Montgomery County District
Gerda Sherwood, President email@example.com 301-253-6064
Peggy Burton Ols, Director 301-977-2749
Anne Wolf, web contact - firstname.lastname@example.org
History of the Laytonsville Woman’s Club
When Anna Marie Tydings, a member of the Chevy Chase Woman’s Club, married and moved to Laytonsville in the 1960s, she organized our local chapter. At that time it was known as the Rolling Acres Woman’s Club. Two of the original members – Elsie Dewall and Anna Mae Pointer – are still active members. Club membership grew so rapidly that the name was changed to be more inclusive of the Laytonsville area. Anna Marie Tydings was also the president of the Montgomery County General Federation of Woman’s Clubs.Although our club is small in comparison to groups in other regions of the county and state, our twenty members are active in church, school, historic preservation, town council, Lions Club, 4-H, the local Garden Club, quilting guilds, and other social organizations.
President: Gerda Sherwood
Vice-President: Jennifer Rutherford
Treasurer: Sheree Wenger
Corresponding Secretary: Patricia McAuliffe
Recording Secretary:Barbara Olsen
Director: Peggy Burton Ols
Regular meetings are held at 11:00 a.m. once a month, September through June, at the homes of members.
March 6, 2017 – Regular meeting at the home of Jane Evans. Anne Wolf will be her co-hostess. Jennifer Rutherford will discuss activities at the Artists and Makers Studio in Rockville. We will plan a future Wednesday visit to the Artists and Makers Studio.
April 3, 2017 – Regular meeting at the home of Anna Mae Pointer. Barbara Olsen will be her co-hostess.
May 1, 2017 – Our White Elephant Sale at the home of Barbara Olsen. Robin Johnson will be her co-hostess.
June 5, 2017 – Potluck picnic at Town Hall. Weather permitting, Jane Evans and Anne Wolf will take us on their Heritage Tour of the Laytonsville Cemetery.
We met at the home of Anna Mae Pointer. Barbara Olsen was her co-hostess.
As beautiful April weather brings the countryside back to life, it’s a shame to see the roadsides around Laytonsville trashed with paper, bottles, and junk tossed out by litterbugs traveling through. If we pick up the cans and bottles, unfortunately it’s not long before more rubbish appears. How can we change attitudes?
Here’s a good start, thanks to the Laytonsville Lions Club, the Laytonsville Woman’s Club, and the students of Laytonsville Elementary School. Third graders at the school in the Lions Club Cub Club had a visit from Philma Litterbin. Philma spoke with them about the problems of trash and litter in our community. Afterward the third graders participated in a poster contest sponsored by the Laytonsville Woman’s Club.
You can meet Philma Litterbin and the third graders in this video, which features 21 poster entries.
Philma happens to look a lot like Jennifer Rutherford of the Laytonsville Woman’s Club. Many thanks to Jennifer and the Cub Club for their great ideas, their artwork, and the message they are sending to the grownups – don’t be a litterbug.
We met on a bright March day at the home of Jane Evans, with Anne Wolf as her co-hostess, for a much-awaited event. Having met several times at the home of Jennifer Rutherford, we have already seen some of her paintings. The March meeting was an opportunity to hear more about how she became interested in art and to learn about an important local art organization.
In 2000 Jennifer Rutherford was already an artist in a musical sense with a Master of Music degree in Voice Opera from the University of Alberta in Canada. Her life changed that year when she enrolled in a painting class at the Torpedo Factory Art Center in Alexandria, Virginia. She loved it from the start.
Her instructor suggested that it would be easier for Jennifer to avoid the Beltway traffic between Alexandria and her Maryland home by taking the same painting class offered through her local Woman’s Club. That’s how she first became involved with the GFWCMD.
An artist needs room to work, and Jennifer became involved with Artists and Makers, now the largest art studio and display space in Montgomery County, MD. She gave us the history of the organization and Judith Heartsong, its founder and executive director. Artists and Makers now uses two buildings in Rockville, located at Wilkens Avenue and Parklawn Drive, and is happily at 95% occupancy.
Our members peppered Jennifer with questions about the art center and how she works. She brought along several portraits as well as a laptop display of her series of famous women characters from the opera world. Pat McAuliffe and her daughter had attended an art exhibit there the previous weekend, so Pat was able to provide a visitor’s observations about the Parklawn studios and Jennifer’s working space. Here’s the location.
Studio 5, Section A, at Artists & Makers 1,
11810 Parklawn Drive
To see more of Jennifer’s paintings, and to learn more about her work and the Artists and Makers Studios, please check out these websites.
After lunch, our members were able to take a close look at two GFWCMD quilts made nearly twenty years ago. A notebook gives each club’s explanation of the block the members contributed and why they chose that design.
President Gerda Sherwood opens the March meeting at the home of Jane Evans.
“Goddess of Spring” is part of a series on the seasons. Jennifer’s daughter posed for this portrait.
Details in this portrait of Jennifer’s son hint at his character and life experience as a therapist, a part-time actor, and a comedian.
Jennifer stayed at this lovely French inn and just had to paint the memory of it.
“The Spirit of American Women 1996-1998” was a state quilt project.
Christina Pellegrino, Dawn DeBarros, and Jennifer Rutherford look at the Maryland Federation of Woman’s Club quilts.
Part of the fun of meeting at Carrie Bohrer’s home is that Carrie is an accomplished crafter. She always has an interesting project set up which even the non-crafters among us can enjoy. With the help of her co-hostess, Sheree Wenger, Carrie always serves a delicious lunch.
Before the fun comes the business part of the meeting. Having lost four of our longtime members over the past year, we have been seeking ways to commemorate them. As Carrie Allnutt Griffith, Dottie White Tessier, and Louisa White Riggs were all active in farm life and in education, we resolved to donate $500 to the Maryland Agricultural Education Foundation, Inc. in their names. Our club usually donates $200 to this cause every year, but given the loss we feel for our friends, this year calls for a greater effort.
At our March meeting we will learn about the Artists and Makers Studios in Rockville from Jennifer Rutherford. As Artists and Makers is closed on Mondays, we’ll choose a future Wednesday for a trip to see the studios and the artwork on exhibit there. The location is 11810 Parklawn Dr #210 in Rockville.
Pamela Longmire, Martha Oberle, Michelle LoConte, Robin Johnson, Pat McAuliffe, and Gerda Sherwood.
Robin Johnson and Michelle LoConte show their work on their stitched valentine cards.
Jane Evans, Pamela Longmire, and Jennifer Rutherford
We began our December meeting with some surprising financial news. Our two sales tables at the November election sold EVERYTHING. Every broom. Every coverlet. Every bag of nuts. Every Laytonsville history book. When all was counted, we had raised over $1,000 and met lots of wonderful new people in our wider community.
Next our treasurer, Sheree Wenger, spoke about a bequest to our club. One of our longtime members, Carrie Allnutt Griffith, passed away on December 31, 2015. Her daughters Jean and Marilyn recently informed us about Carrie’s wish to support her local community and the people who supported her. To our great surprise, Carrie left $10,000 to the Laytonsville Woman’s Club in her will.
President Gerda Sherwood asked us all to think carefully about this generous bequest and how to put it to best use in our community. This is a much greater amount of money than we usually deal with, and it requires our serious consideration.
With that, we moved on to our traditional Christmas luncheon and ornament exchange, held this year at the Golden Bull in Gaithersburg.
The ornament exchange gets underway. At front, Laura Turner and Joan Eam
New member Dawn De Barros displays the ornament she drew. At right, Jennifer Rutherford.
New member Dawn De Barros displays the ornament she drew. At right, Jennifer Rutherford.
Anna Mae Pointer makes her selection from the table.
Pamela Longmire shows her ornament to the group.
Michelle LoConte. From the box, it looks as if this will be a snowman ornament.
Louisa White Riggs
1925 - 2016
Sadly our club has lost another longtime member. Louisa White Riggs passed away on October 27, only three months after her sister Dottie Tessier passed on. Her obituary listed many social and business accomplishments:
Louisa was a graduate of Gaithersburg High School and the University of Maryland. She was a prominent local businesswoman. A lifelong member of St. Bartholomew's Episcopal Church in Laytonsville; the Ladies Guild of St. Bartholomew's Episcopal Church; Laytonsville Woman's Club; a life member of the University of Maryland Alumni Association; Sister of the Gamma Phi Beta sorority; a former member of the Board of Directors of Sandy Spring Bank; former president of the Montgomery County Agricultural Fair; as well as many other life achievements.
All true, but we remember Louisa as so much more than that. For example, we can’t remember ever seeing her in a bad mood. Louisa was one of those people who move directly from hearing about bad news or a problem on to thinking of a practical solution or a different path. Her sense of humor was always at hand. We loved gathering at her home with the large, comfortable family room she had designed for young people’s 4-H meetings. Everyone who passed through Laytonsville in May or June remembers Louisa and Dottie from the azalea sales on the grassy lot at the intersection. The sisters seemed to know everyone who drove by. They greeted one and all, selling plenty of azaleas as fundraisers for a good cause. Our club won’t be the same without these two wonderful women.
Our November meeting was held at the home of Nancy Willett. Patricia McAuliffe was her co-hostess. A meeting at Nancy’s means good food, lovely seasonal decorations everywhere, and quilts galore. She and some of our other members have been involved with Project Linus quilt donations to local pediatric wards. On this occasion Nancy spoke to us about quilt donations to the Walter Reed National Military Medical Center (WRNMMC) here in Montgomery County. Building 62 is the center for Wounded Warriors and Warrior Families, and quilts are needed here as well as in the pediatric area.
The WRNMMC Pediatric Unit has certain size requirements for NICU and pediatric quilts. The smallest size is 36’ x 36”. Quilts which are 48” x 48” or 36” x 48” are also welcome.
Nancy Willett, Barbara Olsen, Anna Mae Pointer, and Gerda Sherwood
Some of us were familiar with the requirements for Quilts of Valor. Wounded Warrior quilts do not have to be red, white and blue, nor are they required to have patriotic themes. These quilts should be suitable for young adults in wheelchairs or learning to work with prostheses. The appropriate sizes should be about 48” wide and 60” or more in length for wheelchair use. Twin bed sizes are also needed. Nancy has the appropriate labels for the back of donation quilts, and she will add them for us.
Gerda Sherwood and Nancy Willett
Nancy explained different ways to use panel fabrics to make an interesting and colorful Wounded Warrior quilt without an overtly military or patriotic theme. She demonstrated sizes suitable for wheelchair or twin bed uses. In the center is a bright and simple 36” x 36” quilt appropriate for the WRNMMC Pediatric Unit.
