta chapter is part of the national organization General Federation of Women’s Clubs  or GFWC, founded in 1890.

Member Marjorie Strohsahl said the club was initially founded by Jane Cunningham Croly, a journalist in New York.  When she was denied admission to lecture of a high profile man because she was a woman, Cunningham founded the Sorosis Club for professional women in 1869.  That was the model for the GFWC, started in 1890.

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The Sparta Woman’s Club annually supports Project Self Sufficiency, Domestic Violence Initiatives, DASI, Knoll Heights Senior Citizens, Veterans’ groups, Vial of Life, NAMI, Code 9 S.H.A.R.E., Manna House, People Help, Ginnie’s House, Literacy Volunteers, C.A.S.A., Sparta Library, Family Promise, Ecumenical Food Pantry, NORWESCAP, Maryknoll Missionaries, Operation Smile, Newton Free Clinic, Meals on Wheels, Cookie/Candy project, JWCS Wish Tree, Cancer Center, Newton Medical Center and donates to local, state and national charities.

The club also annually grants scholarships to local graduating high school seniors.

“I appreciate all of your efforts for all of the volunteer organizations that you support,” Whilesmith said.  “I don’t think there is one you are not involved in.”

“If there is, we’ll get it next year,” Co-President Beth Meier said. “I’ve been a member for 10 years.  Our engagement in the community is long standing and our commitment is deep.”

The New Jersey State Federation of Women’s Club was organized in 1894 and is comprised of 7,000 members in 186 clubs.

The Sparta Woman’s Club meets monthly at the Lake Mohawk Country Club.  In addition to the volunteering initiatives they also have monthly activities including Circle of Yarn, Book Clubs, Out to Lunch Bunch, Mah Jongg, Garden/Conservation and many others in addition to informative speakers and excursions to performing arts programs.