Cresskill Woman's Club of GFWC

Click here to edit subtitle

The Cresskill Woman's Club began in March 1957 when Mrs. Leonard Pieper and Mrs. Joseph Arnold organized and founded the Cresskill Junior Woman's Club with a charter membership of 22.  The Club was sponsored by the Dumont Woman's Club and became a member of the NJSFWC in May of 1957 with Mrs. Pieper serving as the Club's first president.  During the 1960-1961 Club year, the Club changed from a junior club to a woman's club in order to open membership to women of all ages. Over the next 60 years the Club upheld its motto of "others" by providing scholarships, helping those in need through volunteer hours and financial assistance, as well as supporting NJSFWC projects.

The CWC is a non-profit organization that provides its members with opportunities to attend interesting programs at monthly meetings, attend conferences and other Federation events. Fundraising is essential for the success of both the club and federation projects.  Having fun while raising money is one way the Club has been able to uphold its motto "others" which is the Club's primary goal - service to others.  Many of the same fundraisers in the past still work today, yet new ones over the years have been developed to assist the Club in meeting its goals.

Federation History

There had always been religious organizations for women who had banded together for charitable and missionary work.  Women also worked in groups as auxiliaries to men's organizations as early as the 1820's, and fostered cultural activities in frontier communities.  By the 1830's, there were attempts in the northeast by women to affect community life.  These were stirred up by efforts to eliminate prostitution and were led by female moral reformers.  By the mid-19th Century, a handful of women were beginning to organize on behalf of Women's Suffrage.  For many women, this idea was too radical and the proponents too strident.  An alternate approach was desired.

In March 1868, a newspaper writer, Jane Cunningham Croly, who wrote under the pen name "Jenny June", was refused admission, because she was a woman, to a dinner given by the Press Club of New York honoring the visiting Charles Dickens.  Her indignation was such that she interested some of her friends in forming a club for women, which was named "Sorosis" - a collective fruit formed by the union of many flowers.  Sorosis was not the first Woman's Club in existence, but is always referred to as the "Mother Club."

By 1890 there were 97 women's clubs in existence and their representatives were invited to a meeting in New York to create a permanent organization.  GFWC - The General Federation of Women's Clubs was born.  The first president of GFWC was Charlotte Emerson Brown of Orange, NJ.  Ella Dietz Clymer, President of Sorosis, first stated the GFWC motto, "Unity in Diversity" in 1889.  The national headquarters is located on N Street in Washington, D.C.

New Jersey State Federation of Women's Clubs

The NJSFWC was born on November 16, 1894 when approximately 150 women representing 36 clubs met in Union Hall in Orange, NJ.  Before the day had ended, a constitution and bylaws had been written and adopted and officers elected.  Margaret T. Yardley was the first president.  The NJSFWC is one of the few states to have its own Headquarters building.  It is centrally located in New Brunswick on the Douglass College campus.  The collection of trading stamps had raised half the funds for the building.


New Jersey State Federation of Women's Clubs of GFWC - Palisades District

Club Colors - Pink and White

Club Motto "Others"  Club Flower - Carnation

Annual Dues 2018-2019 - $35.00

Meeting Place:  Cresskill Senior Center

                          38 Spring St., Cresskill

Meeting Time:  Promptly at 7:30 pm

Meeting Date:  Third Tuesday of the Month

Charter Members - Geraldine Lehmann, Toni Mele, Elaine Spagnola

President:  Carol Handy

(201) 768-0997

E-mail: [email protected]


Pinwheel garden at Cresskill Library for Prevent Child Abuse Month in April 2018