Child Welfare Club keeps giving after 90 years

Published 11:18 am Wednesday, May 27, 2009

The Child Welfare Club is one of the oldest established clubs for women in this area.

In January of 1919, a representative from the Child Conservation League of Chicago appeared in Ironton and called upon Mrs. Carl Moulton.

Mrs. Moulton became interested in the organization and called upon several of her friends to form a charter whose purpose was to “provide for physical, intellectual and moral purity, health and strength of childhood and youth and to promote their welfare.”

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This group was known as the Child Study Group and held its first meeting on Feb. 14, 1919. In November of that year the group was changed to the Child Welfare Club and the decision was made to become a member of the State and National Federated Women’s Club.

Year after year the members have worked and earned money to support its projects. Our very first project was to start a story hour for children from 4 to 14.

The next project was the inception of a milk fund for the needy child in the local school system. This was started in 1920 and carried on by the club until 1946 when the Community Chest undertook its funding, while the Child Welfare Club continued its administration.

The club also started the first kindergarten in Ironton, engaged a nurse to work with the under-privileged children, and set up the first supervised playground in the area.

The club sponsored the first community Christmas tree, furnished the children’s ward at the General Hospital and a room at the Deaconess Hospital. A book club was started and several hundred books were presented to the library. As the years passed, Child Welfare has been involved in helping the Red Cross in World War II, sent bundles for Britain and helped with the ration work.

We have enjoyed building floats in the Memorial Day Parade, given gifts to the Children’s Home, developed a youth center, and in 1960 the club initiated the “Educational Achievement Awards Program” better know as the “Eddy Awards,” which honors the sixth graders in the school system.

In 1964, the “Freshie Award” was started. This honors high school freshmen who maintain a high average during their first year.

We have now established a scholarship at Ohio University Southern Campus. We have helped purchase a service dog, sent families to health conferences, donated to the Critical Incident Stress Management Team (CISM), helped send students to different countries for educational purposes, financial support for the Academy of Excellence, help support to stop domestic violence, support a team for the Gus Macker basketball tournament, support local churches in their effort to help children meet their educational needs such as Tools for Schools, support the new school project of Smart Board in each classrooms, Academy of Excellence, Christmas with Dignity, food pantries, MRDD, helped with the purchase of the school ground equipment at the Open Door School, purchased school ground equipment for Kingsbury, purchased basketball uniforms for their basketball team, Skate Park, City Mission, and many other projects dedicated to the encouragement and well being of children.

The Child Welfare Club would like to take this opportunity to thank all the different businesses and volunteers for their support with our annual Spring Luncheon.

The Spring Luncheon served over 600 lunches this year, the Talent Auction in the fall and a raffle are our main source of income that supports our projects.

We would like to thank the following: First Nazarene Church for allowing us to use this facility to prepare and serve our lunches, Bartram’s, Pick ‘n Save, Weber’s Florist for door prizes and flowers, Kathy Price and the Ironton Singers, The Ironton Tribune, who have been very supportive of all our functions, Knights of Columbus for tables, Printing Express for all our printing needs, David Thuma, Rod Depriest, Dan Gallagher, Mike Corn, John Corn, Pat Laber, Kenny Armstrong, J C Medinger, David Heaberlin, Dennis Dickess, Jim Volgares, Turk and Sharon Donohue for delivering our lunches, Mike Boster, Shirley Mannon, Heather Hoptry, Allyn’s Jewelers, Unger’s Shoe Store, Touch of Grace, Merle Norman, Phillips Funeral Home, All That, Spriggs Distributing, Coal Grove Giovanni’s, Hot Spot, Austyn’s, Twigs and Berries, Sophia by Melissa Dufore, Nancy’s Fine Jewelry, Beth Walbright, Sharon Smith with Avon, Mary Laber for door prizes and St. Joe senior girls for helping us serve our guests.

The support from the public by purchasing our lunches has been tremendous. Without their support, we could not continue to support our different projects. The Child Welfare Club would again like to say “thank you” to the public and businesses that support us each year and for supporting our kids!

Jane Griffith

Child Welfare Club