CL Woman’s Club donates $16,000 to community, local organizations

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The Canyon Lake Woman’s Club presented a total of $16,000 to 14 local groups and organizations at its June meeting. The Woman’s Club, a non-profit 501(3)(c) philanthropic organization, was formed in 1972. Since it’s inception, the club has been dedicated to the enrichment of Canyon Lake and to help those in need.

Every year, the club’s Philanthropy Committee chooses what they deem to be the worthy causes that will help Canyon Lake and the surrounding communities. The club has donated more than $300,000 to local charities and individuals less fortunate.

Dedication to the betterment of the city of Canyon Lake is a cornerstone of the Woman’s Club philanthropy. This year, three Canyon Lake groups received donations from the Woman’s club which will benefit the city and its residents: Canyon Lake POA, Canyon Lake Emergency Preparedness Committee and Friends of the Library.

The POA received $3,000 to go towards a park bench at Sunset Beach near the playground and trees to be planted at the dog park at East Port Park.

The club donated $2,250 to the Canyon Lake Emergency Preparedness Committee, a group of dedicated individuals who coordinate with local, county and state agencies to help keep the city functioning during a state of emergency and provides vital necessities for residents affected by disaster.

Friends of the Library received $1,250. Friends of the Library, is a group founded by the Woman’s Club in the 70’s and led to an on-going financial sponsorship program to manage the development and growth of the Canyon Lake Library. In it’s infancy, the Woman’s Club rented a space, paid the utilities and club volunteers staffed the library, which eventually became part of the Riverside County Library System.

Every year, the Woman’s Club shows its appreciation of military veterans and their families through giving. This year, the club gave to four veterans organizations: Flag Mama, Honor Flight, U.S. VETS Inland Empire and 4 Paws 4 Patriot.

Flag Mama is not an organization or group per se, but was the name given to Laura Froehlich, a former Air Force veteran who made it her mission to greet military personnel heading off to and returning from war zones.

Laura was present for several thousand flights and would provide hugs, handshakes and words of appreciation to military personnel at March Air Reserve Base. She organized a reception area, called Hanger 385, and stocked it with snacks, books, a pool table and televisions.

Flag Mama passed away in August of 2012, but the tradition of showing appreciation and giving back to the troops continues with her husband Lawrence, a former U.S. Air Force veteran, daughter Laurice and grandchildren. Following in her parents’ footsteps, Laurice is serving in the U.S. Air Force. The club’s $1,000 donation was donated on behalf of Flag Mama to keep the tradition alive.

Honor Flight is a Veteran’s non-profit organization whose mission is to transport America’s Veterans to Washington, D.C., to visit those memorials dedicated to honor the service and sacrifice of themselves and their friends. The $1,000 donation they received from the Woman’s Club will enable more veterans to travel to Washington, D.C.

U.S. VETS Inland Empire received a $1,250 donation from the Woman’s Club. U.S. VETS is a private non-profit organization providing military veterans with housing, employment assistance and access to mental and physical health services. U.S. VETS serves all branches of the Armed Forces who have served their country from World War II to the current conflict in Afghanistan. Personnel from U.S. VETS actively seek out homeless veterans and guide them to crucial services that might help alleviate the challenges they face after returning from war zones.

The club donated $500 to 4 Paws 4 Patriots, a non-profit organization established to provide service dogs and training to disabled veterans at no cost. By partnering with local animal shelters, rescues, volunteers and trainers the staff at 4 Paws 4 Patriots is able to provide life changing services to veterans while making the most out of every dollar donated.

Another mission of the Woman’s Club is to support local organizations in the surrounding cities. The Woman’s Club gave to three Lake Elsinore organizations that are dedicated to helping families and youth: Student and Family Essential Resources (SAFER), Helping Our People in Elsinore (HOPE) and Cops For Kids.

The club gave $1250 to SAFER, a program offered by the Lake Elsinore School District whose mission is to connect staff, students, families and community resources that will lead to student success. The group primarily works with families of students with attendance and behavior concerns and acts as a referral service in order to improve attendance and chances for learning.

HOPE received $500 from the Woman’s Club. HOPE is a non-profit organization that has been in existence for more than 20 years and assists displaced and less fortunate people in southwest Riverside County who need basic necessities. HOPE provides food, clothing and other basic items to more than 1400 families (5,000 individuals) each month, including families in Canyon Lake.

The organization is an all volunteer group that was formed by several area churches. It has approximately 250 volunteers that run the organization’s food pantry, Fresh Rescue, USDA commodities and clothing programs.

The Woman’s Club donated $500 to Cops For Kids Lake Elsinore. The organization, founded in 1995 by two deputies, assists children, seniors and families that find themselves in difficult situations. Cops For Kids helps by providing essentials such as clothing, transportation costs to school or work, temporary housing for displaced families, youth activity funding and educational costs. Being a local organization with low overhead and no red tape enables Cops For Kids to respond quickly to those in need.

Canyon Lake’s contract animal shelter, Animal Friends of the Valleys (AFV), received a $750 donation. Animal Friends of the Valleys, located in Wildomar, is a non-profit organization that offers animals for adoption and provides animal control services to the surrounding cities. The Friday Flyer features available pets at Animal Friends of the Valleys in the weekly Adopt-A-Pet section.

Canine Support Teams of Menifee received $500. Canine Support Teams is a non-profit organization providing specially trained service dogs to support the personal, social and occupational independence of people with disabilities. The service dogs allow people with disabilities to live independently and provide loving companionship to their owners.

Hospice of the Valleys was the recipient of $1,000 from the Woman’s Club. Founded in 1982, Hospice of the Valleys provides loving, comfortable end-of-life pain relieving care.

Michelle’s Place received $1250 from the Woman’s Club. The organization, located in Temecula, provides support and resources to women battling breast cancer, including Canyon Lake women. Michelle’s Place, founded in 2001, is named after Michelle Watson who succumbed to breast cancer at the age of 26.

Michelle had wished for a place in her community where she could receive comfort, talk to breast cancer survivors, get the latest information on treatment options, clinical developments and coping methods. Michelle’s friends and family honored her wish by creating Michelle’s Place.

In addition to donating $16,000 to the organizations mentioned, the club awarded a total of $15,000 in scholarships in June to 10 Canyon Lake students.

The Woman’s Club is one of the oldest clubs in Canyon Lake. With a membership of more than 200 women, it’s also one of the largest clubs in Canyon Lake. The Fashion Show, Mermaid Festival and Holiday Home Tour are among the events the club puts on annually for the community.

The club also helps families in need during the holidays with Thanksgiving and Christmas baskets, donates toys to the Spark of Love Toy Drive through the local fire department and accepts coat donations for kids and veterans in need.

The Woman’s Club meets in the Holiday Bay Room at the lodge on the third Wednesday of every month from September through June. Vendor hour is from 9 to 10 a.m.; meeting begins at 10 a.m. Lunch is $14. For membership information, contact Kathy Ray at 858-449-7297 or kathyray82@hotmail.com.

To learn more about the Woman’s Club events and philanthropy projects, visit canyonlakewomansclub.com.

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