Strength Through Service
The members of the Woman’s Club of Carlsbad share their time and talents to enrich the lives of fellow Carlsbad residents by supporting local organizations, awarding scholarships, and providing supplies and money to groups in need. As one of the oldest philanthropic and social organizations in the community, the club has seen much change and growth, but their focus remains the same: to better serve the community to the best of their combined abilities. Read along to discover more as we chat with Co-President Wendy Schuster.
Q&A with Co-President Wendy Schuster
What is the history behind the Woman’s Club of Carlsbad? When and why was it originally founded?
Founded in 1925 and incorporated by the national General Federation of Women’s Clubs and the California Federation of Women’s Clubs, the Woman’s Club of Carlsbad (WCC) just celebrated 90 years of service to the local and global community. WCC is one of the oldest philanthropic and social organizations in Carlsbad but its roots are in philanthropic service to individuals and groups.
What is the mission of the Woman’s Club of Carlsbad? How does the club go about fulfilling this mission?
The WCC is a philanthropic women’s organization dedicated to strengthening our community and enhancing the lives of others and ourselves through volunteer service. WCC members donate their time, talents, and treasures to work on projects that assist individuals and groups related to children, the elderly, animals, the arts, and the environment. To be able to donate to organizations and causes in the community in a monetary way, WCC holds many fundraisers throughout the year.
Is the Woman’s Club of Carlsbad affiliated with any larger organizations?
We are affiliated with the General Federation of Women’s Clubs (GFWC) and the California Federation of Women’s Clubs (CFWC), who provide direction and focus on projects of interest to their leaders.
How did you personally become involved with WCC?
I had recently moved to the Carlsbad area and was invited by a friend to become involved in the Woman’s Club of Carlsbad. I have been a member since 2001.
What is your current role within the organization, and what duties does it entail?
I am a president at this time. A president’s job is to oversee the operations of a club and to keep the board members and the members-at-large motivated and organized to continue forth with their projects and interests to better serve our community. We rely on other board members as well who have volunteered their time to oversee certain segments within our club such as membership, ways and means, philanthropy, etc.
What is the most rewarding thing about your role? The most challenging?
The most rewarding thing about being the president is to see women of all ages, nationalities, and beliefs come together to help other human beings in our community.
I believe the most challenging role is to keep focused on taking time out of our everyday, busy lives to continue being involved with the club, and making sure that every club member feels special and included in the activities of our club, and that the club as a whole continues to thrive so that it can continue to contribute to the organizations to which we support.
Woman’s Club of Carlsbad President At-A-Glance
Name: Wendy Schuster
Profession: Real estate mortgage broker
Hobbies & Interests: Golf, camping, spending time with family and friends
Favorite Places to Visit in Carlsbad: Tamarack Beach Walk, Carlsbad restaurants and shops
How has the organization grown and changed over the years?
Oh yes, we have grown. We are now 84 members strong. I believe the club has simply grown stronger as reflected by the women who belong to this club. They are all strong women who strive to enrich their own lives and those around them by giving of their time and energy to help others. In the 1960s when the WCC Clubhouse was built across the street from Carlsbad High School, the ladies gathered for lunch, performed community service, and played bridge. Today our meetings are held in the evening as a large majority of our members are working women and we now play bunco rather than bridge! A lunchtime gathering is also held for the ladies who wish to get together during the day to socialize and work on projects.
What are the primary goals of the Woman’s Club of Carlsbad, both short-term and long-term?
The goals are the same for short-term and long-term – to better serve our community to the best of our combined abilities.
What have been some of the organization’s most successful projects or fundraising events?
The Carlsbad Holiday Market has been our most recent successful fundraiser. In the past we have also had fundraising success with chili cook-offs, Bunco nights, casino nights, and lingerie/clothing sales events. Our ongoing projects include sewing comfort pillows for mastectomy patients, assisting Stand Up for Kids with meals for homeless teens, assisting Meals on Wheels with items and treats for seniors, and scholarships for nursing students and Carlsbad High School girls going on to college.
Are there any other projects or events that you’d like to elaborate on for our readers, either recent or upcoming?
Our largest fundraising event is the Carlsbad Holiday Market. This year’s Holiday Market will be held on Nov. 5, and over 20 vendors have been invited to participate. Along with the beautiful items crafted by the talented women of WCC, our guests and the public shop for holiday, personal, fashion, and home décor items at this fun event.
How would somebody go about joining the Woman’s Club of Carlsbad? What is the criteria for membership?
All woman of all ages are eligible to become members of our club. The WCC membership director this year is Donna Vanoni and she is the one to contact for membership. Information to get in touch with her or the club is on our website at www.womansclubofcarlsbad.org.
From the Members
What do you love most about being a member of the Woman’s Club of Carlsbad?
“I love working with so many wonderful like-minded ladies with the goal of giving back and helping others.” – Membership Director, Donna Vanoni
“Knowing we are helping so many diverse groups of people of all ages, plus the wonderful women you get to know and friends you make while working on projects that benefit others.” – Immediate Past President, Kae Gernandt
“The relationships I enjoy with the members and the ability to work with a woman and children focused organization to truly help our community and those of our world.” – Director of Philanthropy Committee, Catherine Goff
Can you describe the most gratifying aspect of serving the Carlsbad community?
We are very blessed to live and work in this community. Being able to support and give back to the community in whatever way we can is very gratifying, and continues to make Carlsbad one of the best communities in which to live.
If you could grant the Woman’s Club one wish, what would it be?
More fundraising income to allow our philanthropic committee to be able to assist those individuals and groups in need, and to be able to give more money for scholarship awards to graduating seniors going into college.
If you had to describe the Woman’s Club using only five words, what would you say?
Beautiful group of strong women.
Woman’s Club of Carlsbad At-A-Glance
Name: Woman’s Club of Carlsbad
Meeting Location: 3320 Monroe St., Carlsbad, CA 92008