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Carol Stream

50 years later, Woman's Club members still going strong

CAROL STREAM – On Sept. 21, 1959, the Carol Stream Woman’s Club held its first meeting at the former Carol Stream Village Hall, near the corner of Arapahoe and Gary avenues.

Club members Barbara O’Rahilly and Barbara Simkus were in attendance.

Fast forward more than 50 years to another Woman’s Club meeting, this one on Aug. 20, 2013, at which the two women were honored for their more than 50 years as club members, in addition to their other contributions to the community.

“These woman have been, and continue to be, part of the heart and soul of the village of Carol Stream and the Carol Stream Woman’s Club,” said Club President Nancy Bagdonas.

Fifth District President of the General Federation of Women’s Clubs Carol Jablonski presented O’Rahilly and Simkus with their 50-year pins, in front of members and guests, including President Elect of the General Federation of Women’s Clubs of Illinois Diane Addante.

“I am honored that the club presented an award to both Barb Simkus and I,” said O’Rahilly, who served as the club’s first president. “But I think the best part is that the club has survived for over 50 years with so many women participating over the years and all the good things that have been accomplished in that period of time.”

The meeting was hosted at O’Rahilly’s home. During the proceedings, she spoke about the village’s history.

“It’s quite an honor to be in a club for 50 years,” said Simkus, who joined in May 1962, the month after she moved into her Carol Stream home. “I joined the club because I wanted to make friends and do something for the village.”

Simkus, who served as club president several times, spoke about the history of the club and how the members’ good deeds have benefited individuals, families and the village overall.

In addition to discussing the club’s history, Simkus shared her fond memories, including those of the many friendships that began among Woman’s Club members.

“These two ladies not only got the club going, but were important movers and shakers in the young community of Carol Stream,” Bagdonas said. “They are both active members to this day and also members of the historical society.”

Through the years, members have supported the village Christmas Sharing Program, organized activities for children and supported the Park District and local schools.

“Everyone looks up to the Woman’s Club for assistance,” Simkus said.

Club meetings are generally on the third Tuesday of the month at 7 p.m. in the Glenbard North High School teacher’s lounge, 990 N. Kuhn Road. Occasionally the club meets at members’ homes.

For information, follow the club on Facebook or contact Membership Chair Barb Siegman at 630-260-1861.

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