Our club has been part of the community since 1909. Our membership spans many generations with one common goal - enhance the quality of life within our community as well as the world by participating in meaningful and fun projects. The added benefit is sharing these wonderful experiences with other members which creates strong bonds and friendships. Please join us, we are always welcoming new members!
To promote and foster lasting relationships among its members, to further intellectual development, to consider practically the vital questions of the day, and to render service to the community.
We believe all women can embrace who they are,
can define their future, and can change the world.
By: Wendy Helfer
On December 10th, 1909, Mrs. Maud Sweeting, of South Street in Manasquan, entertained friends where they spoke of forming a literary discussion group and the need for a public library. She would become the first president of the newly formed “Literary Social Club”. The 30 members decided to meet twice a month on Monday evenings. Dues were fifty cents to pay any library costs and buy what fiction they could with the remaining funds. Royal blue was chosen as the club’s color. The club’s earliest members included some very familiar Manasquan family names such as Marcellus, Pearce, Osborn, Parker, Wyckoff, and Preston.
Meetings were held at members’ homes, local restaurants, and the firehouse. One member lent encyclopedias to the library and others offered their homes to house the books. Books were also borrowed from the Trenton Traveling State Library. This was Manasquan’s first Library. Due to the large number of books and visitors, the library was moved to a rented building in 1917, then to Borough Hall in 1933 and finally into its current location in 1955.
In 1913 the members decided to join the N.J. State Federation of Women’s Clubs and officially changed their name to “The Woman’s Club of Manasquan”. Then in 1939, the club became a member of the national federation by joining the General Federation of Woman’s Clubs. Today, the Woman’s Club of Manasquan is an independent organization.
A group of 32 women organized a “Summer Auxiliary of the Women’s Club” in 1928. Their purpose was to aid the Dr. C. A. Morris First Aid and Emergency Squad of Manasquan. The auxiliary raised enough money to purchase the squad’s first resuscitator. The auxiliary was discontinued in 1937. The Ann May Memorial Hospital in Spring Lake was the closest hospital to Manasquan and when they needed a new bed for the hospital, the Woman’s Club raised the $7.00 needed to purchase one.
As the club’s membership grew, the need for a larger, permanent meeting place was discussed. The decision was made in 1925 to begin a fundraising campaign and secure financing to build their own clubhouse at 62 Main Street. One of the fundraisers was the sale of a booklet on the History of Manasquan for fifty cents. The clubhouse was completed in 1929, 90 years ago, and dedicated on Memorial Day in 1931.
Soon after the clubhouse’s completion, the Stock Market Crash of 1929 occurred, followed by the Great Depression. The women of the club persevered and paid off the mortgage and saved the building. During the Depression, the women advised borough officials that they were ready and willing to assist needy and unemployed residents by providing food and clothes and making available, whenever possible, opportunities for women and children. They also gave up the clubhouse during World War II to the local USO to use as their headquarters.
The club is made up of departments headed by a chairperson/s assisted by a committee of members. We currently have 4 departments: Arts, Conservation, Education, and Home Life & Health. In addition to the departments, we have committees: House Committee (in charge of rentals, repairs, and maintenance of the clubhouse) and Fundraising (gift basket auction, other events).
A small sampling of support, current and past, includes co-sponsoring and volunteering at events for the Chamber of Commerce; donations to the Fire Departments and First Aid Squad; volunteering at MES and MHS; volunteering at Turkey Run; collections for New Eyes For the Needy, Food Banks, and coats for local distribution; Clean Ocean Action Beach Sweep; SPCA; UNICEF; CASA (to support abused or neglected children); Alex’s Lemonade Stand; and hosting a free Earth Day event at the club house.
Fundraising proceeds go not only for our clubhouse but also to award scholarships to MHS seniors.
Today, the Woman’s Club of Manasquan is 140+ members strong. While membership has waxed and waned over the years, our dedication to our mission and community has never faltered.
See below for full history!
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