On Jan. 10, 1966, a group of 14 women met in the “Clyo Clubroom,” a vacant grocery store in Clyo. Most of them had been members of the Clyo Home Demonstration Club, affiliated with the state of Georgia through the Extension Service. It was their desire not to be affiliated with the state agency.
The charter members were: Edna Allen, Jaunita Allen, Evelyn Arden, Eva Crenshaw, Shirley Exley, Carolyn Exley (Seckinger), Marie Exley, Marsha Exley (Buckley), Maude Gnann, Margaret Groover, Caryl Morgan, Carolyn Morgan, Julia Rahn and Linda Rahn.
The purpose of the organization included projects in homemaking to improve the community, sharing resources to do for others, fund scholarships for education and to enjoy good fellowship.
They sponsor a $500 annual club scholarship as well as a $500 scholarship for the 4-H Club by raffling quilts they have made. They contribute to many organizations including: Clyo Fire Department, American Cancer Society, Diabetes Foundation and others.
Contributions were given by the Homemakers to many projects including funding for individuals to get transplants and misfortunes such as fire or tornado damage assisting families.
Club members provide Thanksgiving baskets for shut-ins and adopt a family in need for Christmas. They have sponsored inactive members as pals in the nursing home. Clyo Homemakers furnish a birthday party for the residents of Effingham Extended Care and have given them items like new bibs and a Christmas tree.
The Homemakers met for years in the former “Bob Metzger Store” without kitchen or restroom facilities utilizing the depot for bathrooms or meeting sometimes in individual homes. They paid taxes on the property, furnished it, cut the grass, etc. Their dream was to have their own building. In June 1991, they became incorporated and soon after purchased the lot north of the Clyo Fire Department. The .7 acre lot had been the site of the home and office of Dr. William Wyburg Smith.
In February 1993, they accepted a bid from Harvey Kieffer to build a 32-foot by 50-foot building. They had to obtain a small loan on the building for funds not raised through fundraisers. The official ribbon cutting ceremony was held on June 22, 1993, at the first meeting in the new clubhouse. By June 1996, the loan had been paid and they burned the note at a family night supper meeting.
Their sources of income over the years include: white elephant sales, catered meals, afghan sales, bake sales, auctions, quilt sales, Stanley and Tupperware parties, barbecue dinners, yard sales and regular sales of cards, knives, cookbooks, etc. The club has published three cookbooks since 1976 that are used regularly by many cooks and are still requested. Their last one is still available.
Over the years, the club has lost many special members who have passed away and their contributions will never be forgotten. This active group continues to serve their community in many generous ways and has made a difference in the lives of citizens all over Effingham County and beyond.
This article was written by Susan Exley of Historic Effingham Society. If you have questions, comments or photos to share, please call her at 754-6681 or email: email@example.com