The Women’s Club of Costa Rica: 1990’s
50th Anniversary The luncheon celebration was held at the Costa Rica Country Club 8 pm on May 19. Mary Alice Lesko served as president. WCCR opened membership to male ‘associates’; the idea only lasted about two years but would be initiated again in 2009. The Christmas Bazaar was held at the Colegio de Médicos y Cirujanos. WCCR was represented at the 100th anniversary of the General Federation of Women’s Clubs in New York by Angela Lenderink.
President Joyce Venegas’ inaugural luncheon was held at the Restaurante Excelente at Yaohan March 13th. A Day in the Country was held at Cervecería for the membership.
Elsa Coblenz was president until October, followed by Barbara Kelly. The joint Board meeting in November was a day trip to Playa Escondida by bus, costing approx ¢1500 per person. New this year at the annual Christmas Bazaar, held at the Club la Guaria in Moravia, was a coffee shop, selling refreshments and a light lunch. Instead of gifts for each other at the December meeting it was decided to bring gifts for children age 6 – 10.
During Bini Collins term in office, Bingo was designated as the official annual fund-raiser for the scholarship program. To facilitate the change between new and old Boards a Board Development Day was held in November at the Club Castillo covering topics of team building, board functions, short and long range planning.
In the year Hertha Henríquez was president, the annual Christmas Bazaar netted ¢321,586 ($1,980). As of August, 47 new members had been welcomed. Prizes for a Scholarship Bingo fund-raiser in May at the Hotel Corobici included flights from Alitalia and LACSA, tires from Firestone, trips, hotel accommodation, dinners, baskets, flowers, whisky, and more. The event netted ¢450,000 ($2,543).
Individual bank accounts were established for each scholarship recipient with Banco Nacional.
A relationship was established with U.S. Women’s Club. WCCR’s president was Betsy Gómez. The March luncheon at the Hotel Europa Zurquí included a slide presentation on the Boruca Indians. The Scholarship Bingo fund-raiser now included prizes from four airlines: American, KLM, LACSA and Continental.
The September meeting was hosted by Nancy de Vos, wife of the U.S. Ambassador, at the residence with a dance program by the Escazú Folkloric Group. A benefit concert featured pianist Kozue Kinoshita in December. Louise Zerr was president until November, followed by Beulah Wiebe. The annual Mother’s Day luncheon was held August 14 at the Cariari Club with honored ‘Mother’ noted Costa Rican artist Christina Fournier. A Hurricane Relief fund-raiser netted ¢215,000 ($1,013). Individual scholarships were increased from ¢1,500 to ¢2,000 per month.
Eighty mammograms were underwritten by WCCR. WCCR’s president was Beulah Wiebe. Christmas donations included orphanages in the Cartago area and Hogar Zoe, a rehabilitation group in Alajuela.
WCCR’s new flag made its first public appearance as members joined in San José’s inaugural Race for the Cure for breast cancer. The club sponsored a Concert Series at the Centro Cultural under the presidency of Cyndy Vorih which attracted about 700 people, raising enough for all of WCCR’s charitable donations for the year. Individual scholarships were increased to ¢2,500 per month. The club purchased a respiratory therapy machine for Clínica Para el Control del Dolor for ¢125,000.
In January ¢200,000 was presented by president Isabel Atienza to first Lady Lorena Clare Rodriguez to help open a wheelchair repair and distribution center. The Scholarship Tea was also attended by the First Lady, the Minister of Education, Minister of Health and wives of Ambassadors to Canada, Japan and the Netherlands. The Last Tango in Paris gala held at Hotel Cariari featured flower vendors on the Champs Elysee, a silent auction, elegant bistro dinner and seductive tango music, raising $10,300 for Social Service programs.