Philanthropy Announces 2016-17 Grants

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Philanthropy Announces 2016-17 Grants

The Woman's Club Philanthropy Committee has selected six nonprofits for grant awards. Checks were presented to the following organizations at the June 21, 2017 luncheon:

All Students Matter: $3,200

All Students Matter is inspired by the belief that all children deserve an equal opportunity to learn and train elementary school volunteers to work in East Palo Alto and east Menlo Park (Ravenswood City School District). Volunteers commit to assist weekly in the same K-4 classrooms for the full school year. Ninety-fiveve percent of the children come from low-income families; 33 percent are homeless; 83 percent are reading below grade level. The academic performance and emotional well being of 1,600 students benefit by the programs at All Students Matter. Nominated by Jean Dawes.

Avenidas Early Literacy Program: $2,000

Avenidas creates a community that supports older adults, providing a wide variety of classes, services and volunteer opportunities. The Early Literacy Program recruits, trains and places retired teachers and others in schools providing one-on-one support for struggling readers. This program helps children connnect with an adult and improve reading skills and provides seniors a sense of purpose and community involvement. This group also received a grant from our club in 2013. Nominated by Cathy Kroymann.

Building Futures Now: $1,800

This high-quality after-school and summer academic tutoring program works with each child from the age of 8 to college. The program builds critical skills for students to develop a college-bound future by developing the academic and interpersonal potential of underserved students from East Palo Alto and eastern Menlo Park. The program empowers students by combining academic rigor, leadership development and- long-term comprehensive support. Over 100 students from 4th through 12th grade receive this support. Nominated by Chris Kenrick.

Christmas Bureau of Palo Alto: $2,500

The Christmas Bureau has existed in Palo Alto for 60 years with the mission is “to provide holiday cheer to those in need in our community.” It provides toys and food as well as monetary assistance to families with limited funds, a lonely senior citizen, a single parent, a child  - all without a holiday gift. In 2014 The Christmas Bureau provided gifts to over 2,700 individuals. Recipient families living at or below the poverty level. Nominated by Carol Hubenthal.

East Palo Alto Kids Foundation: $1,800

The mission of this community-based, all volunteer organization is to promote educational opportunities and academic success for students by awarding grants directly to teachers in East Palo Alto and east Menlo Park. EPAKF serves approximately 4,500 students from 11 schools, addressing the serious educational funding gap in the community. This group also received a grant from our club in 2010. Nominated by Jacqueline Wid- mar Stewart.

Random Acts of Flowers: $2,000

Random Acts of Flowers of Silicon Valley receives flower donations from event venues, churches, grocery stores and forists - flowers that otherwise would go to a landfill. Volunteers make lovely arrangements (using donated vases) and deliver them to local hospitals, nursing homes, and health care facilities. Random Acts of Flowers’ mission is to bring moments of kindness in the form of a beautiful floral bouquet. Our recipients’ joy is enough to justify our work, but these deliveries have also been clinically proven to have a positive effect on health and well-being.Nominated by Margaret Carney. 

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40 Pounds of Play Dough!

Having fun while helping others!

Having fun while helping others!

On April 26, 2017, the Outreach Committee sponsored a volunteer project at the Clubhouse. Fourteen Club members showed up and really went to town! We made 40 pounds of play-dough for the kids in the 10 Books A Home program. 10 Books a Home distributes over 350 pounds of play-dough every year to kids, who use it to learn counting and express their creativity.After we cleaned up our play-dough mess, we assembled 20 beautiful gift bags for the moms at Haven Family House. ese gift bags (containing pampering soaps, lotions and other goodies) were given to the moms at our annual May Mothers Dinner, where Outreach volunteers cook and serve an elegant meal to the hard-working resident moms at Haven Family House 

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Palo Alto without a Woman’s Club would have been like a springtime without its showers and its flowers....”

 This reprinted History Corner article, written in December 1998 by Jeanne Farr McDonnell, recounts how the Club introduced physical education into Palo Alto schools and the involvement of members in the Club’s financial affairs.