Gerda Sherwood, Peggy Burton Ols, and Sheree Wenger
Election Day 2016 found us at a new location -- Goshen Elementary School -- fundraising with our brooms and candy/nuts offerings. We met lots of voters and were able to explain the purpose of our club and our local service projects.
Robin Johnson and Anna Mae Pointer
Our second location on Election Day 2016 was at Montgomery County’s Agricultural Farm Park. We also sell the local history book written by club members Jane Griffith Evans and Anne Burke Wolf on behalf of Laytonsville Historical Center.
What to say about our two days in November? On Monday we were thinking about the pain and bravery of young Americans in their beds or wheelchairs, injured physically, mentally, and emotionally through their service to our country, as they seek healing and new meaning in their lives. On Tuesday, as we watched hundreds of voters come to take part in determining the future of our nation, we were thinking about both the cynicism and the optimism that the American political process offers us. Finally, we’re always thinking about the strengths and the complexity that come with womanhood.
It all seemed to come together Tuesday night in comments from Senator-elect Tammy Duckworth of Illinois – elected to the US Senate almost 12 years to the day after the Army helicopter she was co-piloting in Iraq was shot down by a rocket-propelled grenade.
Senator-elect Tammy Duckworth of Illinois
"I'm here tonight because of the miracles that occurred 12 years ago this Saturday, above — and in — a dusty field in Iraq. Just as I try every day to live up to the sacrifice my buddies made to carry me off that battlefield, I will go to work in the Senate looking to honor the sacrifice and quiet dignity of all those Illinoisans who are facing challenges of their own. After all, this nation didn't give up on me when I was at my most vulnerable, needing the most help. I believe in an America that doesn't give up on anyone who hasn't given up on themselves."
October 2016 - After four days of rain, we were pleased to have a sunny and cool autumn day when we met at the home of Jennifer Rutherford. Peggy Burton Ols was her co-hostess.
With only five more weeks until the presidential election, our members have heard plenty about the major races but not so much about Montgomery County’s issues, amendments, and local candidates. We turned to our speaker, Carla Satinsky from the League of Women Voters, for some impartial information.
Carla distributed copies of the Voters’ Guide and discussed the voting process and the issues before us in November. Three of her many interesting points were these:
Pat McAuliffe, Michelle LoConte, Laura Turner, Barbara Olsen, Gerda Sherwood, Diane Ecklund
On October 18 our club will host the Montgomery County Board of Directors meeting at the Laytonsville County Club. Be there at 8:30 a.m. to help decorate the meeting room and set up the morning refreshments.
September 2016 – When we met at the home of Gerda Sherwood, with Jennifer Rutherford as her co-hostess, our first order of business was to dedicate a tree to the memory of Dottie White Tessier through the TREE-mendous Maryland program. Dottie was always a great supporter of the program and the benefits it brings to our state.
Every summer our club donates a gift to the winner of the Best Baker award at the Montgomery County Fair. It was a particular pleasure this year to learn that the winner was Donna Wayne Hill, the daughter of our past member Augusta Mae Wayne. Donna submitted twenty items to the baking competition at the fair and won TWELVE blue ribbons.
Our September speaker was one of our own members. Sheree Wenger is active in Laytonsville government and has been honored as the town’s Citizen of the Year. Sheree spoke to us about two housing developments on the east and west sides of our small town. One will bring 64 homes, the other 32, and soon the population of Laytonsville will double. Our role as Woman’s Club members is to welcome these newcomers to become an important part of life in our town, not just residents of a housing development.
Jane Evans, Barbara Olsen, Gerda Sherwood, our speaker Sheree Wenger, Robin Johnson, and Elsie DeWall study the plans for new streets and new houses.
Anna Mae Pointer, Sheree Wenger, Gerda Sherwood, Barbara Olsen, and Jennifer Rutherford handle the sales table at Laytonsville’s annual September picnic.
Our annual cake walk at the picnic has been named the Dorothy White Tessier Cake Walk in Dottie’s memory.
Our Woman’s Club was happy to greet some visitors at the picnic. Here Jane Evans welcomes the Reverend Jean Lee, the new pastor at Laytonsville’s St. Paul United Methodist Church, to this annual event.
Anne R. Kaiser and Pamela E. Queen, Delegates from District 14 to the Maryland House of Delegates, stopped by our booth to chat.
Craig J. Zucker, our District 14 Maryland State Senator, always stops by to talk with our members about towns and issues.
August 2016 – This summer the Laytonsville Woman’s Club suffered a heartbreaking loss when Dorothy “Dottie” Tessier passed away on July 9. This photo of Dottie as our club president is how we all love to remember her.
Organized, full of enthusiasm and ideas, Dottie was always able to envision how our club could serve the community. With her sister Louisa Riggs, Dottie traveled to county and state GFWC conventions and returned with news and great stories. She loved Laytonsville and was a source of interesting and accurate tales about our town and its people over the decades.
Her memorial service touched on several of her lifelong interests. When we remember Dottie, we always think of her lifelong support of the University of Maryland and for women’s sports teams, especially basketball. She could recall the bad old days before Title IX and reveled in the rise of funding and opportunities for girls in all areas of sports.
There were plenty of lovely traditional bouquets at the service, but this floral Polled Hereford really captures Dottie’s sense of fun, her informality, and her enduring dedication to 4-H cattle showing and judging as a way for kids to learn about farming, care for animals, and competition. There were two tables of award banners and trophies for
What a perfect tribute to Dottie’s glorious vegetable garden and her enjoyment in growing, preserving, and sharing fresh, homegrown vegetables.
Dorothy White Tessier
And what is so rare as a day in June?
Then, if ever, come perfect days;
Then Heaven tries earth if it be in tune,
And over it softly her warm ear lays;
Whether we look, or whether we listen,
We hear life murmur, or see it glisten . . .
You’d think that James Russell Lowell had been to the Laytonsville Woman’s Club’s June meeting when he penned those lines. We met at Town Hall on an absolutely glorious June morning, a sunny and breezy perfect day, for our annual potluck lunch to wrap up the 2015-2016 year.
Our first order of business was to thank our outgoing officers and honor them for their two years of service. President Peggy Burton Ols wrote short poems about the nature of friendship for each woman and presented thoughtful gifts of appreciation. To her surprise, the club in turn presented her with a gift she had admired on our National Headquarters visit – the GFWC infinity scarf – as well as a basket of flowers.
Next came the installation of our new officers: Gerda Sherwood, president; Jennifer Rutherford, vice-president; Sheree Wenger, treasurer; Barbara Olsen, recording secretary; Pat McAuliffe, corresponding secretary; Peggy Burton Ols, director. We will be in good hands for the next two years.
Our final order of business was a return to designing and selling coverlets. Twice in the past, the Laytonsville Woman’s Club has paired with the Laytonsville Lions Club to promote town history and fellowship with coverlet fundraisers. We’ve sold 550 coverlets over the years.
Our current plans involve a two-stage process. First, we voted to return to our popular cranberry coverlet #1 from 1997 and reorder fifty more. This will be strictly a Laytonsville Woman’s Club effort. We’ll be selling these in the fall at the town picnic and at the November election. The coverlets will include a note informing buyers that a new coverlet will be coming out in 2017 to celebrate the 125th anniversary of Laytonsville. (Although our town had existed for a hundred years before that under the name of Cracklin Town, it was officially incorporated in April 1892.)
Nancy Willett and Peggy Burton Ols display our 1997 project, Coverlet #1.
Coverlet #1 celebrated the old buildings, churches, and traditions of the town. Coverlet #2 in 2003 celebrated businesses and the development of homes and families as the town grew. What’s going to be on Coverlet #3 next year? That’s up to us. We voted to chair the coverlet committee and to retain design control while working with Lions Club representation and sharing expenses. That’s going to lead to a busy summer and plenty of meetings, but we’re looking forward to whatever is to come.
Our last stint at The Lord’s Table soup kitchen in Gaithersburg involved serving breakfast for dinner to the guests – pancakes, ham, bacon, fruit salad, soup, juice and/or coffee, and dessert. Robin Johnson and Sheree Wenger handled the griddles to produce piles and piles of hot pancakes. In the summer another program takes over to provide box lunches for our regular guests. Guess there’s not much interest in hot soup during a Maryland summer.
Here’s the future of our club. Watching the installation of new officers are at left are Elsie DeWall and Nancy Willett; at right are Jane Evans and Carrie Bohrer. At the rear is Martha Oberle. Our new officers for 2016-2018 are, left to right, Jennifer Rutherford, Gerda Sherwood, Barbara Olsen, Sheree Wenger, and Pat McAuliffe, with outgoing president Peggy Burton Ols at right.
Enough meeting. Time for lunch. Left to right, Maxine Brown, Peggy Burton Ols, Barbara Olsen, Gerda Sherwood.
This primary election year has been full of surprises, and none of the Laytonsville Woman’s Club members who set up the sales tables at our two local polling places knew what to expect. Would we see crowds of determined supporters coming in for Sanders, Clinton, Trump, Cruz, and Kasich? Or would we have a quiet day, if lots of people had already voted early? All we knew for sure was that no one had ever seen so many political signs for every possible candidate popping up all over the Laytonsville polling sites.
The election results: We had steady traffic all day, and almost everyone stopped to chat and usually to buy something. That’s how it goes in a small town. Since our members often belong to more than one local non-profit organization, we sell items for the Town of Laytonsville, the Historical Center, and our own club. We sold out of almost everything – brooms, candy, nuts, coffee mugs, Christmas ornaments, town flags, and the history book written by members Anne Wolf and Jane Evans.
Anna Mae Pointer staffs the sales table on April 27, Maryland’s primary election day.
Barbara Olsen was the hostess for our May meeting, and Robin Johnson was her co-hostess. Our annual white elephant sale brought in some lovely items and once again was an entertaining fundraiser.
We have two immediate activities to consider. The first is the Laytonsville Town Parade on May 21. We will be providing lunch for the parade volunteers as well as participating in the parade with our own float. Let’s hope for good weather.
Our other activity is a proposal to sell a coverlet as a fundraiser. Our club has already designed and sold two coverlets, one in 1997 and one in 2002, to promote the town’s historic sites and development. With the town’s 125th anniversary coming up in 2017 and our club anniversary the following year, it seems like time to consider a third coverlet. Nancy Willett has obtained the necessary information and will be presenting our ideas to the Town Council to see what they think of this idea.
Spring at last – time to get out and visit some of the interesting places in the Laytonsville area. Jane Evans, our April hostess, organized a field trip to the Sandy Spring Slave Museum and African Art Gallery, followed by lunch at El Andariego. Anne Wolf was her co-hostess.
