The History of the Cleveland East, Ohio, Alumnae Club
In November of 1907, ten Pi Phis met to organize a social group which would later become the Cleveland, Ohio, Alumnae Club. The club’s involvement in philanthropy began with a $0.25 contribution to a committee working on a mountain school question in 1910, and they sent a delegate to Convention in 1912. By 1913, the club’s bylaws were drafted, and the Cleveland, Ohio, Alumnae Club was formed with dues of $0.75. Then, $10.00 was sent to Settlement School for books.
By the 1920s, the Cleveland Pi Phis were leaders in establishing the Cleveland Panhellenic. Ten sororities chose a Pi Phi for its first president and many events of note occurred. Grand President Amy Burnham Onken visited in 1927. Also, 25 Cleveland Pi Phis attended the Eastern Conference where the portrait of Grace Coolidge was given to the White House. The silver blue cord that unveiled the portrait was pulled by one of the club’s members.
Between 1920 and 1930, the Settlement School was the focus of the club’s activities. Many rummage sales and other money making projects, described as feverish, raised an average of $2,000 a year. By working together many friendships were formed, and the club members became close. In the 1940s, the war became the foremost concern. Projects centered around helping others in areas such as the United Service Organizations, the Red Cross and Pi Phi National’s War Service Committee. A junior group was formed for those out of college less than 10 years. There were joint meetings twice a year. Then in 1942, because of gasoline shortages, distance became a problem. Cleveland West, Ohio, Alumnae Club was chartered in 1944. Although separate, both clubs continued to celebrate Founders’ Day and to share other meetings and projects.
The 1950s and 1960s was a special time for friendship. Grand President Marianne Reid Wild was the speaker at Founders’ Day in 1954 and 1968. Arrowmont® and Arrowcraft became the philanthropic focus. Arrowcraft sales were held yearly as an outlet for products made in Gatlinburg’s craft community. Cleveland East, Ohio, Alumnae Club was honored for the second most sales, then nationally for top in sales for clubs of their size. To support Arrowmont, the club provided scholarships to local craftpersons. It was not all work and no play. The club has always had meetings, parties and interest groups such as out-to-lunch, bridge and book club.
Between the years of 1970 and 2000, the club’s focus turned to literacy as the club spent time donating books to hospitals, shelters and schools. A Pi Phi was President of Cleveland Panhellenic in 1986. Many members have also participated in local philanthropies and have been honored for their service. The club was proud of the good work done to help others.
In recent times, the club has developed more social interest groups. The club continue to participate in literacy projects and support Read > Lead > Achieve®. Through the years, many have held positions beyond the local club including National Historian, Grand Vice President, Province President, Province Vice President, national committee members, Director of Alumnae Communications, Board of Governors member and Active Chapter Province President. Cleveland East, Ohio, Alumnae Club has always supported the Ohio collegiate chapters. Now, they have Ohio Lambda at Case Western Reserve University here in Cleveland. As they work and spend time together, they have formed bonds of wine and silver blue.
Awards and Club Recognition
Evelyn Peters Kyle Angel Award