The first meeting of the Worthington Women’s Club was on September 27, 1932. The club was founded by members of the Worthington Circle of the Child Conservation League who felt the need for a richer community experience for Worthington women. The objectives of the new club were to promote friendship, to create opportunities for sharing common interests and to participate in community affairs. The club had 74 charter members, grew to 205 members in the first decade and peaked at 626 members in 1983 and 1984. The dues were $2.00 until 1954, then increased to $3.00. Dues were raised to $15.00 in 1994. In 2014 dues increased to $20.00. In 2018 dues increased to $30.00. The club’s creed, written by Marie Vandergrift, was first published in the 1946 yearbook and is read yearly at the September general meeting. Vibrant membership and visionary leadership were vital to the success of Worthington Women’s Club in meeting its original objectives and becoming a presence in the community.
Since its founding Worthington Women’s Club has provided much support to the community through a wide range of endeavors. The first gift to the community in 1939 was the large boulder embedded in concrete which is found on the S/W corner of the Village Green. The inscription read “ To Honor the Founders of Worthington, 1803; Women’s club 1939.” The village entrance markers were presented to the community in 1942. Historical markers have also been placed on the N/E corner of the Village Green and the east side of the Griswold Center. WWC has become known as the “builder of fireplaces”. In 1964 the club provided the funds for the fireplace in the new shelter house built west of the high school and in 1978 funded the building of the fireplace in the new Worthington Library.
Restoration and repairs to the fireplaces in the Orange Johnson house and the Old Rectory were another WWC fireplace related project. The club has provided support to Worthington Schools, Girl and Boy Scouts, Campfire, the Orange Johnson House, Worthington Library, Worthington Recreation Center, Worthington Historical Society, Worthington Community Center, McConnell Art Center and many others. Today the club continues to make yearly contributions to selected Worthington area organizations. Recipients of the 2017-18 allocations were The McConnell Arts Center, Worthington Resource Pantry, Worthington Library and the Worthington Historical Society .
Many varied interest groups have provided opportunities for sharing common interests and friendships since the club was founded. The first interest group, the Reading Book Circle, was started in 1933, followed by the Drama Group two years later.
A History Group formed in 1955 soon reorganized to become the current Worthington Historical Society. Other early interest groups that lasted a long period of time included the Worthingtones, a choral group; Genealogy Group, Walkie Talkies, Whiffers, Potted Planters and Jolly Jaunters.. Interest groups have come and gone over time as new groups have formed to meet the changing interests of the membership. Several current groups are over 40 years old. Acquaintance Group has been active over 70 years; Bridge-O-Rama, and Bowling, over 60 years; Art Study Group and Book Group II, over 50 years. In 2014 the Investment Group disbanded. There are currently over 30 active interest groups with a couple more formulating. The interest groups are regarded by many as the “life blood” of the club.
The current members of Worthington Women’s Club are indebted to the creativity and vision of the club’s founders, leaders and the members who preceded us. The foundation of the club is strong. The challenge of the future is to continue to move forward with enthusiastic and creative spirit while always maintaining the club’s traditions and core objectives.