The museum’s Executive Director, Dr. Winston Anderson, and Mr. Stanley Johnson, Dr. Anderson’s partner in developing and maintaining the museum, welcomed us and gave a tour of the buildings and this fascinating collection of African-American historical items.
Dr. Anderson has smilingly described himself as just “a biology teacher,” but his distinguished career as a scientist and educator is most impressive.
Born in Jamaica, Dr. Anderson is a leading cell biologist, a Howard University professor of biology, and a recipient of the Presidential Award for Excellence in Science, Mathematics, and Engineering Mentoring. He is dedicated to helping today's students develop into the next generation of top scientists.
Sandy Spring, only a few miles from Laytonsville, has the oldest free black community in Maryland. Dr. Anderson and Mr. Johnson developed a cultural center here to benefit the entire community through shared experiences and education. The grounds include ample parking and picnic tables for family reunions or group visits.
Four structures present different insights about African-American history. The cutaway clipper ship reveals the ordeal of enslaved Africans transported to the new world. The polygonal art gallery is based on N’debele huts to honor South Africa’s Nelson Mandela, and it houses a wide collection of art from the Africa Diaspora. Built with logs that date to the 1850’s, the cabin was transported here from the nearby Hallowell farm and demonstrated the living conditions of the poor before and after the Civil War and Emancipation. The Great Hall of the museum offers five galleries that bring alive the art and history of African Americans, both far away and in our own local communities.
If you missed this visit or would like to know more about the collections and buildings, click here for two pages of good photos and more detailed explanations.
The Sandy Spring Slavery Museum
Dr. Anderson shows the Hallowell cabin to Nancy Willett, Jennifer Rutherford, Robin Johnson, Gerda Sherwood, and Anna Mae Pointer.
Sheree Wenger, Carrie Bohrer, and Gerda Sherwood wait for Dr. Anderson to explain the slave ship. This is a two-level structure built of wood with plexiglass cutaways to show what the living conditions were like for slaves in the clipper ships of the late 19th Century.
Dr. Anderson explains to Nancy Willett how workers used this caulking mallet to waterproof ships. This mallet reminded many of us of the Frederick Douglass autobiographical excerpt that we read in high school about Douglass’s experiences as a young man working in the Baltimore shipyards.
The museum displays a large collection of items African-Americans used in daily occupations – farming, construction, shipbuilding, housekeeping, barber shops, the military, and more.
We’d be delighted if our club could offer some real help to the museum as well as admiration. Here Gerda Sherwood is discussing with Dr. Anderson and Robin Johnson how this recent acquisition, a loom, might be reassembled and set up to demonstrate weaving.
Michelle LoConte admires a Yoruba beaded chair
Dr. Anderson and Nancy Willett look for the connections between slaves who were manumitted in the Laytonsville area and who then moved north to Canada.
“From the slave ship to the White House” -- this room traces significant events and personalities in African-American history through the 20th and 21st centuries.
Left to right: Dr. Anderson, Jane Evans, Sheree Wenger, Jennifer Rutherford, Anna Mae Pointer, Robin Johnson.
Dr. Anderson is an artist as well as an art collector. These carved panels are his “Black Progress” series.
Everyone loves to meet at Dottie Tessier’s house. The view of the hills and fields beyond her lawn, the delicious food, her comfortable home – somehow we always talk, eat, and stay for hours catching up and making plans. Martha Oberle was Dottie’s co-hostess.
Spring is almost officially here, Easter is around the corner, the daffodils are almost up, and our members are more than ready for some outings.
This is also the month for our members to take a good look at the Kiva organization and become informed about how it works and whether we would like to become involved as LENDERS, not donors, in this charitable program. Here is a link to the Kiva web site.
Here is a link to a web page explaining how the Kiva system of loans connects people worldwide with a mission to to alleviate poverty through lending.
Here’s a link to the descriptions of borrowers around the world awaiting a loan.
GFWC Headquarters building – see you there on Thursday, April 14.
The Sandy Spring Slave Museum and African Art Gallery
Map to the location of El Andariego – the shopping center at the corner of Rt. 108 and New Hampshire Avenue
February – After a week of shoveling, cranking up the snowblower, and waiting for the snowplow to find us, our members were happy to get out of the house and head for Carrie Bohrer’s home for the first meeting of 2016. Sheree Wenger was Carrie’s co-hostess.
We began the year on a sad note because two of our longtime members have passed away since our last meeting.
Carrie Allnutt Griffith, 96, died on December 31, 2015 at her home. As she was remembered, “Carrie was a ‘farm girl’ all her life. She was born on the farm of her parents, Edwin Ruthvin Allnutt and Carrie Williams Allnutt, in Dawsonville, Maryland. She was a farm wife of nearly 70 years to Wiley Gaither Griffith in the Laytonsville-Gaithersburg area. Though her homes were farm based, she was a true lady who was mannerly, organized, intelligent (a lifelong learner), well dressed, an extraordinarily delicious cook (made rolls, baked and cooked from scratch all her life, she blessed her family this way; as did her mother, great aunts, and her three sisters), hard working, goal oriented, and an impeccable hostess who entertained using her finest recipes, linens, china, and table settings.”
Velma Cordelia (Pugh) Oland, 96, died on January 11, 2016 at her assisted living home in Frederick, MD. As she was remembered, “She was born in Piney Creek, NC to the late Dodge and Cordelia Moxley Pugh. In 1943, following graduation from Piney Creek High School in North Carolina, Velma moved to Maryland where she was employed at the National Institutes of Health in Bethesda, Maryland. In 1947, Velma married Simon Craver Oland. They were married 65 years upon his passing in 2013. Velma enjoyed being a long-time member of the Laytonsville Volunteer Fire Department’s Ladies Auxiliary and a member of St. Paul United Methodist Church where she was active in the Women’s Society.”
Both of these ladies were very active in the Laytonsville Woman’s Club for years as well as supporting their church, school, and community organizations. They were both genuinely lovely people, and our members will deeply miss them.
The February meeting is our time to review goals and projects for the coming year -- budgets, speakers, nominations, schedules, fundraisers, yes or no to new ideas. It’s good to get all these plans and issues worked out at the start of the New Year, but the process could become a little dry, right? Not if you’re at Carrie Bohrer’s house. Carrie is a gifted crafter, and soon she had even the most reluctant artists in the club taking up paintbrushes to create original valentines for our loved ones.
And besides that, a Valentine’s Day cake. 2016 is off to a great start.
2015 went by so fast! How can it be December already?
We met at The Stonehouse Grill in Gaithersburg for our annual Christmas luncheon and ornament exchange. Members offered ideas for projects, field trips, and fundraising in 2016, and then it was time to party.
President Peggy Burton Ols leads the meeting. At right, Anna Mae Pointer, Barbara Olsen, Nancy Willett, and Robin Johnson.
Nancy Willett, Robin Johnson, and Joan Eames participate in the ornament exchange.
Carrie Bohrer was the hostess for the luncheon, not only making arrangements but also crafting ornaments for all the women in our club.
But the holiday season means much more than just having parties. One of our club’s 2015 goals was to cook for the needy and homeless at The Lord’s Table, an interfaith soup kitchen located at St. Martin of Tours Church in Gaithersburg. Anna Mae Pointer has been there to help at the soup kitchen from the very beginning, about 35 years ago. Peggy Burton Ols has been volunteering for about 8 years. Our members have worked hard and enjoyed this opportunity to assist a very worthwhile program and to support our community.
Robin Johnson ladles out the mac & cheese for guests at The Lord’s Table.
Jennifer Rutherford keeps an eye on some very large pots. Anywhere from 50 to 100 guests may come for a meal, so we have to be ready for lots of company.
Longtime volunteer Anna Mae Pointer slices the ham for today’s meal.
After our visit to Ruppert Nurseries Corporate Headquarters in Laytonsville last June, we were eager to see the fall color at these 700 acres of beautiful trees. That called for a hayride and a potluck lunch after our November business meeting.
Once the Ernest and Evelyn Barnhard farm, later owned by Earl and Bette Jane Marshall, and now the Ruppert Nurseries Corporate Headquarters
Ready for a hayride through the acres of colorful trees
Jennifer Rutherford, Anna Mae Pointer, Peggy Burton Ols, Joan Eames, Sheree Wenger, Carrie Bohrer’s mother Michelle, Gerda Sherwood, Renee Jahangiri, and Nancy Willett.
Dottie Tessier, Carrie Bohrer, Jane Evans, Barbara Olsen
Acres and acres of autumn beauty like these vibrantly colored ‘October Glory’ maples
Joan Eames and her co-hostess Pat M welcomed us on a beautiful early autumn day. We distributed the new Woman’s Club stamps and approved the proposed annual budget before turning to preparations for the Board of Directors meeting to be held at Laytonsville’s Montgomery County Country Club on October 20.
Nancy Willett explained the requirements for quilt donations to the Wounded Warriors program at the Walter Reed military hospital campus in Bethesda. Infant quilts need to be 36 x 36”, flannel-backed, and either tied or quilted with no batting. Quilts for family members may be either twin size or lap quilt size.
Reminder: Members will need to get ready for the upcoming November meeting.
· First, bring a blanket along for the hayride. Those hay bales are scratchy.
· Second, bring a potluck dish to share for lunch.
· Finally, we will be bringing food donations to our November meeting for distribution to Laytonsville-Gaithersburg families over the Thanksgiving and winter breaks. Carrie Bohrer will have suggestions about what to donate for both the traditional holiday and the multicultural holiday baskets being prepared for families.
Early start at 8:30 to decorate the head table for the Board of Directors meeting and to set up the coffee table with home-baked treats and fruit salad
Jennifer Rutherford sang a beautiful rendition of “Amazing Grace” as the invocation. Previously a member of the Chevy Chase Club, Jennifer and her husband relocated to Laytonsville. She’s a Laytonsville Woman’s Club member now!
Club president Peggy Burton Ols welcomed everyone to Laytonsville.
Carrie Bohrer, Nancy Willett, Barbara Olsen, and Anna Mae Pointer
Laura Turner and Martha Oberle
We met at the home of Jennifer Rutherford and welcomed new members Carrie Bohrer, Kris Bradshear, Maxine Brown, and Renee Jahangiri. Jennifer and her co-hostess Anna Mae Pointer provided a beautiful fall luncheon for us.
Our September meeting is all business as we need to jump right into support for the annual Laytonsville Town Picnic. This year we handled the sales table for our own and the town’s fundraiser items. We are now selling Terri Lynn nuts as a fundraiser.
