Proceeds of sale presented to area non-profit organizations.
For almost half a century, the Perkiomen Valley Women’s Club has called a stately colonial in the 500 block of Main Street, East Greenville home. But this week members announced they have turned that clubhouse into much-needed donations for three Upper Perkiomen Valley non-profits.
The club, a community-service organization of area women founded at the height of the Great Depression, sold the headquarters last month in an effort to both shed the rising costs of maintaining the building and property, as well as to revitalize the organization.
“It just wasn’t prudent to keep the house,” said Perkiomen Valley Women’s Club board member Linda Gebert. Gebert, a 20-plus year club member, said the house was in need of repairs and heating and property maintenance costs were too much for the club.
Now that the house is sold and will be used as a private residence, Gebert said the club can get back to basics.
“I joined when my mom was president and the organization was doing really good things. They had purpose and a goal to help the community…We’re hoping to be able to concentrate more on that community-minded purpose and build up membership.”
Gebert said membership has dwindled in recent years, but the group hopes a faction of the organization, which meets at night, can take over many activities. Over the years the club has planned and hosted fundraising projects for the community such as charity balls, fashion shows, Christmas house tours, spring garden tours, plant sales, dinner dances and, most recently, Desserts for Life to benefit Relay for Life and the American Cancer Society.
Donations from those fundraisers have gone to the Upper Perkiomen Valley Library, The Open Line (now The Open Link), YMCA, Upper Perkiomen Valley Ambulance, Operation Santa Claus, Meals on Wheels, Youth and Family Services and more.
Each year, the club sponsors a $500 scholarship for an Upper Perkiomen Valley High School senior, as well as hosts an art contest and prizes for area students and a Young Poets Contest at the Upper Perkiomen Valley Library.
Gebert said not only will the club be able to offer more funding to the community, thanks to the sale of the clubhouse, it will be handing out several high-dollar donations to three organizations voted on by members.
On Tuesday donations of $25,000 went to the Upper Perkiomen Valley YMCA and $10,000 went to both The Open Link and the Upper Perkiomen Valley Ambulance Association. Gebert said the club was involved in the original establishment of the Y and wanted to help the other two organizations “continue their good work in the valley.”
“I continue to be amazed at the generosity of our small community in making life happen for many of our not-for-profits,” said Mike Tannous, executive director of the Upper Perkiomen Valley YMCA of the donation. The club’s money will be in the form of a capital gift for the construction of the new YMCA facility at Kisler-Bitting Park in Upper Hanover, he said.
“This gift will allow for a staggering resource to come to our valley to provide community health through the Y’s mission.”
And the women’s club will be continuing to assess other organizations for gifting, group officials said. Gebert noted the emphasis was to keep the money in the Upper Perkiomen Valley and possibly hone in on needs of high school students.
The club, which is now calling The Open Link’s Upper Perkiomen Senior Center home, continues to meet multiple times each month for group and board meetings as well as other activities. Anyone interested in joining is asked to call Gebert at Stephanie’s Bridal at (215)679-9529 or firstname.lastname@example.org.