Pelican Bay Women’s League 1996-97 Season
Officers: Left to Right: Shirley M. Varley, Vice-President, Muriel Lord, President, Cornelia Kriegh, Secretary-Interest Groups, Kathy Mann, Vice-President-Program
In 1995 Muriel Lord had the idea of creating a Pelican Bay Women’s League for the female members of the community. Muriel recruited a group of about 15 ladies to help her formulate plans for this organization to enhance the quality of life of Pelican Bay women. This small group elected a Board of Directors and was responsible for establishing the PBWL as a tax-exempt 501 C organization with Guidelines and Bylaws that are still in use today. The first Officers were Muriel Lord - President, Shirley Varley – Vice President, Finance, Kathy Mann – Vice President, Programs and Cornelia Kriegh – Secretary/ Interest Groups. The all-volunteer group’s mission was to offer social gatherings, stimulating programs and activities to enrich the spirit of the Community.
The Board decided to hold a “Welcome Coffee and Conversation” on October 18 in the Community Center to introduce ladies of Pelican Bay to the organization and invite them to become members with dues of $25 per year. They were extremely surprised when around 300 ladies showed up! They were even more surprised when membership soon grew to about 1000 women.
Jeri Bowman, Cornelia Krieg, Frieda Glasser, Jean Oram, Kvet Strakes, Dolly Turner, Aileen Marcus, J. Carol Fehling, Editor
Since communication was important, PBWL had a newsletter produced under the direction of an Editor, Carol Fehling, and a Circulation Manager, Dolly Turner. They had a staff of 10 ladies to write and collate the newsletter. Today the newsletter has no staff and the electronic newsletter is published under the direction of one person, a Newsletter Chairman.
Monthly luncheons were held with an elegant fashion show, generally at The Ritz, being the highlight of the year. In addition, an annual holiday party was sponsored and other theme social events. Interest groups were soon launched and included an Investment Club, a French group, Bookworms, Meditation, Lunch & Fun, Herbs and Gardens, Bridge, a Travel Club, and “For the Birds”. Activities eventually expanded to a Think Tank group, the Songbirds and the sponsorship of an Art Show for the Community. An Ambassador program was also started by Marilyn Connell to welcome new ladies on a personal level.
The original format of the League still exists today. Of course, Interest Groups keep changing and the Think Tank concept has now evolved into the” Women Who Make a Difference in Pelican Bay “Speakers Series. However, the founding concept still is the basis for the current PBWL’s organization of about 950 members. The women of Pelican Bay are most appreciative of the contributions of Muriel Lord and foresight of the first Board of Directors for establishing such an outstanding organization. It continues to be one of the best ways for women of Pelican Bay to make new friends, participate in stimulating activities and have fun.
Pelican Bay Former Presidents