On September 23 we needed all hands to help with The Lord’s Table Soup Kitchen. Usually we do the food prep behind the scenes, and the eighth grade students from St. Martin of Tours Church serve the meals. But Pope Francis was visiting Washington, DC on September 23, and the eighth graders traveled downtown for an opportunity to see the pontiff. Woman’s Club stepped up to do the serving.
Ready at the sales table: Barbara Olsen, Robin Johnson, Dottie Tessier, Sheree Wenger, Anne Wolf, and Jane Evans
Club president Peggy Burton Ols and new member Renee Jahangiri
Longtime member Barbara White and her daughter
At back, Dottie Tessier and new member Carrie Bohrer
At front, Barbara Olsen and her husband Iver, Robin Johnson
As always, Woman’s Club members provided a table full of homemade cakes as prizes
The first round of the cakewalk is reserved for the youngest town residents. Sheree Wenger calls the numbers while Dottie Tessier along with (not pictured) Anna Mae Pointer and Jennifer Rutherford help manage the children and give out prizes.
Celebrity surprise – nearby resident Chris Matthews of MSNBC visited our table, bought the Laytonsville history book, and chatted with all of us and other townspeople. Here he is talking with members Maxine Brown, Anne Wolf, and Jane Evans. At back, Robin Johnson’s husband Craig provides security for the cake table.
Summer in Laytonsville is usually pretty laid back – perfect warm days for a picnic with the kids or for taking in a baseball game with the Baltimore Orioles, the Washington Nationals, or the Frederick Keys. After all, you can never have too many bobbleheads.
The table for our executive committee meeting was decorated with the Baltimore Orioles Maryland-themed Old Bay bobblehead from the August 1 game. Go O’s!
Things always liven up in August with the Montgomery County Fair because so many of our members are highly involved as volunteers with various booths and services there. After the county fair ends, it’s time to start getting ready for fall. On August 19 our executive committee met at the home of Peggy Burton Ols, our club president, to organize our plans and activities for 2015-2016.
This year our club will take on a new project – cooking for the needy and homeless at The Lords Table, an interfaith soup kitchen located at St. Martin of Tours Church in Gaithersburg.
Our new fundraising project involves sales of three varieties of Terri Lynn nuts. While our Fall 2015 plans are already very full, what with the Town Picnic in September, hosting the Montgomery County Federation of Women’s Clubs Board of Directors meeting in October, our hayride in November, and holiday activities.
Our executive committee discussed several possibilities for interesting field trips, speakers, and projects for 2016.
June is always our month for an outing and a potluck. We were happy to welcome two guests and hopefully new members – Maxine Brown and Carrie Bohrer – to join us for our program and luncheon.
This year we enjoyed gathering in the beautiful meeting room of Ruppert Nurseries Corporate Headquarters in Laytonsville. Our members have often driven by the 700 acres of young trees growing near our town, but for most of us this was a first opportunity to visit the headquarters. A 100-year-old farmhouse has been preserved and incorporated with newer buildings to serve as a center of business activities for 150 employees.
The Ruppert Nurseries Headquarters in Laytonsville, Maryland
Jay Long presented a history of the Ruppert enterprises in landscaping and landscape maintenance and how these evolved into the Laytonsville nursery operation. Ruppert Nurseries specializes in growing 70 to 100 varieties of high quality, large landscape-size trees as well as moving and planting some very large trees. There are about 100,000 trees of various sizes in the ground. The nursery has about an acre of solar panels providing enough energy to run the entire headquarters facility.
Jay Long takes the group on a tour of the headquarters facility. Left to right, Dottie Tessier, Jay Long, Martha Oberle, Jennifer Rutherford, Robin Johnson, Anna Mae Pointer, Barbara Olsen.
Jay’s presentation revealed how four strikingly large trees were hoisted by crane into an interior courtyard in Buckhead, Atlanta. Closer to home, he explained how Ruppert had designed and constructed the rooftop garden for our local hospital in Olney while minimizing noise and disruption for the surgical areas underneath that part of the hospital.
Left to right, Jennifer Rutherford, Robin Johnson, Maxine Brown, Barbara Olsen, Joan Eames, and Sheree Wenger look over the grounds.
During our regular meeting, we formed a committee to explore selling Terri Lynn Cares nuts as a fundraiser in September.
Our president, Peggy Burton Ols, asked for recommendations for nearby charities which we could recommend to our Montgomery County GFWC leadership as worthy of attention and donations. We quickly came up with a list of groups:
Martha Oberle presented a state award to Joan Eames for her acrylic paintings and commendations to Jane Evans and Anne Wolf for their historical research in writing Laytonsville: From Crossroads to Community.
Finally Peggy thanked the club members for their hours of work in support of the Laytonsville parade in May.
Our club float for the 2015 parade
Jennifer Rutherford and Jane Evans get busy making dozens of sandwiches.
Behind the scenes at the kitchen -- Jane Warnock, Anna Mae Pointer, Barbara Olsen, Dottie Tessier, Sheree Wenger, Jane Evans, Peggy Burton Ols, Joan Eames, Jennifer Rutherford, Anne Wolf.
We served lunch to about 60 yellow-shirted volunteers after the parade. Seated at left is our town’s former mayor, Willard Oland. Standing at right is the current mayor, Dan Prats.
Our May meeting was held in beautiful spring weather at the home of our hostess, Gerda Sherwood. Barbara Olsen was her co-hostess. Our guest for this day was Sigi Cicotte, Gerda’s sister.
The first topic of the day at our May meeting is always planning for the Laytonsville Parade on May 16. This year we will be wearing white polo shirts with a Woman’s Club emblem.
With our parade decisions completed, we adjourned for a delicious lunch on Gerda’s deck. Afterward our members engaged in the usual spirited bidding at our white elephant sale.
Gerda Sherwood, Peggy Burton Ols, Anna Mae Pointer, Barbara Olsen, and Sheree Wenger consider the items offered at our annual white elephant sale.
Joan Eames, Dottie Tessier, Gerda Sherwood, and Robin Johnson enjoy lunch on the deck.
Sigi Cicotte, Jennifer Rutherford, Anna Mae Pointer, and Barbara Olsen
Warm weather finally arrived for our April meeting, held at the home of Jane Evans. Colorful crocuses, daffodils, and lily of the valley shrubs greeted us, all finally bursting into bloom in her front garden. After a long winter and a rather chilly spring, it was pleasant to smell the fragrance of hyacinths and to enjoy the sunshine and the warm air. Anne Wolf was our April co-hostess.
One of our yearly goals is to learn more about the local organizations to which we direct our donations. Each year we contribute to the Montgomery College Foundation, and we were interested in how the scholarship programs function at our county’s community college. Our speaker was Mr. Noah Saposnik, Annual Fund Manager at Montgomery College.
Mr. Saposnik gave us an overview of the diversity of the student body at Montgomery College and described some of the different ways the college responds to student needs. About 40% of the student body receives government financial aid and/or philanthropic scholarships. Tuition at present for a full-time student runs about $5,000 a year for county residents, twice that for out-of-state or international students. Mr. Saposnik explained that donations might be directed to the MCF’s annual fund, as ours is, or may be channeled toward creating an endowed scholarship fund.
In our question and answer session, members pointed out that seniors benefit greatly from the reduced rates they are charged for classes. Many of us have attended classes there or have family members who have been MC students.
Members who would like to contact Noah Saposnik later for more information about the scholarship programs and donation opportunities can reach him by phone (240-567-4108) or through email at
Left to right: Laura Turner, Anna Mae Pointer, our speaker Noah Saposnik, Robin Johnson, and Elsie DeWall.
Our luck with avoiding snowstorms ran out on March 2 when our regular meeting had to be canceled and rescheduled for the following week. Our scheduled hostess, Barbara Olsen, was feeling unwell with a virus, so co-hostess Robin Johnson stepped up and, with the help of Peggy Burton Ols, arranged for our meeting and luncheon to be held at Laytonsville’s Town Hall.
Peggy has met with the staff at the Betty Ann Krahnke Center, the emergency domestic violence shelter for women and children in Montgomery County, MD, to inquire about what additional support or services our club could provide. We have been asked to help with movie passes for children. The Center already has volunteers who are familiar with the children and can take them to local theaters for movie outings. Jennifer Rutherford and Diane Ecklund immediately donated movie gift cards, and the club will add to their efforts later.
Dottie Tessier and Jennifer Rutherford will co-chair our preparations for the Volunteer Luncheon at the Laytonsville Parade on May 16. Come help with setting up the dining area and preparations for the lunch at 7:00 p.m. on Friday, May 15 at St. Bartholomew’s Church. On the day of the parade, come to help set up and serve at 9:30. After the parade, let’s all stay to help clean up the kitchen, too.
Our collection of recipes project has gotten off to a good start. We will distribute a format for our contemporary recipes. For recipes handed down from an earlier day, let’s keep the original wording, such as “Put it in the icebox” to preserve the spirit and the charm of those times.
Sheree Wenger and Jennifer Rutherford try the sandwich and cupcakes choices. The wooden cubbyhole structure behind them is Laytonsville’s original post office from the 1800s.
Martha Oberle, Jennifer Rutherford, and Sheree Wenger check out the salads and dessert offerings.
A very happy St. Patrick’s Day to everyone.
The jet stream has been kind to us so far in 2015. All the predictions of snow and ice dwindled down to just a cloudy morning by the date of our February meeting.
We met at the home of Dottie Tessier. Sheree Wenger was her co-hostess. On this occasion we were delighted to welcome new member Jennifer Rutherford and to welcome back member Diane Ecklund. We were happy as well to celebrate our president Peggy Burton Ols’ successful recovery from her surgery and her return to good health.
Our February meeting was all about setting goals and making plans for 2015. Robin Johnson reported on the January Executive Committee meeting discussions and proposals. In 2015 our club will have three major community events to support: the Laytonsville town parade in May, the Montgomery County Fair in August, and the Town Picnic in September.
Our yearly plans usually include some opportunities for the talented and experienced quilters and crafters in our group to lead an activity. We discussed the possibilities with Project Linus, local hospitals, and “pig” pillows for breast cancer recovery, plus some new ideas.
We discussed a proposal to begin a collection of recipes, cooking lore, and family stories from our members and the Laytonsville area. The club also talked about new ways to continue our supportive efforts regarding domestic violence, heart health, and other issues.
We approved our yearly budget and then began to address a real planning issue – what will we do for the Laytonsville parade in May. In previous years we’ve been represented by a float, or a convertible, or an open truck, depending on our theme and ideas. It’s always fun.
A light snowfall on the morning of December 8 set a festive mood for our annual Christmas luncheon. Our luncheon coordinator for 2014, Jane Warnock, arranged for us to dine at The Inn at Brookeville Farms.
