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Local News

After 50 years, Lisle Woman's Club founder still finding ways to aid community

Barbara Roake, one of the founding members of the Lisle Woman's Club, spends some time at the Lisle Public Library Monday Feb. 25.
Barbara Roake, one of the founding members of the Lisle Woman's Club, spends some time at the Lisle Public Library Monday Feb. 25.

For the past 50 years, Barbara Roake has dedicated countless hours to a local club that may have never formed without her help.

Roake is one of the founding members and the first president of the Lisle Woman’s Club, a service organization that works to improve the world both locally and globally. Members help raise money for local charities and scholarships, and also attend monthly meetings to discuss how to help the community, listen to guest speakers and socialize.

“It’s a good experience,” said Roake, of Lisle. “As you get older you get tired of doing the same old things, so joining the woman’s club gets you to new outlets.”

A member of the General Federation of Women’s Clubs-Illinois and the General Federation of Women’s Clubs, the Lisle club consists of about 40 women ages 35 to 85, Roake said. Both Lisle residents and non-residents are welcome, Roake said, and although all current members are women, men can also join.

“We’ll take anybody,” Roake said. “We’re very open-minded women.”

The Lisle Woman’s Club was formed when a group of about 20 Lisle mothers wanted to open a library in Lisle, Roake said. The same year the club was formed, the women were able to encourage the community to pass a referendum and open the library.

Roake, also a trustee for the Lisle Library for 30 years, said the accomplishment is her fondest memory as a club member.

“I’m very proud of that library. The whole club is proud of the library,” Roake said. “It’s a pinnacle part of our community.”

Throughout the years, Roake has helped the club participate in many philanthropic events. In 2012, the club helped the Lisle Township Food Pantry by providing Christmas dinner and gifts to seven families.

Each year the club also hosts fundraising events to collect money for its scholarships. It provides three to five $500 scholarships to high school students who are either residents of Lisle or a “630” area code, and a $500 scholarship to a woman who is returning to college to complete a degree or pursue a degree.

Proceeds from the club’s annual community garden walk fundraiser, during which residents can walk through various gardens in the community, are used for the scholarship funds, Roake said.

This year the fundraiser, the Garden Gait, is scheduled for 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Sunday, June 23. Club members and various businesses throughout the community will sell tickets for the event, Roake said.

Roake said she is satisfied with the club’s success and looks forward to new ideas and events.

“I’m very, very proud of the fact that we have maintained a high standard and good, strong membership through the years and have done some nice things,” Roake said.

The Lisle Woman’s Club meets at 6:30 p.m. the first Wednesday each month at the Lisle Library, 777 Front St., Lisle.

For more information on the club, visit www.lislewomansclub.org or call 630-357-7078.

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