The General Federation of Women’s Clubs Clawson Women’s Club poses for a photo at its Santa lunch. The club celebrates its 50th anniversary this year.

The General Federation of Women’s Clubs Clawson Women’s Club poses for a photo at its Santa lunch. The club celebrates its 50th anniversary this year.

Photo provided by Eva Joyce Burns


Clawson Women’s Club celebrates 50th anniversary

By: Sarah Wojcik | Royal Oak Review | Published April 10, 2018

 The Clawson Women’s Club holds a rummage sale in the 1930s.

The Clawson Women’s Club holds a rummage sale in the 1930s.

Photo provided by Melanie Nichols

 The Clawson Women’s Club hosts a fundraiser in the 1950s.

The Clawson Women’s Club hosts a fundraiser in the 1950s.

Photos provided by Melanie Nichols

CLAWSON — The organization that is now known as the General Federation of Women’s Clubs Clawson Women’s Club is celebrating a milestone anniversary this year.

The club, first federated in April 1968, is the oldest civic organization in Clawson, according to Mayor Deborah Wooley.

Once known as the Clawson Juniors, the group of women have raised funds for community projects and have cultivated camaraderie for half a century.

Eva Joyce Burns, the longest active member of the club, has participated since 1972. She said she joined because her neighbor across the street was a member and she thought it was a “good organization.”

“We do things that need to be done, or if we hear something in town that needs something, we pitch in and do it,” Burns said. “We’re a small club. We have 15 or 16 members.”

She said the group meets on the fourth Tuesday of the month from September to May at Clawson City Hall and has a club potluck to wrap up the year in June.

“I enjoy the camaraderie with the girls. I enjoy being able to do something to help the city,” Burns said. “I just enjoy the overall experience to be a volunteer.”

Sue Baker, a former club president, has been a member of the club for 38 years. She said a member asked her to join, and Baker thought it would be good to meet other women and get involved.

“I’d been working and now I was a stay-at-home mom,” she said. “It’s a club that doesn’t ask a whole lot of anybody. We all work together on a project, and it’s fun.”

She said she has made many good friends over the years through the club.

“We’re of various ages, various interests and backgrounds. Some are still employed. Some are great-grandparents. It’s a wide range, and it’s a nice group of women,” she said. “It’s a worthwhile group who tries to help the community through various projects.”

The club has historically hosted a Fourth of July kiddie parade, a bunny brunch, a Santa lunch, a Halloween trick-or-treat trail and the Miss Clawson pageant. It supports community groups such as the Clawson Lions Club, the Clawson Historical Museum, the library, the Fire Department and more.

Burns said the group helped provide the library with an automated external defibrillator this year, and helped donate pet oxygen masks and a Jaws of Life to the Fire Department in the past.

Several members of the club have also gone on to serve in regional and state positions of the General Federation of Women’s Clubs, she said.

During the April 3 Clawson City Council meeting, Wooley read a proclamation recognizing April 24 as General Federation of Women’s Clubs Federation Day.

In 1903, the Improvement Club, later called the Clawson Literary Society, organized, according to the Clawson Historical Society. In 1920, the club changed its name to the Clawson Women’s Club, and today it is known as the General Federation of Women’s Clubs Clawson Women’s Club, Wooley said.

The club plans to have a members- and former members-only dinner event April 25 at the Hunter Community Center to celebrate its 50th anniversary.

“I gotta say, them girls do a lot of work,” Councilman Howie Airriess said.