Peggy Burton Ols provided the Christmas-themed games to keep us all thinking and laughing. As always, the luncheon included an ornament exchange and a Christmas carol.
On a more somber note, we will be sending our thoughts and prayers to Peggy as she undergoes surgery on January 5, along with our best wishes for her speedy recovery.
The Executive Committee will meet January 5, 2015 at Anna Mae Pointer’s house at 11:00 a.m. to formalize our annual report to GFWC. Please send your volunteer hours to Anna Mae before January 5 at email@example.com . Include all your meetings, travel time, volunteering at elections, soup kitchen, hospital work, etc. We will review and sort the hours out as needed.
Anna Mae Pointer, Peggy Burton Ols, and Gerda Sherwood
Louisa Riggs, Dottie Tessier, (at front) Martha Oberlie, and Pat McAuliffe
Nancy Willett, Jane Warnock, Anna Mae Pointer, Peggy Burton Ols, Gerda Sherwood, (at front) Sheree Wenger
Our Laytonsville club hosted the Montgomery County Federation of Women’s Clubs Board of Directors meeting and luncheon on October 28, 2014 at the Montgomery Country Club. Jane Griffith Evans and Anne Burke Wolf spoke to the group about “The Women of Laytonsville” – a brief look at the lives of seven interesting Laytonsville women from 1814 and 1914.
On Monday, November 3, our members visited the Delaplaine Visual Arts Education Center in Frederick, Maryland. Afterward we toured the historic Steiner House, a Frederick City landmark built in 1807 and purchased by the Frederick Woman’s Civic Club in 1962.
On Tuesday our club members turned out as always to help at the polls and to staff sales tables for Woman’s Club, Town of Laytonsville, and Laytonsville Historic Center items at our two local polling places -- Laytonsville Elementary School and the Montgomery County Agricultural History Farm Park.
Peggy Burton Ols welcomes everyone to Laytonsville at the Board of Directors meeting and luncheon.
Louisa Riggs, Nancy Willett, and Barbara Olsen
Peggy Burton Ols, Pat McAuliffe, and Robin Johnson
Anne Wolf and Jane Evans based their presentation on the research involved in writing their 2013 local history, Laytonsville: From Crossroads to Community.
Dorothy Tessier, Sheree Wenger, Jane Evans, Peggy Burton Ols, Robin Johnson, Jennifer, Anna Mae Pointer, and Anne Wolf viewed the photographic work of David R. Allison at the “Pennsylvania Project” photography exhibit.
Robin Johnson and Dorothy Tessier at the Steiner House, bringing a donation of warm winter sweaters for the FWCC community support projects.
Peggy Burton Ols, Jane Evans, Robin Johnson, Anna Mae Pointer, and Dorothy Tessier view some of the antiques displayed in the summer kitchen at the Steiner House.
We met at the home of Joan Eames, with Pat McAuliffe as Joan’s co-hostess, for a program featuring the Hero Dogs.
The Hero Dogs training center is in the Laytonsville area, and we had a wonderful opportunity to meet Allison Putnam, spokesperson for the group, and a black Labrador in training, Gracie.
All the Hero Dogs are named for military heroes. Gracie is the namesake of Rear Admiral Grace Hopper (1906-1992), a pioneering computer scientist. Along with her scores of accomplishments as a programmer and an advocate for computer possibilities in the Department of Defense, Rear Admiral Hopper is known as the inventor of the term debugging.
Founded in 2009, Hero Dogs provides trained service dogs free of charge to military veterans who have been wounded or disabled. Allison Putnam explained the extensive training required for both the dogs and the humans as well as the careful matchmaking of the right dog for the right veteran and the right family home. Gracie demonstrated her companion skills, showing us how a trained dog might respond to physical issues such as negotiating through a wheelchair and a doorway or to emotional issues such as anxiety or loneliness.
The process is expensive – about $39,000.00 for one dog – and depends upon volunteers and contributions.
September – We kicked off our fall meeting schedule with a business meeting and luncheon at Retirement Farm, the home of Nancy and Putt Willett. Martha Oberle was Nancy’s co-hostess.
The main order of business every September is our plan for supporting the Laytonsville Town Picnic, which was held on Saturday, September 20. Every year our club members bake the prizes for the cake walk -- homemade cakes, pies, and cupcakes.
In other business, we discussed ways to expand and redirect some of our donations to the local women’s shelter and to address the needs of the animal shelter. We also discussed possible nominations for a Clubwoman of the Year.
Sheree Wenger, Jane Warnock, and Peggy Burton Ols get the plates and numbers set up for the annual cake walk.
Robin Johnson and Barbara Olsen coordinate the cake walk for children aged ten and younger. Sheree Wenger at the microphone calls the winning numbers.
Our planning meeting was held at the home of our club President, Peggy Burton Ols. At the recent Montgomery County meeting, four of our members were recognized as new officers:
Martha Oberle – Vice President
Dorothy Tessier – Timekeeper
Anna Mae Pointer – Teller
Christie Swiger – Chesapeake Bay Conservation Chairman
From left to right: Mary Ellen Stevens, Recording Secretary; Martha Oberle, First Vice President; Mary Jo Rodgers, Second Vice President; Barbara Keller, Corresponding Secretary; Lou Harrell, Treasurer; Babs Condon, International President.
Remember to bring your checkbook to the September meeting. It’s time once again to pay our dues.
Our annual June picnic meeting was held at Town Hall. Our White Elephant sale at the May meeting brought $180 to our bank account. The next fundraiser will be the sale of brooms at the two local polling places on Maryland Primary Day, Tuesday, June 24.
Pat McAuliffe shared a thank-you letter from a recipient of our “piglet pillow” for women undergoing breast cancer surgery.
Our newly elected officers were installed.
President: Peggy Burton Ols
Vice President: Barbara Olsen
Treasurer: Sheree Wenger
Recording Secretary: Robin Johnson
Corresponding Secretary: Anna Mae Pointer
Director: Joan Eames
Newly installed officers Robin Johnson, Anna Mae Pointer, Sheree Wenger, Barbara Olsen, Peggy Burton Ols
Our 2012-2014 president, Joan Christensen Eames, was presented with a scarf portraying the General Federation of Woman’s Clubs national headquarters building in Washington, DC.
Sheree Wenger, at left, and Anna Mae Pointer, at right, serve up a delicious potluck picnic luncheon.
Jane Warnock, Augusta Mae Wayne, and Louisa Riggs
Barbara Olsen, Robin Johnson, and Peggy Burton Ols look over the meeting locations for the 2014-2015 year.
The May meeting was held at the home of Barbara Olsen. Robin Johnson was her co-hostess.
Jesi Roman, who grew up in Laytonsville on Second Street, was our speaker. She explained how her project began with a heartfelt discussion with her mother, Carolyn Finley, about how difficult -- and expensive -- new babies can be. They started searching for a way to help others, and the result was Baby’s Bounty MC Inc., online at babysbounty.org.
Baby’s Bounty provides newborns in need with essential clothing and gear, such as a new car seat, a bathtub filled with hygiene items, a pack ‘n’ play bassinet, bottles, blankets, and new/gently used infant clothing as well as other useful items. The group deals with multiple referring agencies and high schools in Montgomery County with special attention to those newborns who might not be covered by other social welfare programs.
Our club contributed $75.00 to Baby’s Bounty, which will cover the cost of a pack ‘n’ play for a new baby.
To learn more about the group, or to find ways you can contribute time or items, contact Jesi at firstname.lastname@example.org or (240) 813-8190.
You can like them on Facebook and get an idea of the many activities Baby’s Bounty is involved with at https://www.facebook.com/BabysBountyMc
Jesi Findley Roman, director of the Montgomery County chapter of Baby’s Bounty
Gerda Sherwood served as auctioneer for our annual fundraiser – a white elephant sale
Peggy Ols, Jane Evans, Elsie DeWall, and Anna Mae Pointer check the items in the white elephant sale. In front, Martha Oberle.
Ever since our December luncheon, the Laytonsville Woman’s Club members have been busy with our snow shovels instead of our meetings. All our January, February, and March activities coincided with snowfalls and had to be canceled.
It was a real pleasure to get together again in April. Anna Mae Pointer hosted our April meeting at her home, with Sheree Wenger as her co-hostess.
The club voted to donate two trees to the Tree-Mendous Maryland program. One will be in honor of our current club president, Joan Christensen Eames. Joan has served the Laytonsville community for many years through her talents for writing, painting, volunteerism, and leadership. At present she finds time to be president of our club as well as president of the Chevy Chase chapter of the National League of American Pen Women. We also voted to donate a tree in memory of Francis Hewitt, who passed away on February 26, 2014. Mr. Hewitt was an active member of the local community who was always supportive of town improvements and activities, and he will be greatly missed.
Club members Jane Griffith Evans, Robin Duvall Johnson, and Anne Burke Wolf collaborated on a local history book, Laytonsville: From Crossroads to Community, published in December, 2013.
For our April program, Jane and Anne presented “Women in Laytonsville History” – a multi-media look at fourteen women who made a difference to the town. The presentation also explained how the authors did their historical research and some of the surprises they encountered.
Four Laytonsville women authors and journalists – Elsie White Haines, Marion Taylor Griffith, Rosemary Zibart, and Joan Christensen – were represented with a display of their biographies and examples of their news columns and articles about local history.
Elsie White Haines, Marion Taylor Griffith, Rosemary Zibart, and Joan Christensen
Storeowner Catherine Riordan was depicted in a display of photos of her well-known general store, a Laytonsville landmark, along with her biography.
Local activist Maggie Weeks Dwyer, an accomplished seamstress who won awards at the county fair, was represented by a quilt featuring old photographs of herself, her friends, and her family life from 1870-1960.
A PowerPoint presentation told about the roles of Margaret O’Neale and Jane Stone Gloyd in the early 1800s, when Laytonsville was still known as Cracklin Town. Lucy Jane Newman and Vashti Bartlett followed different paths to medical careers. Mattie Branch Simpson and Mary Oliphant Fulks were the principals of Brooke Grove School and Laytonsville Elementary School through the decades of progress, the Great Depression, and the changes of the 1940s.
The presentation concluded with a discussion of ways that we as local residents could be helping to preserve the history of our own era in Laytonsville history. As a club, we have maintained scrapbooks of our own activities since the beginning, and these are stored at the Laytonsville Historical Center. Most of us, though, are involved in many other local activities – town government, churches, schools, and other organizations. We have a wealth of knowledge about people who have lived here and the progress of the town, and perhaps we can work on some historical projects in the future.
