The History of the Valley of the Moon, California, Alumnae Club
In 1953, 10 Pi Phis from Sonoma County, California, began the process of becoming a chartered Pi Beta Phi alumnae club under the name of Valley of the Moon. Grand Council pointed out that the club’s county, Sonoma, would determine the club name. With firm insistence, the club’s wome pursued their desire to be recognized for Jack London’s beloved “Valley of the Moon.” The club’s region would encompass Napa and small towns west and north of Santa Rosa. Club members and guests celebrated 50 years of Pi Phi friendship in the Valley of the Moon with a “Wine Shine” in a lovely garden setting on August 17, 2003.
The club holds monthly meetings on the third Wednesday of the month, featuring dessert and a Pi Phi theme. Younger members promoted luncheon meetings, which further increased the club’s membership. Each year members have enjoyed monthly gatherings with guest speakers, many of whom have been club members. Other favorite events include theater outings, wine country picnics and the very special couple’s holiday party in December.
During the early years of the club, members promoted literacy projects such as visiting nursery and preschool classes to read to the students. In 2003, members found enthusiasm for the new reading program, Champions Are Readers®(CAR), presented at the 2003 Convention in Anaheim, California. For the next 11 years, members presented their month-long October and March CAR programs to third graders in Santa Rosa’s West Steele Lane School, where English is often the second language in the home. Members were proud to have non-Pi Phi friends help with this wonderful project, which continued until 2014.
Awards and Club Recognition
- Arrowcraft Award (1995)
- Club of Superior Performance (2007, 2009, 2011, 2012, 2013)
- Excellence in Literacy Initiatives (2007)
- Ideal Alumnae Club, Alpha-Gamma Province (1999)
- Most Improved Alumnae Club, Alpha-Epsilon Province (1996)
- Pi Beta Phi Fraternity Certificate of Honorable Mention: 1991–1992 Yearbook
- Mary Kahlenberg Schroeder, Pi Phi Convention Coordinator for five biennial conventions (1982–1993) and Alpha-Epsilon Alumnae Province President for two consecutive terms (1992–1996)
- Mary Anne Riddick Cesario, Chairman for Undergraduate Scholarship Applications (1995–1997)