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Canoga Park Women's Club (Canoga Park, Los Angeles, Calif.) (1914-) | Special Collections & Archives

Name: Canoga Park Women's Club (Canoga Park, Los Angeles, Calif.) (1914-)

Historical Note:

The first meeting of the Owensmouth Women’s Club was held on October 30, 1914 at the home of Mrs. Fred Balster. Officers were elected and a committee was established to draw up the new organization's Constitution and By-Laws. In 1915, the Owensmouth Women's Club became the youngest organization to be admitted to the California Federation of Women's Clubs and later became incorporated in 1916. The 1916 Constitution and By-laws of the Owensmouth Women's Club states, "The purpose of this club is to promote interest in intellectual pursuits; to become a center for broader social life and to work unitedly for the general advancement of both club and community." When the town of Owensmouth adopted “Canoga Park” as its new name, the club followed suit, and became the Canoga Park Women’s Club.

One of the first issues to come before the Canoga Park Women's Club was the establishment of the Owensmouth Free Public Library. Women's clubs participated in the establishment and the hourly work for these libraries. Canoga Park Women's Club volunteers manned the library on Tuesdays and Thursdays between 2 – 5:00 PM. The 150 original books at the new library were soon augmented by donations made by club members. Beautification of Canoga Park also became a theme for the clubwomen who planted trees and held horticulture-related events at Orcutt Rancho on Roscoe Boulevard. Canoga Park clubwomen also participated in Pennies for Pines, and worked tirelessly to reforest national areas, in and around San Francisco.

Canoga park Women’s Club meetings were a combination of business and a variety of educational programs, such police talks, gardening in the Valley, 'women's work,' Los Angeles Philharmonic music speakers, fashion style films, Los Angeles relief, wildflowers and native plants, holiday fetes, as well as arts and crafts demonstrations. The Canoga Park Women's Club supported a variety of philanthropic endeavors and during WWII, they "did their bit" for the troops overseas by hosting tables of ten at numerous bridge parties, the proceeds going to the war effort. A watermelon party was held in July of 1942 at the United Services Organization (USO) where a pool table was presented to the Soldiers with money that had been raised by clubwomen. The annual White Breakfast signified the beginning of each holiday season where toys, gifts, food and donations were collected for local Canoga Park charities. A charitable component at each event helped support the community libraries, health organizations, and the Guadalupe Youth Center, which was a favorite of the Canoga Park clubwomen.

In the 1970's the Canoga Park Women's Club affiliated with women’s clubs nationwide to "declare war on rape. As the numbers rapes continued to increase in every major city in the United States, each state federation of women's clubs set about to change their own state laws. The Canoga Park Women's Club worked to increase awareness and trained their club members in rape counseling so they could attend local court sessions to be a comfort to victims.

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