Dottie Tessier brought a donation to the Laytonsville Historical Society – an almanac printed and distributed at the George Mobley general store in 1869. Club members will copy and preserve this booklet and make the copies available to everyone.
Our annual Christmas luncheon and ornament exchange was held at the Golden Bull Restaurant in Gaithersburg.
Front row, left to right: Anna Mae Pointer, Laura Turner, Barbara White, Louisa Riggs
Back row, left to right: Nancy Willett, Anne Wolf, Robin Johnson, Barbara Olsen, Pat McAuliffe, Jane Evans, Sheree Wenger, Dorothy Tessier, Peggy Ols
Laura Turner, who organized the luncheon, opens her surprise package.
Sheree Wenger and Louisa Riggs admire an ornament.
This 120-page, full color history is an all Laytonsville Woman’s Club project. Club members Jane Evans, Robin Johnson, and Anne Wolf wrote and edited the text and photos. One of our former members, Susann Mick, has moved away from the Laytonsville area, but she volunteered to handle the layout, design, and desktop publishing. The book is being published by the Laytonsville Historical Center. Quite a few of our members are also trustees or members of that group as well.
Club members Jane Evans and Robin Duvall check the proofs for Laytonsville: From Crossroads to Community, the new local history book, which went on sale December 6. Check our web site at LaytonsvilleHistory.com for more information about content, prices, and availability.
October – We met at Edgehill Farm, home of Nancy Willett. Amanda Becker was Nancy’s co-hostess.
Mattie Klein of the Montgomery County Chapter of the Maryland Association for Family and Community Education was our guest speaker. Mattie explained the MCAFCE’s project of collecting and distributing items that bring a touch of home and warmth to people in need. They work with a number of organizations including Project Linus, TAPS Camps, and Operation Shoebox.
Project Linus welcomes donations of new blankets, quilts, afghans, and comforters to be recorded and passed on to local hospitals. These blankets provide a sense of security and comfort to children who are seriously ill or otherwise in need. There is also a need for lap blankets, at least 36” x 36”, for dementia patients.
MCAFCE supports TAPS – Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors – for families who have lost a loved one while serving. The TAPS “Good Grief” Camps for children and teens allow young people to join with others who are grieving the loss of a loved one and to learn coping skills. MCAFCE supports Taps Camps by collecting red, white, and blue blankets and quilts to be given at these weekend camps.
Operation Shoebox sends support, snacks and much needed personal care items to our troops deployed outside of the USA. The handcraft element here involves making Christmas stockings and ditty bags, knitted or crocheted helmet liners, and writing personal notes to cheer the soldiers.
Mattie Klein lives in Olney and provides a collection point for donation items. She notes that most donations are placed in hospitals or shipped to camps or service members within a week.
Dottie Tessier mentioned another craft project for hospital donations. This is an underarm support pillow for breast surgery patients. Various club members indicated their interest in a future sewing session to learn to construct and to stuff these pillows.
Our club is very proud of member Sheree Wenger, who was hailed as Laytonsville’s “Citizen of the Year” for 2013 at the annual town picnic.
At the same event, club members Dottie Tessier and Louisa White were honored as Charter Members of the 4-H Club programs in the county.
Gerda Sherwood, at left, looks over some of the many samples of donation crafts. Our speaker, Mattie Klein, is at the right.
Dottie Tessier and Sheree Wenger figure out how to assemble the arm pillows for breast surgery patients, another donation project.
September – It’s Back-to-School season, and for our club that meant a field trip. Our September meeting was a group trip to the MOOseum in Germantown, MD. Club member Nancy Willett’s farm is being featured at the MOOseum in September and October. Following the meeting we enjoyed lunch and a short business meeting at Buffalo Wings and Beer. There were two items on our business agenda.
The MOOseum is a dairy heritage museum dedicated to interpreting the rich history of the farms, the families, and related organizations in Montgomery County, MD. Our club members include local women who grew up on dairy farms, women who grew up in New York City, women who grew up in Palm Springs, women who grew up in Austria, and so on. We bring many different backgrounds and experiences to this field trip.
We didn’t have to travel too far for this experience. The MOOseum is located in the South Germantown Recreational Park.
Mr. Putt Willett of Century Farm near Laytonsville explains the history of dairy farms in Montgomery County. There were once 300 dairy farms in the county. Now there are six.
Left to right, Barbara Olsen, Jane Evans (signing in), Sheree Wenger, Mr. Willett, Joan Eames.
Club member Nancy Willett with her husband Putt, pointing out their own farm and the historic dairy farms in the Laytonsville area.
Lunch at Buffalo Wings and Beer was fun. Goodbye to tea rooms, hello sports bars! From left to right, Nancy Willett, Joan Eames, Amanda Becker, Gerda Sherwood, Pat McAuliffe, Sheree Wenger, Mindy Chacon, Dorothy Tessier, Jane Evans.
We met at the home of Barbara Olsen. Dottie Tessier reported on the events and the budget discussion at the April conference. Martha Oberle presented a copy of Maryland’s Civil War Photographs, Sesquicentennial Edition by Ross J. Kelbaugh to the group, for our perusal and for eventual usage by the Laytonsville Historical Center. Peggy Ols reported on our donations to the women’s shelter. Our club discussed having two donation drives next year for practical items needed by the shelter.
May 17 - Our preparations for Laytonsville’s May Parade in Friday night set-up at St. Bartholomew’s church at 6:30.
May 18 – The 2013 parade theme is “Think Spring” so wear your most charming garden hats for our “float” in the parade.
Please contact Sheree with your dates to help with the Laytonsville elementary School Book Fair on June 5 – 7. The PTA is also looking for volunteers to help students learn to sew for their banner projects.
Spring was slow in coming in 2013, but a chilly start to April gave way to warmth and sunshine on the 8th, just in time for our Welcome to Newcomers Tea. Gerda Sherwood hosted the tea.
We met at the home of Joan Eames for a business and spring planning meeting. The committee to organize our April Welcome for Newcomers Tea gave their report and – everything is organized! Well done to Peggy Ols and her committee.
Do you have a friend or neighbor you would like to invite to the tea? Please let Gerda Sherwood know that person’s name and address as soon as possible.
Gerda’s email: email@example.com
We met at the Laytonsville Town Hall. Our first action was to express our deepest sympathy to our President, Joan Eames, on the recent loss of her beloved younger sister.
February is Heart Health Month. Our Vice President, Martha Oberle, gave a presentation on the current controversy about ambulance fees in Montgomery County. She spoke with the staff at the Laytonsville District Volunteer Fire Department about the situation in the county and how it applies to our area. Martha discussed the history of opposition to ambulance fees and the County Executive decision to put fees in place. Insurance will often cover costs. No one will ever see the bill for emergency ambulance service, so there should not be a disincentive for persons to call an ambulance when needed. All ambulances in the county have the same equipment. For all cardiac calls, the dispatcher will send two EMTs. An extra vehicle may be needed to transport a second EMT to the call.
In March we will be collecting items for Family Service. Please bring women’s socks, white, ankle length, adult sizes, to the March meeting. This is one way we can help support the women who seek shelter and protection in Montgomery County. Peggy Ols also brought us the brochure listing different items which are needed by the shelter.
Anna Mae Pointer, Gerda Sherwood, Peggy Ols, Mindy Chacon, and Sheree Wenger check
out what Santa brought them.
Joan Eames, Elsie DeWall, and Jane Warnock
Sheree Wenger, Barbara White, Martha Oberle, and Dottie Tessier
Our November meeting was held at the home of Nancy and Putt Willett. The Willetts live at Edgehill Farm, which has been the home of Putt’s Griffith family members for over two hundred years.
After a review of our club’s donations and contributions, we discussed some interesting possible programs and speakers for our 2013 meetings. Our members also voted to honor two of Laytonsville’s past mayors, Charles White and Willard Oland, with our contributions to Tree-mendous Maryland through its Gift of Trees program.
Robin Johnson, Gerda Sherwood, and Jane Warnock look over some of the items offered in
our White Elephant Auction.
Gerda Sherwood and Laura Turner find some good buys among the white elephants contributions.
It’s a campaign year, and Election Day is only weeks away. Our October meeting was held at the Laytonsville Town Hall.
Our guest speaker from the League of Women Voters, Melpi Jefferies, distributed handouts and explained the seven state ballot questions and Montgomery County’s three questions. We covered extension of in-state college tuition rates for children of undocumented aliens, marriage equality, gerrymandering, jobs for the disabled, the county police union’s authority, whether alcohol should come to dry Damascus, the dueling casinos issue, the state gaming commission, and whether imprisoned elected officials are still entitled to collect a salary. Quite a discussion!
For more information about the seven statewide questions as well as Montgomery County ballot questions A, B, and C, please click here: http://www.elections.state.md.us/elections/2012/ballot_question_language.html
Afterward we enjoyed a potluck luncheon at the Town Hall.
The Town Hall also contains the Laytonsville Historical Center and a collection of items related to the history of this election district. Here is the original post office –movable from general store to saddle shop and so on, depending on who was the current postmaster.
Melpi Jeffries of the League of Women Voters was our guest speaker.
Sheree Wenger, Peggy Ols, Anna Mae Pointer, Barbara White, Martha Oberle,
and Robin Johnson
Our September meeting was held at the home of Diane Ecklund. We began with the nomination and election of our new president, Joan Eames. Our new treasurer, Sheree Wenger, presented the budget and current report. Members were delighted to learn that our June fundraiser at the Howard Country Fairgrounds raised $3,300. After expenses, we cleared $1500 for our club and $1300 for our partners, the Maryland Junior Hereford Association. With their $1300, the Junior Hereford Association was able to defray expenses and take 22 young people in to Grand Island, Nebraska, for a week of showing
and training activities.
Sheree Wenger and Martha Oberle welcome a customer at the Woman’s Club sales table at the Laytonsville’s annual town picnic.
Once again Woman’s Club members contributed 20 homemade cakes for the cake walk.
At our June meeting, we congratulated one of our members, Joan Eames, who has become the Chapter President of the local chapter of the National League of American Pen Women, Inc. The NLAPW is a professional organization for women artists, composers, and writers, founded in 1897.
There will be a tribute concert for Phil Mathieu on Sunday, June 24 at the Hamilton Theater. Phil Mathieu, who passed away last February, had visited our club and entertained us with his music. The Hamilton is located at 14th and F, NW, in Washington, DC. Tickets are $27.50.
Our June fundraiser project was managing the snack bar for the ABC Summer Bonanza Jackpot Show at the Howard County Fairgrounds. We provided a range of breakfast and lunch items on June 8 and 9 for the participants and visitors.
