Bethel women’s club reaches 50

Published Aug 21, 2013 at 5:05 am (Updated Aug 16, 2013 at 2:46 pm)

Fifty years have passed since a group of women in the Shamrock Manor neighborhood of Bethel Park became determined to learn more about each other through meaningful traditions and customs. The original 14 women unanimously agreed to build lasting relationships and to celebrate the area’s cultural diversity by participating in programs reflecting the fine and performing arts available in the Pittsburgh area.

With the exchange of social benefits from many walks of life, these women gathered to discuss the formation of a women’s club in August of ‘63.

Before heading home that day, the Shamrock Manor Women’s Club organized. Word continued to spread and many women gathered for the lunches and programs often held in the early years at the once-popular Gammons Restaurant and other favorite dining spots such as the Pioneer Inn and the Sheraton on Fort Couch Road.

Before the first year ended, the club’s membership had grown to 50, climaxing a year of tremendous growth. Community service projects were soon in full swing. The women made regular visits to Western State School and Hospital, spending time with residents and gathering Christmas toys and Easter baskets during the holidays. The sale of luminaries and the construction of a Shamrock Manor landscape sign brought on even more interest from new families. Members began welcoming all new residents with a visit and a floral gift. They planned children’s Christmas parties, formed Halloween parades and Easter parties, raising plenty of interest in the Bethel Park area.

A newsletter was published and distributed, raising awareness of the growing women’s group throughout the South Hills. Members enjoyed their social exchange as they shared ideas for crafts and bingo playing with residents during their monthly visits to the elderly at Manor Care in Bethel Park and Mt. Lebanon’s Golden Living. Girls’ Night Out, bowling, gourmet cooking, a book club and other interest groups continued to gather more women into the club’s circle.

Although the club eventually opened membership to women throughout Bethel Park, the original purpose of the organization has remained and plays a major role in why women rejoin each year and new members find a home. Shamrock Manor Women’s Club continues to be a place where members express themselves, broaden their horizons and make friendships that last a lifetime.

To celebrate 50 years of cultural connections and experiences, SMWC will hold an anniversary dinner at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 4 in Fellowship Hall at John McMillan Church in Bethel Park. Current and former members are welcome to rekindle friendships and reminisce over good times and plan for the future. To RSVP, call Mary Alice Moore at 412-835-5157.

EEN: On Oct. 2, Denise Fantazier will speak on the history of Pittsburgh with a focus on her book “Pittsburgh-The Port to the West.” Kelly Bacco will fill the November slot with a program on Pets for U.S. Vets.

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