By Melinda Gray
The Marco Island Woman’s Club (MIWC) was formed in1966 by 16 friends who shared the desire to help support the people of Marco Island and various non-profit groups. Today, the civic-minded organization is an active social network for the women of Marco Island. The club is comprised of roughly 180 women who live on the island at least 6 months out of the year.
The MIWC boasts a long history of helping the community and providing scholarships to Marco Island high school students. This year, two very popular club events helped raise money for their education fund: January’s sold-out Luncheon and Fashion Show at Hideaway Beach featuring Chico’s fashions; and the 14th Annual Home Tour and Fashion Show by Kay’s on the Beach, which also sold out in March.
The MIWC Educational Foundation was formed in 1988 with a generous donation from former club member Signe Gleich. In 2011, the first Verne Caborris Scholarship was awarded for $12,000 after a sizable donation from former member, Verne Caborris.
Each year, educational scholarships are awarded from fundraisers and the interest income from invested endowment funds. To date, more than $370,000 in scholarships has been awarded to Marco Island students. The scholarships are based on a student’s grades, volunteer work in the community and financial need.
“Our scholarship fund is one of our most important projects. We’ve provided hundreds of scholarships to Marco Island students over the years,” said club president, Debbie Roddy.
Their wealth of community contributions include, but are not limited to founding the Marco Island Public Library; donating funds to the Marco Health Care Center and the Naples Community Hospital; and initiating the movement for beautification of the island and the original youth center, now the YMCA. Between 2012 and 2013 the club made donations totaling $25,000 to various local civic and health organizations.
Meetings are held at 11:30 am on the first Wednesday of the month between October and May at the Marco Island Yacht Club. Year-round residents meet for lunch throughout the summer. For more information please visit their website at www.marcowomansclub.com.