SHEPHERDSVILLE — On Saturday, March 18, beginning at 11:30 am, the Bullitt County Woman’s Club will host its 49th annual Irene Carroll Scholarship Luncheon and Style Show at Paroquet Springs Conference Centre.
The event is a way to honor and celebrate three students, one from each area high school, who are receiving a $3,000 college scholarship from the Woman’s Club. It’s also a fundraiser to collect funds for future scholarship recipients.
This year the scholarships and styles are not all the club will celebrate. The luncheon will be the first major event during its official 100th anniversary year. The theme is “One hundred years of empowering women.”
The club is already scheduling and planning special events for 2023, with the anniversary prevalent in their minds and hearts. In fact, the club participated in a special activity involving their other great interest, the local public library system.
In honor of March being designated as Women’s History Month, the club will be featured in a new historical display at the Bullitt County Public Library’s Central Library location in Shepherdsville.
A display case, located within the library’s history and genealogy room, will showcase various items commemorating the club’s rich history, including photographs, newspaper clippings, record books and newsletters.
Library director Tara O’Hagan and associate director Jennifer Nippert had been discussing taking over the safe keeping of the club’s official archives.
“They were in storage at the Ridgway Memorial Library location,” Nippert said. “We brought it here. There are records that include meeting minutes, photos, event programs, awards and trophies, and other various mementoes.”
O’Hagan mentioned that the library was currently providing storage for the items, which the club still owned.
According to Nippert, the library would like to begin digitizing all Woman’s Club records and documents to better protect the information. O’Hagan added that digitizing records could also allow website access of the documents to library patrons.
The offer by the library to digitize documents from 100 years of club activity is far removed from the library’s establishment almost a century ago.
Media Team and Resolutions chair Shelia Neat said the club helped to establish the original library in late 1923 and early 1924, including a donation of 500 books by Mr. W.H. Troll.
Club vice-president and 57-year member Betty Porter mentioned that the original book donations were provided by club members from their personal collections. She said the collections continued until 1954.
In the early years, club members took turns serving as librarian, and the club developed its own system to catalogue and index the books. A librarian was eventually hired in 1943. The library frequently changed locations until the establishment of Ridgway in 1963.
Club president Darlene Mann recalled participating in “Bucket Brigades” in the late 1960s and early 1970s, when school girls brought in books for the library.
“Nippert contacted me to talk about scanning and archiving our items,” Mann said. “We have precious mementoes, and to be able to partner with the library and do that was a wonderful idea.”
O’Hagan mentioned a grant the library was working on to assist with digitizing the items. Originally sought to assist with digitizing public records, library leaders realized the grant was better geared for the kind of project the Woman’s Club had in mind.
Mann, who is also a Library Board member, spoke with Nippert about the month of March and its designation as Women’s History Month. She felt the library display was a great way to show the club’s impact on the community over the past century.
O’Hagan said the display was placed in the history and genealogy room to remain in a safer location and better protect the aging items. She added that the display still remained available for public viewing.
Club members hope to create and collect more memories and mementoes showcasing its next 100 years, starting with the style show. The event was named to honor a long-time member and school teacher who promoted many club activities, including the collection of scholarship funds.
The scholarship program began in 1972 with Bullitt Central High School, and now includes Bullitt East and North Bullitt. A total of 132 scholarships have been distributed over the years, with each 2023 recipient collecting $3,000.
This year’s style show models will include past club presidents and members as part of the 100th anniversary celebration. A special commemorative presentation will also take place.
Funds from the style show benefit the scholarship program, and tickets remain available through Wednesday. To make a reservation or a scholarship donation, or for more information about the Woman’s Club, contact Porter, (502)553-2407, or Brenda Buffin, (502)428-9229.
The Bullitt County Woman’s Club invites anyone interested in joining the club to attend their monthly meetings, always scheduled on the second Monday of the month. The club’s Executive Committee meets at 6 pm, followed by social time at 6:30 and the actual meeting taking place at 7.
The next meeting is scheduled for April 10 and will be hosted at First Harrison Bank, 1612 Highway 44 East in Shepherdsville. As part of its annual commitment to celebrating the Fine Arts, local musician Donna Burke will perform at the meeting.
Other future meetings include May 8 at First Baptist Church-Mount Washington and June 12 at the Bullitt County Cooperative Extension Office.
The club will host its annual Bake Sale on May 8, with a portion of the proceeds benefitting a scholarship program for the Bullitt County Area Technology Center.
The June 12 meeting will combine the 100th anniversary celebration of the Woman’s Club with the 75th anniversary celebration of the Bullitt County Homemakers.
The Woman’s Club will feature a salad supper and membership drive on Sep. 11, a talent show and auction on Oct. 9, and a Day at the Races Nov. 18 at Churchill Downs.
An annual chili supper, benefitting the Bullitt County Sheriff’s Office Drug Abuse Resistance Education (DARE) program, will take place in the Fall at First Baptist Church Shepherdsville, coinciding with Bullitt Central High School’s annual Homecoming Parade.