GENEVA – Members of the Mothers Club of Geneva acknowledge the name of their organization might give people the wrong impression about what they do.
They neither sit around and knit, they said, nor do they focus on establishing playgroups for their kids. Some members aren't even mothers.
No, these women are focused on philanthropy.
Gathered Sunday afternoon at The Sugar Path in downtown Geneva for their winter membership drive, members talked about their contributions to the Fox Valley. They donate money to such organizations as the St. Peter Food Pantry and Fox Valley Hospice and also give their time to places such as the Northern Illinois Food Bank and Mutual Ground, where they recently gave the shelter's therapy room a makeover.
"We find lots of ways to give back to the community," member Nikki Spitzer said, noting the club also annually awards $10,000 in scholarships to Geneva High School seniors.
But the club isn't able to give through its members' efforts alone. It relies on the community to support its biggest fundraisers: the holiday arts and crafts show at Geneva High School and the spring fashion show set for April 14 at Riverside Receptions.
"The more generous the community is, the more generous we're able to be," fashion show organizer Lisa Adair said.
Philanthropy has been at the heart of the Mothers Club of Geneva since the five women founded the organization in February 1940, according to the club's website.
"Originally calling itself The Young Mother’s Club of Geneva, the group's focus and purpose was the same then as it is today, that of attaining true happiness in family life through learning, fellowship and philanthropy," the website states.
Now, members said, the club has about four dozen members.
Membership drives are usually held in the winter and summer, though the club always welcomes new members, Spitzer said. The annual fee is $25, she said, and there are no requirements in regards to residency or meeting attendance. Members can also participate in social outings, which sometimes include children and husbands.
"It's a fun group of ladies, for sure," Spitzer said.
For more information, visit www.mothersclubofgeneva.org or find the club on Facebook under Mothers Club of Geneva.