The ABC Show is an opportunity for young people to compete and gain experience showing their heifer and steers. Originally an event for local youth from Howard, Montgomery, and Frederick Counties, it now is open and attracts entries from all over the East Coast.
We were lucky to have beautiful weather both days.
A customer is greeted by Dottie Tessier, Robin and Craig Johnson, and Anna Mae Pointer.
Anna Mae Pointer and Peggy Ols
Kristy Swigart, Dottie Tessier, and Mindy Chacon
Stephanie brought her well groomed heifers all the way from Auburn, Maine, to Maryland for the ABC Show.
Nightfall at the snack stand – we’re still in business!
Let’s let the pictures tell the story…
We celebrated the beautiful spring weather on May 7 with a potluck picnic meeting at the
Town Hall in Laytonsville. Sheree Wenger, Anna Mae Pointer, and Mindy Chacon getthings
Parade Planners Peggy Ols and Mindy Chacon reveal their theme and design ideas for our
best parade float ever: Soar with the Laytonsville Woman’s Club.
Day of the parade – time for float assembly.
Assembly completed – lining up in parade position on Second Avenue
Up, up and away with Sheree Wenger – Soar with the Laytonsville Woman’s Club!
The 2012 Laytonsville Town Parade is on, and we are heading down the main street, just
ahead of the kindergarteners marching with the school mascot, a bulldog.
Many thanks to our planners – Peggy Ols and Mindy Chacon – and to all the club members
who helped this day with float preparation, preparing for the Volunteers’ Luncheon, and
The Woman’s Club met on April 2 at the home of Barbara Olsen. Diane Ecklund was her co hostess. We noted that two of our longtime members have been ill or hospitalized lately. We miss having Louisa Riggs and Velma Oland with us and hope they will both be feeling much better very soon.
One of our club’s regular projects is maintaining the landscaping around the town signs. The mild winter and warm spring mean that we need to get a start on grooming and decorating these locations a little earlier than usual this year. Our goal is to have everything looking both well-maintained and beautiful for the town parade on May 19. Club Director Mindy Chacon will choose a date for us to work on this project, and Anna Mae Pointer will email the time and other information to everyone.
Club members held an extended discussion about two of the proposed amendments to the GFWC-MD bylaws.
Part II, Article IX involves meetings of the Board of Directors. We discussed several
objections to removing the November meeting:
• September is a very busy time for members with children in school, while by November families and students are much more settled into their routines. It is easier for moms to get away in November.
• We enjoy the camaraderie of the November meeting. These days it would be easy to distribute all the important club information by email, web pages, and social networks, but we like getting together with others and getting to know people. These meetings are opportunities for us to meet Woman’s Club members from all the Maryland counties, not just Montgomery County.
• The November meeting has always been a very successful occasion for fundraising
Part III, Article VI involves the convention schedule. At present there is an annual state
convention. The proposal is to hold a full convention in even-numbered calendar years
and an annual meeting in odd-numbered years. Annual meetings are shorter and have
shortened meeting proceedings than conventions. Our members like this amendment and
agree with the rationale for the change.
Our club will have several activities at the Laytonsville town parade on May 19. We will
be setting up for the volunteers’ luncheon in the St. Bartholomew’s church hall on Friday
night, the 18th. On the day of the parade, our members will be supporting Peggy Ols and
Mindy Chacon, co-chairs of the float project, with decorating the truck and riding in the
parade. Afterward we will be serving lunch at the church hall.
At the Montgomery County GFWC Board of Directors meeting in March, we enjoyed Jeanne
Mueller’s explanation about Maryland’s Agriculture in the Classroom efforts. Our club
will make a $200.00 donation this year. This amount is enough to send a teacher to the
Summer Agriculture in the Classroom Workshop in Westminster in June.
On a sad note, the Laytonsville Woman’s Club noted the sudden passing of Phil Mathieu
in February. Phil Mathieu was one of the Washington area’s noted guitarists. We in
Laytonsville have been honored and delighted by having him as our guest, entertaining the
Woman’s Club members with his music. We read his Washington Post obituary and shared
memories of his visit and performances.
March began with two busy days for our club. Our regular meeting was held on Monday, March 5, at the home of Diane Ecklund. Barbara Olsen was our co-hostess.
The first order of business was planning for our hosting the Montgomery County GFWC Board of Directors meeting at the Bethesda Clubhouse on Tuesday. Thanks to assistance from Scott, the maintenance engineer at the clubhouse and from members of the Bethesda Woman’s Club, the process of setting up tables and chairs was already managed.
Peggy Ols reported about delivering our club’s collection of donated new women’s socks to the Betty Anne Krahnke Center, Montgomery County’s shelter for women and children suffering from domestic violence. She emphasized the need for security procedures to ensure the safety of the residents there.
The Betty Anne Krahnke Center web site offers more information about the center, the needs of the women and children in residence there, and the types of donations which would be helpful.
Club members then held a general discussion about the direction and the amounts of our regular financial donations to various causes and projects. We plan to gather more information and review some of these to consider changes and improvements in our future contributions.
If we want to donate money, we first need to make some money, so the club considered a chance for a fundraising activity later this year. We decided to sell hot dogs and hamburgers at the 4-H show to be held at the Howard County Fairgrounds on June 9 from 11:00 to 3:00 p.m. There will be an estimated crowd of 200- 250 at this event.
On Tuesday morning, twelve of our club’s twenty members arrived at the Bethesda Clubhouse and set about preparing for coffee, business meeting, luncheon, and Jeanne Mueller’s very interesting program on Maryland’s Agriculture in the Classroom efforts.
Mindy Chacon, Barbara White, Barbara Olsen, and Diane Ecklund at the beverage table. St. Patrick’s Day was our theme, and Mindy outfitted all of us with shamrock name tags.
Anna Mae Pointer, Joan Eames, and Robin Johnson.
With twelve of us there to help, the cleanup went quickly. Here Mindy Chacon and Dottie Tessier get it started.
Robin Johnson, Peggy Ols, and Barbara White helping out.
Christy Swiger, Robin Johnson, and Diane Ecklund handle the fundraising. Christy gave the invocation before the luncheon, and she also ran the 50-50 raffle for the day.
We met February 6th at the home of Dottie Tessier, with Robin Johnson as co-hostess. Michelle Ecklund was our guest.
Dottie Tessier, our president, opened a discussion on the nature of service in elected office in a small club, small town environment like Laytonsville. Every one of our members is active in town council, town committees, local churches, school organizations, various historical societies, charity groups, retiree committees, and so on. Many of us do our best to juggle different roles in all these groups – secretary of this, trustee of that, faithful car pool driver or phone tree chairman. Many of us have already been president or secretary of some organization several times over. And all this has to be combined with family activities and obligations. Usually we succeed! Laytonsville is a great place to live and to join with neighbors to play a part in our community.
Dottie pointed out that while participation in some organizations keeps a person busy and involved on a very local level, serving in elected office in Woman’s Club leads in a different direction. The more opportunities you find to attend GFWC meetings on wider levels – county, state, regional – the more people you meet and the more interesting the entire scope of our activities becomes.
In a small group such as ours, the burden of being the local club president or vice- president never falls on one person. There is always much support from other members who provide direction, help, or services and who generously open their homes for meetings or activities.
Consider, Dottie suggested, letting elected office be your opportunity to move beyond our local activities and meet some new and interesting folks and projects at these other events. Come along to some of the regional meetings and see how much fun we have and how varied the clubs and the members really are.
We met for our Christmas luncheon in the Great Room at Tower Oaks Lodge in Rockville.
Peggy Ols, Jane Warnock, and Dottie Tessier admire a particularly nice item in our annual Christmas ornament exchange.
November 28 – Our club visit to Joan Eames’s exhibit of her oil paintings at Kentlands Manor.
According to Joan, “Painting lets me tell a story on a single page, the canvas.” During our meetings at her home, club members have often admired her beautiful oil landscapes. She has painted landscapes from Vermont, Maine, Maryland, Hilton Head Island, Florida, and Europe. She also paints scenes that incorporate local figures of today and yesterday.
A native of Massachusetts, she often finds herself influenced by her memories of New England settings. Her passion for painting has been more of an avocation than a career. Joan has worked as a journalist in Boston and Washington, earning numerous awards. In the Laytonsville area, she has also long been known as a local news columnist with a particular interest in local history. Joan’s oil paintings have been displayed throughout Montgomery County, and she has won numerous awards for her paintings of scenic sites along the Eastern seaboard and garden spots in Italy and France.
Peggy Ols hosted our meeting with Anna Mae Pointer as co-hostess.
Our guest speaker was Laytonsville neighbor Robin Olson, author of the 2010
The Cookie Party Cookbook: The Ultimate Guide to Hosting a Cookie Exchange.
Robin entertained the group with stories of her adventures in developing and
promoting enjoyable cookie exchanges. Originally inspired by her mother-in-law
in Santa Barbara, who was an excellent baker, Robin went on to collect and test
great cookie recipes and to develop cookie exchanges there and later in her home in
Maryland. She offers tips on baking and also on hosting a successful and fun cookie
swap. Her “Rules of the Cookie Exchange” offer guidance on how to ensure fairness
and value for all guests at a holiday party.
Robin has shared her ideas and expertise over the last 20 years through the
Barbara White hosted our meeting with Sheree Wenger as her co-hostess.
Members reviewed our activities at the Laytonsville picnic and the pleasing success
of our cake walk and fundraising activities.
Sheree Wenger and Barbara White manned the sales table with brooms, coverlets,
mugs, and t-shirts.
The theme of this year’s picnic was volunteerism.
Louisa Riggs handles the 20 boxes of beautiful cakes and pies contributed by
Woman’s Club members as prizes for the cake walk.
Dottie Tessier and other club members managed the cake walk, which this year
brought out more than 100 participants.
Anna Mae Pointer awards a cake to a lucky recipient.
Another happy cake walk winner!
Our Woman’s Club members were also involved with two local history displays at
the picnic. Some of us are involved with the Laytonsville Historic Center’s display
and video presentation about the historic houses in Laytonsville. Some of us are
members of St. Bartholomew’s Episcopal Church, which prepared an excellent
display of its nearly 200 years of history and the families who have worshiped in this
Notice to all members – We will be filling gift bags for women veterans at the
November meeting. Please bring a pair of white socks or footies, women’s sizes, for this project.
The September meeting was held at the home of Cindi Olive. Cindi was a longtime
resident of the UK before moving to Laytonsville, and she collects antiques from the
Victorian era and from the 1930s. She has been restoring an historic Laytonsville
house, originally the residence and office of Dr. Vernon Dyson and his wife.
