Oak Brook Women’s Club Over 80 Years

By Marcia J. Spingola / President OBWC

In the early 1960’s the Oak Brook Women’s Club was more of a welcoming committee to people moving to this particular suburb from the Chicagoland area. In 1967, it was formally founded as the Oak Brook Women’s Club. At that time, Oak Brook was a burgeoning community of new businesses, residents and schools looking to establish roots in what was surely to become a very popular and highly desirable destination. The women of the OBWC were young mothers and homemakers looking to forge friendships and engage in like minded activities while their young children were in school. Moving forward in time, many of those young women evolved into professions taking them out of the home and into the business world as well as the political arena. Members such as Karen Sherman Bushy who served as the first Village President, served two terms as President of the DuPage Mayor’s and Managers, Charlotte Pruss and Linda Gonnella have both served in the capacity of Village Clerk for several terms. Kathy Maher was President of Maher Lumber and in her spare time almost single handedly turned a crumbling school building into a museum dedicated to the history and development of Oak Brook We also have members involved in the fine arts, most notably Rebecca Childers Caleel, Sculptor, whose pieces are much sought after and appear in private homes and government buildings.

Ms. Renee Rosen signs autographs after her lecture on “The Social Graces”

Other members took career paths in the private sector; corporate attorneys, physicans, PHD’s, accountants and college administrators among others. Another faction of the club and no less important are members who built stellar careers in the volunteer world; giving of their time in local hospitals, elementary schools and community outreach. Over the years the OBWC has made philanthropic donations to various Oak Brook organizations and causes such as: providing protective vests to the Police Department, new stretchers for the Fire and Ambulance Department, display cases for the Library and monetary donations to the Heritage Center. To keep our friendships strong and our network viable, the OBWC provides members and guests with a monthly luncheon and live program at one of Oak Brook’s many fine restaurants and venues. Our membership has a variety of interests and we provide entertainment based on those interests. We have featured Jorge Holmes and Diva Montell, historic re enactors, Leslie Goddard and Martina Mathisen, concert violinist Jennifer Silk, national authors Renee Rosen and Diane Henrique, rock star ex pat Jorie Butler Kent, Leslie Hindman Auctioneers, Native American Silver expert, Janet Scott Peterson, news anchor Ben Bradley and the list goes on. We also feature activity groups which are the heart of the Oak Brook Women’s Club. For instance, we offer, bridge, mah jongg, theatre, various gourmet groups, fine arts, tennis, 9 and 18 hole golf, bowling, book review and studio arts and a common thread. We truly believe we have something for every one. Our club is as diverse in our ages, activities and functions as is our community which we so proudly support. This is our 57th year and we continue to welcome new members who are residents of Oak Brook. For membership information, please contact Debbie Stangarone at [email protected]

*Photos by Marcello Rodarte