The Women’s Club of Southern Butler County’s co-presidents Darcee Lyons, left, and Karen Davidson, center, stand with former president Roma Park. The trio are granddaughter, daughter and mother.
DAVE PRELOSKY/CRANBERRY EAGLE
The presidency of the Women’s Club of Southern Butler County has become something of a family heirloom to Roma Park of Middlesex Township. A member of the group for 54 years, she served a two-year term from 1976 to 1978. Now, she’s been instrumental in her daughter and granddaughter sharing the office. Karen Davidson of Mars and daughter Darcee Lyons of Seven Fields are currently serving as co-presidents of the club. Both Davidson and Lyons joined the women’s club in 2010. Davidson, a retired nursing teacher at the Beaver County Community College, said, “I always told her (Park) I would join when I retired, and she held me to it.” Lyons, an adolescent drug and alcohol therapist at Gateway Rehab in Cranberry Township, said, “Grammy asked me to. Grammy asked and I couldn’t say no.” They were elected co-presidents in 2012. “Neither one of us said we would do it alone. It’s a litte easier when there is two, not that it is hard,” said Lyons, referring to her presidential duties. “Two years ago I told Grandma. The banquet was the first event I went to. I told her, ‘You watch Grandma, I’m going to run this place in two years.’ And she said ‘That’s not the way to make friends,’ but it worked,” said Lyons. Park said it was a different time when she joined the club. “Jean Wassum, one of our presidents, a wonderful lady, she asked me to join at Shoop’s store. It was at the light at Cooperstown. It’s an upholstery place now,” said Park. She joined in 1958. Park said, “Penn Township used to be with us. We had 150 members back then. That’s when women didn’t work.” “And had to get out of the house and away from the kids,” said Davidson. Lyons said the club now has 40 to 45 active members. “We have a lot more that are in nursing homes or who have died,” she said. Park said it is hard now for women to join a club, any club. “So many women work now, and there are so many sports and so many other things that they have to take the kids to,” she said. Davidson said she had to wait until she was done teaching before she had enough time for the club. Davidson said, “Well, I always promised Mom when I retired I would join. I grew up with it and helped here. I finally had the time to be able to help.” Lyons said, “I modeled when I was younger in our fashion show and then Grandma asked me to join and I said sure. I like meeting people and doing stuff. And I get to lord it over Grandma.” The mother and daughter presidents both say they want to grow the club’s membership. Lyons said, “I want to get more younger people in the club. Mom just wants to get through it.” Not so, said Davidson. “I also want to get some people my age. We don’t have so many people my age either. We just don’t have middle-aged people, but we are working on it,” she said. Davidson said anyone interested in joining can drop by a club meeting held at 7 p.m. the second Thursday of every month at Glade Run Church, 1091 Pittsburgh Road, Valencia. Or, Lyons said, anyone interested can get a membership form from any club member. “They can meet a lot of really nice people. Very selfless people are involved in this organization,” said Lyons. Lyons said the club’s two big annual fundraisers are a fashion show at the Butler Country Club in October and selling food at the Craft Show at Mars schools in November. The club gives scholarships to the Mars School District’s top student, top vocational student and a student in need. Park said, “We said vocational kids don’t get anything.” Vocational students also need help to become beauticians or auto repairmen, said Park. The club also donates to VOICe, the Middlesex Township Volunteer Fire Department, the Humane Society and Meals on Wheels. “We try to keep most of it local,” said Davidson. In addition, she said, the club adopts a family at Christmas and sends care packages to troops stationed overseas. Davidson and Lyons said the whole membership pitches in to make these projects possible. Lyons said, “Everybody has their own role. Everybody is a hard worker. Mom and I certainly couldn’t do anything without our people.” With her daughter and granddaughter stepping down in May 2014, maybe Park would like to take another shot at the presidency? “No way. I am not ready for another term. I’m 81. I’m not ready for that again,” she said.