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Ronan Woman’s Club celebrates 100 years of volunteerism

RONAN – The Ronan Woman’s Club is celebrating their 100th anniversary this year, and no, there isn’t a typo in their name.

“It’s supposed to be singular for the individual clubs,” said Adina Fox, club member. She explained that the Ronan chapter is part of the international General Federation of Women’s Clubs working to serve communities through volunteerism. 

“Our mission is to provide community service and support,” she said. “We are non-denominational and non-political.”

The group recently celebrated their anniversary by performing the same skit that was done during the club’s 50th anniversary called “Party Line,” and for those who weren’t around in the 1960s, she explained the title.

“There used to be three people on one phone line, and when you picked up the phone, there could be someone already on the line, so you would politely hang up the phone. In this skit, the people don’t put down the phone and a bunch of gossiping starts from what they think they hear on the phone.”

The club is also celebrating by developing a float for the Pioneer Days parade with the anniversary tied into the theme. 

“We usually don’t like to celebrate what we do,” she said. “We are a quiet group, but we thought we would do something for this anniversary.”

While their service projects have been many and varied over the past century, the Ronan Woman’s Club has focused on supporting the following three entities: the community hospital, the town’s museum and its library.

“Back then, the hospital wasn’t the St. Luke Community Healthcare network that it is today,” Fox said. “It originally started as a small hospital, and the club did fundraising efforts to help build it.”

Club member Patti Mocabee’s grandmother became a member of the club in about 1935, and Mocabee’s mother was also a member. She said the two women told her that starting a library was one of the things the club felt strongly about. Club members would store books in their homes and lend them out until a library was built. 

“The original club members petitioned the mayor to have a library,” she said. They continued to raise funds to help develop the library project as it moved throughout the community. The club helped purchase some of the original shelves that are still standing in the current library.

Woman’s Club members have also helped the Garden of the Rockies Museum in Ronan with fundraising efforts. The club has also supported the food pantry, and various programs for high school students. 

“We try and work on anything the community needs help with,” Mocabee said. 

The club raises funds for those projects with their annual arts and crafts fair, held during the second week of March. And they can always use new members. For information about the club or how to join, call Fox at 406-253-1774.

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