Cindi welcomed the WC members with a tour of the rooms she has beautifully
restored. Dottie Tessier recalled childhood visits to Dr Dyson and explained how his
office was originally decorated and how doctors handled medications and potions
Club members display some of the ditty bags made during our work sessions.
The Laytonsville Picnic will be held from 5:00 – 9:00 p.m. on Saturday, September
17. The Woman’s Club will be setting up tables at 9:00 a.m. We will also be selling
our brooms as well as Laytonsville souvenirs during the evening.
Cakes, pies, and cupcakes can be dropped off at any time with Sheree or at the Town
JULY – Potluck Picnic to honor Cathy Buit and Willard Oland
Mayor Willard Oland's term as Mayor of Laytonsville ended on July 4th, and our
long-time Town Clerk, Cathy Buit, has also recently retired to enjoy her new farm in
Virginia. Townspeople thought that it would be proper to honor both of them with a
picnic to thank them for all they have done for the town (and for the LWC).
In this photo, retiring Mayor Willard Oland is addressing guests including Maryland
State Delegate Craig J. Zucker, Maryland State Senator Karen S. Montgomery, Kathy
Buit, and residents of the Laytonsville area.
Laytonsville Woman’s Club members set up the picnic pavilion area at Town Hall
and coordinated the event preparations along with the Laytonsville Lions Club and
Goshen Enterprises. They also contributed many of their favorite salads, vegetable
dishes, and desserts.
Peggy Ols arranges the potluck offerings.
Anna Mae Pointer, Peggy Ols, and Dottie Tessier keep the food lines moving.
The Laytonsville Town Hall was the site for the June meeting and annual picnic. All
members were encouraged to bring friends and visitors. Mayor Willard Oland and
the rest of the Town Hall staff and visitors were welcomed as well.
Our president, Dorothy Tessier, commended the club members for their many
aspects of participation at the Town Parade on May 21 and for all the other
Woman’s Club activities over the past year.
Club members signed up both for hosting our meetings from next September
through June and for serving as co-hostesses.
The guest speaker was Anne Wolf, who spoke about her recent trip to Turkey. This
presentation was held indoors at the Town Hall meeting room. Anne, who grew
up in Laytonsville, had been Gaithersburg High School’s American Field Service
exchange student to Turkey back in the 1960’s. At that time she had stayed with
the Nalbantoğlu family in Bakırköy, a town near Istanbul. This was her first return
visit to the country after many years and an opportunity to reunite with Papatya
Nalbantoğlu, her Turkish sister in the host family. Papatya had also participated in
an USA - Turkey exchange student program during her college years, at which time
she visited Anne’s family and Laytonsville.
Anne described her travels through western Turkey, visiting the ancient ruins at
Epheses, Pergamon, Hieropolis, and Perge. She also visited the Cappadocia region
with its underground cities, cave churches, and many cultural attractions. But what
everyone always enjoys most are the photos from the bazaar. Here are a few.
Louisa Riggs hosted the May meeting, which featured a lively and competitive plant auction. Nancy Willett provided refreshments.
The LWC was sent a check in the amount of $400+. This money was interest from the account that was established for the legal fund to defeat the Oaks Landfill back in the late 1970s. Our club members would rather have defeated the landfill, but they were pleased that the Club benefited somehow from its presence. (Another happy landfill update: volunteers planted 750 trees and shrubs at the former landfill on Earth Day of this year.)
The Laytonsville Town Parade on May 21 found our members involved in many ways, often in several capacities.
We were active as:
The LWC membership extends our deepest sympathies to Barbara White and her family for the loss of her husband, Charles Thomas White, on May 15. He was a lifelong resident of Laytonsville and served as mayor from 1980 to 2003. Mayor White was always interested in and supportive of the activities of the Woman’s Club, as well as the Laytonsville Lions Club, the Olney American Legion, GLAYCA, the Laytonsville Garden Club, and the Laytonsville Historical Center.
Charles White’s sisters, Louisa Riggs and Dorothy Tessier, are also Laytonsville Woman’s Club members, so the loss affects our club deeply. We are very honored to have known him, and we will miss him very much.
At the April meeting the Club members discussed plans to give practical support to the Laytonsville Elementary School PTA's Scholastic Book Fair in early June. There is a need for additional volunteers to help with the Book Fair and to support reading and the love of books in general.
The other main topic of planning and preparation was the Woman's Club annual participation in the Laytonsville Community Parade. This year the parade will be held on Saturday, May 21. The Club plans to acquire a reasonably priced permanent parade banner to use now and in the future. Our members are involved in this parade every year in a variety of ways, as shown in these photos from 2010.
We organized a luncheon for parade volunteers at St. Batholomew's Church hall, and we helped staff the historical center at Town Hall.
We represent the Woman's Club in the aprade itself with a vehicle and Club members.
Although we are a small club, our members play a big part in both town activities and in the agricultural community.
Our members are active participants in the town's Historical Center. We are interested in preserving the history of Laytonsville even as it continues to grow and change with the passing centuries.
Through the TREE-MENDOUS MARYLAND organization, our Club will donate a memorial tree in the name of Maude Duvall Burke in addition to our regular donation. Maude was an active member of the group for many years. She was the author of the Laytonsville Town History book, which our Woman’s Club has sold for many years as a fundraiser. She also wrote a history of Laytonsville for Maryland’s 157: The Incorporated Cities and Towns, the Maryland Municipal League’s pictorial and textual tour of all of Maryland's self-governing cities & towns. (This book is available through Amazon.com.) After retiring from her career with the Montgomery County Public Schools, she was a volunteer reader at Laytonsville Elementary. Maude was a lifelong active gardener who loved trees, Maryland, and especially Maryland history.
The theme of our March discussion was New Ways to Serve Our Local Community.
We will be working of “First Night” bags for the Betty Ann Krahnke Center for New Beginnings. This center, founded in 2000, is the only domestic violence shelter serving Montgomery County, Maryland. With a 54-bed capacity, BAK provides safety for women and children, support in trauma recovery, and empowerment to increase their personal safety within the community.
First Night bags include personal items for women or children who may have had to leave suddenly and seek shelter with no time to collect their belongings. The bags should include toiletries and basic pajamas, slipper socks, casual clothing, etc. Club members will get this project started with cash donations and then consider how to expand our efforts.
The second area of discussion was how to direct used furniture toward local families in need.
A Wider Circle's Center for Community Service, Silver Spring;
A Wider Circle sends out trucks every day to collect items to distribute to local needy families. (Wider Circle does NOT accept any drop-side cribs due to product recalls.)
To arrange for your donation, you may fill out an online form at this web address:
If you have questions about furniture donation, you may contact Wider Circle through email:
St. Rose of Lima Roman Catholic Church in Gaithersburg has had a furniture ministry serving about 750 local families each year. It was temporarily suspended in November of 2010, but has obtained new storage facilities on East Diamond south of Old Towne Gaithersburg. St. Rose’s group hopes to resume picking up furniture on some Saturdays in 2011. This ministry does not deal with clothing or food needs -- only furniture.
St. Rose of Lima’s furniture ministry will distribute items to individuals and families based on self-declared need. There will be no income criteria and no limitations according to geographical residency, church affiliation, or other characteristics.
A third area of discussion was providing books to local children. Although there are many affluent residents in the Laytonsville area, there are also a considerable number of families with young children who are in need of support. Laytonsville Elementary School’s PTA participates in Scholastic’s Book Fair’s One for Books program. Money donated to this program goes directly to giving our local children books of their own. In addition, 25 cents out of every dollar goes back to the Laytonsville PTA.
Heart disease is the number one killer of women. Many women – and our doctors -- still don't realize that female early heart attack symptoms can look very different from those of men. This lack of awareness means that women can make mistakes in self-diagnosis and in explaining their symptoms to family members or emergency medical staff.
The major symptom for women is an unusual feeling of fatigue – different from the day-to-day tiredness we usually experience. This feeling is so different that a woman might suddenly feel weakened, exhausted, and short of breath, even if she is, as Peggy was, already resting in bed. Besides fatigue, women often have nausea and perhaps vomiting. As women, we often try to treat these symptoms with everyday home remedies – a cool washcloth on the forehead, a Coke, or an over-the-counter antacid. The time we lose by waiting until the symptoms become overwhelming may make the difference between recovery and death.
Our family health history is a helpful clue to our own heart health. Peggy’s family included a number of individuals who had experienced heart attacks or congestive heart conditions. We need to do a bit of research into our own extended families and identify what heart health issues have been there. Then we can share this information with our doctors to identify our own vulnerability to heart disease.
As a first step toward avoiding heart problems, Peggy explained the four numbers all women need to know to protect their heart health:
Total cholesterol GOAL = less than 200 mg/dL
Blood pressure GOAL = 120/80 -- 120 systolic, 80 dystolic
Blood sugar level GOAL = less than 100
Body Mass Index/BMI GOAL = between 18.5 and 24.5
To learn your Body Mass Index, check online for a BMI calculator. You will type in your height and weight, and the calculator will give you the figure for your BMI.
Peggy brought a basket of Red Dress Pins for the Club members. Red Dress Pins are the national symbol for women and heart disease awareness, serving as a “red alert” for women and reminding them of The Heart Truth message:
Heart Disease Doesn't Care What You Wear — It's the #1 Killer of Women.
Preemie Quilts Project – Club members are continuing to sew baby quilts for premature babies at Holy Cross Hospital in Silver Spring. Premature babies receive these quilts during their stay in the NICU. When the babies are ready to go home, they take the quilts with them as a memento.
Ditty Bag Workshop
Ditty bags are an old tradition in the Laytonsville area. When the Methodist Home for the Aged, now the Asbury Methodist Village, was founded in the 1920s in nearby Gaithersburg, Laytonsville churchwomen made ditty bags for the residents. In those days, friends or neighbors might also make a ditty bag for someone who was recovering from illness at home. There would be a month’s worth of wrapped items in the bag, and each day the recipient would draw out a surprise – perhaps a treat, a poem, something to brighten the day. These days, the ditty bags which Club members are making for veterans contain personal items and convey our thanks for their service to our country.
Gerda Sherwood and Nancy Willett, who are co-chairing the Ditty Bags Project, will check dates and schedule the next workshop. Watch your email for the next time and place.
We also have a contact at a Veterans’ Hospital who is going to give us a practical list of items that the residents can use. We will send that information out as a group email or phone call so that everyone can start collecting useful items. Gerda will be developing a model for our next project, which will involve making walker bags.
Special Projects: Baby quilts, ditty bags, sales of brooms
Charitable Donations of Funds and Services -- Laytonsville Woman’s Club has supported the following charitable organizations and purposes with financial and service donations:
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