I recently had the fun opportunity to sit in with the Maple Grove Friendship Club at Wendy Warren’s house and tell them a little about the Old Mission Gazette. Didn’t know we had a Maple Grove Friendship Club? Neither did I! It’s like the best kept secret on the Peninsula.
And it’s such a neat, old-fashioned club, like something out of “Anne of Green Gables.” Dues were collected, meeting minutes were read, correspondence read and discussed, and at the end, a lovely vase of sunflowers, assembled by Wendy Warren, was given to one lucky club member.
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I loved every second of this meeting.
Club member RuthAnn Leppala kindly sent me some info about the group, now in its 66th year. The original group was formed from daughters and daughters-in-law of the former Senior Friendship Club of the Maple Grove area. For many years, the club was known as the Junior Friendship Club, and it’s now known as the Maple Grove Friendship Club.
Current club members include Wendy Warren, Laurie Holman, Lorelei Warren, Monica Hoffman, Mary Lyon, Dorothy Moroff, RuthAnn Leppela, Irene Hoffman, Kathy Doelker, LaVonda Buchan, Joyce McManus, Doris Young and Nancy Heller. Honorary members include Mary Shultz, Karen Buchan and Louise Kelly.
Two of the original charter members, Joyce McManus and Louise Kelly, still actively participate in the club activities, and several of the current members are lifelong natives of the Grand Traverse region.
The club members all live within the former Maple Grove School District and meet once a month from September to May, taking turns gathering in various member’s homes. In addition to being a social club, the group raises money and contributes to various causes in the region.
Through the years, donations have been made to the Father Fred Foundation, Goodwill Inn, Women’s Resource Center, Community Meals, Area Agency on Aging of NW Michigan, Salvation Army, American Legion, Arthritis Foundation, and TC High School among others. Donations have also been made to local food pantries.
Below is a photo of three of the original members of the club, taken at the annual mother-daughter potluck held at the home of Mary Lyon in February 2012. Pictured left to right are Louise Kelly, Joyce McManus, and Jean Warren. Wendy Warren is in the background on the right.
A NOTE FROM JANE: I started Old Mission Gazette in 2015 because I felt a calling to provide the Old Mission Peninsula community with local news. After decades of writing for newspapers like the New York Times and Los Angeles Times, and magazines like Family Circle and Ladies' Home Journal, I really just wanted to write about my own community where I grew up on a cherry farm and raised my own family. So of course, I started my own newspaper. Because the Gazette is mainly reader-supported, I hope you'll consider tossing a few bucks my way if I mention your event, your business, your organization or your news item, or if you simply love reading about what's happening on the Old Mission Peninsula. Check out the donation page here. Thank you so much for your support. -jb