Tuesday Club disbands, but legacy lives on
LAUREL — The scent of a lilac bush can persist.
The work of that lilac bush is not unlike the accomplishments of a group of a determined ladies. They planted the bush in the Laurel community with the hope that it and the other bushes they planted would make their world a better place.
They didn’t stop there, though, they also took on a number of other civic projects with solid results.
These determined volunteers were members of the Tuesday Club.
“I suppose we set a good example by what we did in the community,’’ said long-time club member, Sandy Chace.
The Tuesday Club is the oldest organization of the Laurel Community. Ladies in the club celebrated their 50th anniversary in 1961.
The club is now disbanding as club members have gotten older or have moved away.
The club sponsored the first girl scout troop.
Chace was president of the organization when they decided to disband. Liz Norvell was vice president. Anita Gade was secretary.
“I didn’t join until later. I was busy with a family,’’ Chace said. “I spent 17 years as a 4-H leader first and belonged to a book club.”
“We started as the Federated Women’s Club. We changed from that as we wanted to be more local. We had a national president in 1964. Mrs. W.H. Hasebrook from Wisner was inaugurated in New York. Many women from northeast Nebraska went to the convention. A bus picked us up from Bloomfield and all over,’’ she said.
“I was one of the youngest women on the trip. My husband said I should go. He had already seen Washington D.C. and New York when he was in the service and said he didn’t care to go back,’’
Her talent for sewing made her an attractive prospect for membership.
“Some of the members talked me into joining. They wanted me to sew clothes for their competitions,’’ she said.”We used to have style shows and competed against other towns.”
As a girl, Chace took sewing instead of typing.
“I had an excellent sewing teacher. She was a perfectionist,’’ she said. “She told us to sew perfectly for competition, yet if we were just sewing for ourselves to relax and enjoy sewing.’’
Chace continues to make doll clothes and used to quilt.
“Growing up I made doll clothes. My mother sewed,’’ she said.
Chace’s love of projects may have made her a natural intimate friend for the other members of the Tuesday Club.
The Tuesday Club ladies took another project under their wings when the oldest house in town needed to be redone.
“The house was built across the street from the auditorium. We helped redo it by painting and papering it, then we moved it to the park. There were donated items to make it look like the era it was from,’’ she said.
The group was always active.
“We usually had about 20 members,’’ she said. “We were always having fundraisers for the park. Playground equipment was very expensive.’’
“We had a lot of spaghetti dinners,’’ she said. “I came up with the idea to have a Christmas in July and hosted it at my house. I put a Christmas tree in every room and I have five bedrooms. I still have some of the decorations. I borrowed some of the trees. The Schmits played for the evening dance.’’
“We made arrangements to get all the playground equipment. Someone in Cedar County decided to give us money from their IRA. We asked for $5,000. We got $10,000,’’ she said. “We have now turned our records over to the city. They are going to decide what to keep,’’ she said.
“Most of the work members of the club did was at the park. Where something was needed people stepped up to volunteer.”
The City is talking with various groups in Laurel to see if today’s organizations will accept the challenge to carry on the work of the Tuesday Club.