The Women’s Club of Costa Rica: 2000



60th Anniversary! Dorothy Boone was president. The March luncheon at the Costa Rica Country Club featured a musical revue celebrating the club’s anniversary with a sentimental ‘train’ journey in music, dance and fashion from the 40’s right up to the millennium. The New York, New York gala held at the Costa Rica Country Club was also a musical affair, featuring famous tenor Rudolfo González, the music of West Side Story, and an auction, with proceeds of $14,000. An award was received from the General Federation of Women’s Clubs in recognition of WCCR’s 60 years of distinguished service to the community and the nation. After consultation with the Instituto Nacional de las Mujeres, WCCR honored its 60th anniversary by donating $15,000 to production of a radio novela (story) by Voces Nuestras on the subject of domestic violence. The 25-part story, “La Otra Cara del Amor” was aired twice a day Monday to Friday, has been shown in 25 countries, is still being aired today, and won the prestigious “Columbine” award for Documentary on Women’s Issues in 2002 at the annual Moondance Festival in Boulder, Colorado.


Dorothy Boone served her second term as president. The Viva Las Vegas gala held at the Intercontinental Hotel featured a casino, night club review, silent auction, dancing and a guest appearance by Elvis! The event raised a record $24,400. Student Merit Awards were presented at an Intercontinental Hotel brunch which celebrated the 25th anniversary of the Scholarship program, now funding 158 students with $100 each, grades 7 to 10. A pilot project for university scholarships was also established in memory of Past President Betty Dahlstrom.


Jean Watson and Nina McGibbon both served as president in 2002. The Old Havana gala was held in May at the Intercontinental Hotel with a charity casino and auction, raising $15,600.


Rhoda Obolensky served as president. Many mini-fund-raisers were held, such as themed dinners, concerts, and more.


Anne Sobel ovalThis was Anne Sobel’s first term in office. Isabel Atienza’s brainchild, Reading is Fun! program was established under the Social Services committee. It provided books, chairs, tables, floor pads, etc. to primary schools who have appropriate space and someone responsible to act as Librarian. The 43rd annual Bazaar was held at the Country Day School in Escazú.


Three-time Grammy award-winning musical group Editus joined with WCCR to produce a benefit concert at the Auditoria Nacional.  Anne Sobel served her second year as president. The annual Scholarship Brunch was held May 12 to provide assistance to 130 students in 31 public high schools.


Fashions and music of the 40’s were celebrated at the In the Mood gala attended by 200 people at the Intercontinental Hotel during Grace Woodman-Fernandes term as president. It also featured a silent auction and raffle with a grand prize of 2 tickets on Continental Airlines. The event raised $14,900.


w45VHClBJofOlWRD2ZHPJPZRa6yhnnb3YfR8MoC15_ww264-h198-p-noAnne Kreupeling was President when the Carnaval gala was held in May at the Marriott Hotel, featuring dancing to the Grupo Expresso. With a mega-raffle, auction and mask sales incorporated, the event netted $12,900 for Scholarship and Social Services programs. Another bilingual Cookbook was produced, called Kitchen Pleasures.


The exciting Fiesta Brasileña held at El Rodeo Country Inn in San Antonio de Belén featured a raffle, silent auction, bocas, multi-course dinner, Brazilian music and dancers. It was Anne Kreupeling’s second term as President. The Annual Bazaar at Country Day School in November featured a popular Food Court, Bocas del Mundo, for the second year.


Bonnie Murry served as president. A highly successful auction, themed Under the Rainbow, was held at the Aurola Holiday Inn netted over $16,000 for Social Service programs. Costa Rican astronaut Dr. Franklin Chang paid a congratulatory visit to the event via Skype video conference from Texas. Fund-raising endeavors over the past five years enabled donations exceeding $154,000 for the Scholarship Committee and $51,000 for Social Service programs, including Reading is Fun!


sAALgCKcsLdd6kdKubNjzHMfcSZaop8BccuvxEPyNLIw144-h191-p-no70th Anniversary ! In 2010 the club initiated university scholarships as a pilot project. The club is indebted to Anne Sobel and Roslyn Beswick for ten years of scholarship leadership for high schools. With Bonnie Murry in her second term of office, the year began with a February 10th anniversary luncheon at the Aurola Holiday Inn and the presentation of a 15-minute documentary of WCCR’s seven decades of good times and good works. In July a new interest group was started, the Professional Women’s Network (PWN) [later Professional Women’s Group (PWG)]. This group meets on Saturdays and some evenings to enable working women to attend; speakers are invited to discuss topics of interest to them, and there is always an opportunity for socializing.