As we transcribe early Club minutes, the History Committee is intrigued at how club lectures coincided with or fostered projects – some quite ambitious — like the gymnasium the Woman's Club sponsored that successfully introduced physical education to Palo Alto schools.

Children’s welfare was a frequent topic. [Two such lectures were]: Mrs. Alona Glasgow on “Art in the Public Schools,” and Mrs. Florence Bolton and Dr. Clelia Mosher on “Physical Culture.” In response, the Club undertook to provide art assistance to the schools, a project that paid its own way, and a physical culture project [a gymnasium] that did not.

A 1905 report to the board on the gym’s financial difficulties explained that the committee had hired William Sloan, “by far the best Physical Instructor in this part of the Country,” rented space, and purchased equipment, anticipating that “a few years experience will convince both parents and students that Physical Education is a vital necessity. The Woman’s Club can then turn over its apparatus to the School authorities or a town association, as it has turned over the Library to the Town authorities.”

The report went on to explain that working with the “University, the County Board of Education, the town School Board, the High School teachers, and the High School Boys,” took a year and, though now the school board had agreed to begin paying a per-student fee, it did not cover expenses, much less recoup the previous investment.

The Club board had not supervised the project and was dismayed at bills of $416 and a lawsuit for rent of a similar amount. A newspaper account the following spring gallantly called it a “sorry plight,” encouraging businesses to assist “that estimable body ” because Palo Alto without a Woman’s Club would have been like a springtime without its showers and its flowers....”  The Club took out a bank loan and was still paying on the debt five years later.

The episode affected later events. In 1916, the Club empowered a Clubhouse Building Committee to en-ngage architect Charles Hodges and contractor Frank Fox. Twenty-seven members resigned – many had been longtime Club leaders – undoubtedly fearful of another painful bout with indebtedness. The gymnasium debacle educated members about financial over- sight better than any lecture. [In 1916, members were thankful] to the committee for knowing its business and working conscientiously with and for the Club.

— Jeanne Farr McDonnell 

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Woman's Club member, Dr. Clelia Duel Mosher

Dr. Clelia Duel Mosher — Women’s Rights Activist, Doctor, Scientist, Professor

Woman's Club member Dr. Clelia Duel Mosher (1863-1940) was the first woman in Palo Alto to cast a vote for emancipation. Mosher’s life was devoted to disproving Victorian stereotypes of females as “frail” and therefore incapapable of male accomplishments. She first tackled these stereotypes when her physician father thought her too delicate to attend college. 

Clelia turned his greenhouse into a florist shop and within eight years was able to attend and pay for college without her parents’ approval. She never looked back. 

While at the University of Wisconsin, Mosher designed a nine-page survey concerning the sexual practices and attitudes of Victorian women. It took 30 years to complete and was never published in her lifetime. Had it been, it might have ended her career, as its sensational findings rival those of Kinsey in their repudiation of outdated notions of female sexuality. Among her respondents: 75% engaged in weekly sex, 80% desired intercourse and 72% experienced orgasm. One even suggested that lack of orgasm was because “Men have not been properly trained.” 

At Johns Hopkins Medical School, Mosher researched menstruation. The medical establishment viewed menses as an incapacitating disease requiring bed rest. She postulated that it was a natural bodily function whose discomfort resulted not from disease but rather from societal expectations of pain, poor diet, impractical clothing and insufficient exercise. She invented exercises called “moshers” intended to strengthen core abdominal muscles. 

Thwarted from completing her gynecological surgery internship because no man would work as her surgical assistant, Mosher returned to Palo Alto and set up a general medicine practice. Her clients were few, as female physicians were accepted only as obstetricians or pediatricians. Forced to supplement her income, she taught high school, worked for Palo Alto’s Health Department during the typhoid epidemic and ultimately returned to Stanford as medical adviser to women. Here Mosher developed a large library for her students on nutrition, health, sexual anatomy and feminist teachings. She organized the first women’s athletic competitions with Berkeley. In 1911, as the first woman to vote for suffrage in Palo Alto, Clelia humorously suggested that voting might solve all female health problems. 

