The Women’s Club of Costa Rica: 1970’s
30th Anniversary Sylvia Phillips was president. General meetings were sumptuous high teas, often 60 to 70 women attending. The baking and table decorations were the finest.
A furniture-making machine was donated to Industries de Buena Voluntad (Goodwill Industries), where repair work was done by the handicapped. President Mary Rodgers had Club members at her house to bake 100 fruitcakes for the annual bazaar.
WCCR participated in a program of ‘patterning’ for people disabled by strokes. In 1972 when Betty Jiménez Mooney honeymooned at Jaco only one hotel existed. Planes landing on the beach had to dodge oxcarts and rice combines.
During President Alice Nashashibi’s term donations were made of a record player to Barrio Pinto childcare center and a stove to the Ciudad de Niños in Aguas Calientes de Cartago. The club’s Art in the Embassies show drew a great crowd to the April meeting at the new U.S. Embassy.
Alice Louise Dunn was president. A check was presented to the Children’s Hospital for $1,430 for the purchase of equipment to help children with leukemia. The Christmas Bazaar was held at the Tennis Club. WCCR received an award from the Unión de las Americas for 34 years of service to the country.
Membership grew to 379 under Su Pardo’s presidency. The club purchased two IVAC units for the Children’s Cancer Ward in the Hospital de Niños. Two bilingual cookbooks, one for Casseroles and another for Salads, were produced. Fundraising projects included a rummage sale, a bridge marathon, tennis marathon, bazaar, and Channel 7 television Christmas program.
President Caroline Baker’s term boasted over 400 members. 277 attended the annual luncheon at the Cariari Hotel, each paying ¢40. A fancy hat contest was held at the July meeting followed by a makeup and hat demonstration from a Hollywood designer. As a former teacher, it was Caroline Baker’s dream to establish a Scholarship Committee. A seed was planted. Her dream was realized the following year.
The Scholarship Committee’s first Chair was Laura Montes de Oca with enthusiastic committee members: Caroline Baker, Teddy McAdams, Bertha Brenes, Lulu De Krietsch, Dr. Dolores Farcas. The first scholarships were given to five children in rural areas to attend Institutos Technicos Agropecuarios where the boys learned how to farm, raise chickens and pigs, and the girls learned baking and sewing. Later on, the scholarships were awarded for attending university and nursing. Eventually, focus turned to high school programs in all seven provinces. The WCCR Chorus appeared on Channel 4.
The March luncheon with entertainment by The Madrigals was held at the Grand Hotel. President Olive Caffrey’s projects included a tour of embassy residences and a fashion show attended by approximately 400 at the Country Club, featuring fashions from the Yara Boutique New York and La Boutique. A lending library was opened Thursdays and cooperation of the Guides and Scouts enlisted in a book drive.
During Oliver Caffrey’s second term of office a Cancer Relief Fund was established in memory of Helen Ford, to raise funds for a scan machine for the San Juan de Dios Hospital. Fund-raising began in earnest with a July 31 tea followed by a bake sale, sale of artworks, a cooking demonstration at the residence of the Chinese Ambassador, selling of gasoline shares, youth symphony concert, tea and parade of international costumes, cheese and wine party, Little Theatre Group sponsorship and more.
A 15-minute presentation on TV Channels 4 and 7 by Laura Montes de Oca and Cristina Maria Cabezas resulted in donations flowing in from employees of Banco Nacional, CAJA, IBM, Bayer, Union Carbide and many more businesses, as well as individual and corporate donations. By November, in 4 short months, ¢250,000 ($29,274) had already been raised for the Cancer Fund!
An Opera concert at the National Theatre was organized by the Scholarship Committee. It featured the National Symphonic Orchestra and well-known Costa Rican opera singers in a program of arias from Madame Butterfly and suite orchestral from Carmen. Proceeds sent a Youth Symphonic Orchestra student to study in the U.S. for one year.
The first student to receive a WCCR scholarship graduated from high school. At the December General Meeting membership dues were raised to ¢100.
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