Family Service Association staff and volunteers, from the Palo Alto Historical Association photo archive.

Family Service Association staff and volunteers, from the Palo Alto Historical Association photo archive.

In 1941 a group of young women ages 16-24 became the first members of the Junior Woman’s Club of Palo Alto.  Meetings and activities were “very lively” and conducted in the clubhouse but  separately from the Palo Alto Woman’s Club group.  A sponsor was required for membership.  The membership was not limited in number..  A recent conversation with a long time PA resident, Mrs. Albert Santos (Lois) now age 90 and Junior Club member from 1953-56, revealed a very memorable time  of many activities, social events and fundraisers.  At age 35 you were required to leave the club and most junior members had no desire to move on to the “older group’!  In all social articles and newspaper accounts of activities, the women were never listed by their first name, always “Mrs.” followed by the husband’s name. Articles preserved in scrapbooks at the PAWC document the exuberance of the young members and their many accomplishments.  In 1948 most of these young women were moms and wives.  They started a play school program that was eventually taken over by the State Adult Education Department. 25-30 interest groups were formed within the group.  Family Service Association, Blood Bank donations with reserve for members, library assistance, youth organizations including the Conga Room for teens at Lucie Stern Center, Save the Children’s Federation, PA Servicemen’s League, Paly Sports Boosters, youth talent exhibits and science fairs were some of the many group activities.  In the 50’s, “Build a Better Community” was an annual theme and “Bloody Bayshore”…”Stop the Massacre” proponents for speedy completion of the Hwy 101 were big projects.   Very successful fundraisers that included fashion shows, teas, drama productions, art shows, music performances and lectures supported all these programs.  These young women were indeed “lively”!   Boots Gould, a 50-year member of the PAWC, says that this Junior Group was active until about 1988.    Submitted by,   Lolly Osborne

 

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