Pat MacKinnon  president with a membership of 320. The big May fundraiser,  “A Night at the Museum” was held at the Museo de Arte Costarricense in Sabana Park. This building was the original airport for Costa Rica. The event was lovely with tours of the art exhibits, Columbian traditional music, silent and live auctions, and delicious food provided by 9 different restaurants under a tent in the sculpture garden.


Roslyn-pres2012-1Roslyn Beswick presided over a busy year! The highlight was the Night at the Museum – The Sensational Chair Auction, a fundraising event held at the historic Children’s Museum. Over fifty local artists each creatively painted a chair and these items were the basis for an interesting silent auction, along with the traditional gifts and certificates usually offered.  Lavish food buffet and a lively band provided a fun evening for all.   A 2013 calendar featuring photos of the chairs was produced and sold. The proceeds of the event, along with many personal donations allowed the WCCR to donate complete sets of textbooks for 572 public school elementary students. Additionally, our post secondary scholarship program granted scholarships to 27 students.  An interesting social service project originating from the Reading Is Fun program was the complete renovation and artful furnishing of a preschool classroom in La Carpio.


past-president_Michele-CoteStrategic planning was a goal achieved by President Michele Côté who arranged for two special sessions, moderated by Amigos volunteer, Iain Dewar. The annual neighborhood teas held in February were lively this year, attracting many new members. They ranged from a Tai Chi demonstration at the North group tea, while the West featured a well attended wine and cheese gathering. The March Lunch, in addition to being an entertaining social event, became a mini fundraiser with the advent of selling gently used handbags which were donated by members. Several new bags were awarded to proud raffle winners and over 50 guests went home happily sporting a new bag. The interest group PWG continues to flourish, providing well attended monthly Saturday meetings. This year they featured “Women in Leadership” speaker presentations. The WCCR received our first CRUSA Grant to help fund scholarships for 20 students and the Textbook committee provided books to 678 students.


past-president_Michele-CoteJeannine Hurd presided over a year which started with a March Lunch featuring a ‘Bling’ mini fundraiser to the delight of costume jewelry-loving members followed by a fundraiser party “Dancing in the Rain” starring unique hand-painted umbrellas to auction off.  The Textbooks program, now called Schoolbooks for Kids, provided textbooks to 1,179 children in rural schools.  The Scholarship Program continued to support 21 students with the help of another CRUSA grant and a relationship was formed with the International Baccalaureate Program, supporting the first two students in this rigorous two year program in a public secondary school.



~~  A Diamond Celebration ~~

To celebrate the Club’s 75th anniversary, President Sylvia Prince set these goals for the year: to increase membership, to increase media coverage, and to increase fundraising. With the slogan “Looking Forward from the Past, A Legacy for the Future,” all three were accomplished superbly.  Membership increased by 20%; membership as Amigo Asociado was incorporated to our statutes.  Media exposure included articles appearing in major newspapers as well as other publications; and an invitation from the First Lady of Costa Rica to attend a conference and book promotion.  The Club was honored by the National Symphony Orchestra; and an excellence award was presented by a national cultural foundation.  The fundraiser and anniversary celebration at the Costa Rica Country Club exceeded all expectations by raising a record breaking $22,500 for our community service programs.  Schoolbooks for Kids, provided textbooks to 1,379 children in rural schools. The Scholarship Program sponsored 20 university students and 4 International Baccalaureate students.  The legal process of Liane Villegas’ generous bequest to the Scholarship Program was completed and the program will benefit from it in 2016.

This was, indeed, a great way to celebrate 75 years of Friendship and Service.

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