During World War I, Clelia served in France as a Medical Investigator for Children’s Relief. Returning to Stanford in 1922, she became a full professor in 1928. Stanford conferred professorships to women only at retirement because they did not consider them to be full-fledged academics, but only teachers of female students. Dr. Clelia Mosher would certainly have been first in line to vote on November 8, 2016. 

— Margaret R. Feuer

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Cookery: Choice Recipes collected by The Woman’s Club of Palo Alto

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Cookery: Choice Recipes collected by The Woman’s Club of Palo Alto

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Twenty-four women organized the Woman’s Club of Palo Alto in 1894. Ten years later, the women were a strong enough organization that they planned to build their own clubhouse. In 1904, they bought the lot at the corner of Homer and Cowper for $1,125. It took the women of the club another 12 years to raise the $5,300 to build the building. They gave concerts, held food markets, hosted costume parties, featured speakers such as Helen Keller. One of their early fundraisers was a collection of club members’ recipes.

Two copies of the cookbook, Cookery, remain in the archives of the Palo Alto Historical Association at Cubberley.

However, in order to follow the recipes, one needs to translate directions to the 21st century:

  • A peck of strawberries = 4 dry quarts; half a peck = two dry quarts
  • A little thickening = a tablespoon or two of flour or cornstarch mixed in a half cup water “Mash through a sieve” = Use a food mill
  • A quart can of tomatoes = Does not exist. Use a 28 oz. can plus one more half cup
  • A “well seasoned tomato sauce” = probably use marinara sauce
  • A quick oven = I am guessing an oven heated to 400 degrees

The recipe for Chicken Broth calls for, “An old hen makes the best broth. Cut up and put into pot with 2 quarts cold water. Simmer 6 or 7 hours in a ‘closely covered’ vessel. When the meat begins to leave the bones, take the chicken from the pot, strip off meat, crack the bones, and return all to the pot... Strain through cloth when hot, and skim off all fat when cold...”

Not attractive to today’s cooks would be “Sweet Bread Salad”. The directions say to boil “sweet breads” for 20 minutes, plunge them into cold water, then remove “the membranes and little pipes, cut into dice; lay by tablespoons on crisp lettuce leaves; cover with mayonnaise.” Mrs. Addie Wershing submitted this recipe, and at least 50 other women contributed recipes to the cookbook. – Vicki Sullivan

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Lewis Hines Exhibit at The Cantor Through October 30, 2016

On October 7, 2016 the Museum Friday interest group visited The Cantor Museum at Stanford for the exhibit "Soulmaker: The Times of Lewis Hine".  This exhibit continues through Oct 30th.  We received a special lecture by the exhibit curator, Alexander Nemerov, Carl and Marilynn Thoma Provostial Professor in the Arts and Humanities and Chair of the Department of Art & Art History, Stanford University.

One hundred years ago, the photographer Lewis Hine travelled to mills and factories in New England and the South, photographing child laborers. His photographs are among the most haunting images of children ever made. In this exhibition, a beautiful selection of Hine’s child-labor photographs is juxtaposed with stunning contemporary photographs taken by photographer Jason Francisco (Stanford M.F.A., ’89) of those same mill and factory sites as they look now. The Lewis Hine photos helped sway Congress to pass a child labor law in 1916.  At that time child labor was regulated by state law and every state had different rules. There were an estimated two million working children under the age of sixteen and some as young as five. 

Congress did not abolish child labor in 1916.  It simply barred the movement of goods across state lines if they were produced by children under the age of 14, children who worked more than 8 hours per day or who worked more than 6 days a week.  In 1918 the Supreme Court struck down the 1916 law as unconstitutional as per the Tenth Amendment of the Constitution.  This Supreme Court ruling stood until 1941 when it was overturned in the case of U.S. versus Darby.   

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