Marion club looks to the future after 102 years

MARION — On a cold January day in 1912, Mrs. J. F. Carrow opened her home to a group of Marion women for the first meeting of the Twentieth Century Club.

The club is still going strong, and 102 years later, present-day members and guests gathered on Dec. 8 to celebrate the Christmas season, reflect upon a successful year and look ahead to new endeavors in 2015.

The Marion Public Library community room was decorated in the festive reds, greens and golds of the holiday season, a colorful setting for the end-of-the-year program of entertaining Christmas trivia quizzes and games, gala desserts and gift exchanges.

In addition to its social function, the club has a long history of service to the community. This tradition was reflected in the wide variety of food items that members brought to the meeting to be contributed, along with a $100 check, to the Marion Food Pantry.

Members also brought hats and mittens to be donated to Marion Elementary School.

Sharon Cutler, club president, addressed the group and outlined significant accomplishments of the past year.

She explained  the club has taken on the primary responsibility of planting the garden around the Marion well on Main Street. Every year, members donate most of the plants and flowers and volunteer to maintain the garden during the season. The club also contributes financially to the upkeep of the well.

The group took on a new cause in 2014 with the decision to support the Grub-2-Go plan. Members donate funds at each meeting and checks are presented to Barbara Darrigan, program coordinator, twice a year.

Grub-2-Go provides nutritious food, including fresh fruits and protein, to Marion elementary students for days when they are not in school. During the academic year, volunteers fill food bags for more than 100 students who collect the bags on Friday to supplement their weekend diet.

“We really appreciate the generous contributions of the members of the Twentieth Century Club and their commitment to help children in need in the Marion Elementary School,” said Darrigan. “Anyone interested in being a volunteer to help us pack the bags can call me at (231) 825-4010.”

“We have a long history,” said Cutler, “We want it to carry on and hopefully future members will keep it going for many years. We have members in all age groups who enjoy the social aspect and participating in projects and causes to support our community and we want to go on for another century.”

Cutler added the club welcomes new members from Marion and surrounding communities who are interested in enjoyable fellowship and community service. Each meeting features a speaker and dessert served by club hostesses.

Meetings are held at 1 p.m. on the second Monday of the month in the community room of the Marion Public Library. The club does not meet during the winter; the next meeting will be in April. For more information, call Cutler at (231) 743-2225.