LGHWC holds craft fair, donates to charity of the year

Isabel Tuisl, Website/ Social Media co-editor

About 70 vendors set their booths up in the auditorium of Highlands Middle School for the 24th annual La Grange Highlands Woman’s Club (LGHWC) craft fair on Nov. 17, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. This free event consisted of raffles, a bake sale, handmade products for purchase, a food court and more.

Every year the Woman’s Club members vote to select a charity that supports the local area or the western suburbs of Chicago, to which all funds raised amounts are donated, Phyllis Osborn, former President and currently in charge of the volunteers for this year’s craft show said. This amount has reached $10,000 in some years. The 2018 charity is Dare2tri, an Illinois-based non-profit organization with the mission to positively impact the lives of athletes with physical disabilities and visual impairments by developing their skills in Paratriathlon, according to its’ website.

Dare2Tri supports three women from Western Springs. One woman is Melissa Stockwell, an Army Vet who lost her leg in Iraq, co-founder of Dare2Tri, Vice President of the LGHWC and Bronze Medal winner of the 2016 Paratriathlon in Rio, Osborn said.

Each year the LGHWC also provides grant money to local organizations like Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts, $500 to LT prom, $2,000 scholarships to two LT seniors, and $1,000 to District 106, Osborn said. The LT awards are presented at the Senior Assembly in May and while higher priority is given to children of Woman’s Club members, anyone can apply. The LT Selection Committee chooses the winners of the two awards. As the club’s membership boundaries are aligned with D106, the LGHWC also presents a necklace to a graduating HMS eighth grader that emulates kindness, leadership and volunteer work, at their Awards Assembly. The money donated to D106 has been used in a variety of ways. One year, the money was used to purchase iPads for Special Ed students in D106.

“I enjoy being a member of this club,” Osborn said. “What is the most rewarding is our end-of-year dinner when we award a check to the charity from all our fundraising efforts. At this dinner, we also award grants to other organizations in the area. It is meaningful to me to be a part of helping others.”

The LGHWC is open to women of all ages who live in the boundaries of D106 and enjoy volunteer work.