The History of the Cleveland West, Ohio, Alumnae Club
The Cleveland, Ohio, Alumnae Club was founded in 1907. On April 10, 1944 the Cleveland, Ohio, Alumnae Club became two clubs — Cleveland East, Ohio, Alumnae Club and Cleveland West, Ohio, Alumnae Club. From the beginning, the East and West clubs came together to celebrate Founders' Day and this continues today. The first annual Arrowcraft sale for the club was in 1959 and this tradition continued for many decades. In 1992, Cleveland West, Ohio, Alumnae Club was number five in the nation for Arrowcraft sales. They held an annual bridge tournament for decades and the money raised benefitted The Cleveland Psychiatric Institute and the library at the Orchard school on Cleveland’s west side. The club was instrumental in establishing the Orchard school’s library. For many years, they sold pecans to raise money. In 1995, they sold 506 pounds of pecans and the monies raised were donated to Pi Phi philanthropies. The members of the Cleveland West, Ohio, Alumnae Club span the ages from recent college graduate to octogenarian. The club is proud of the fact that some of the club’s members have been part of the Cleveland West, Ohio, Alumnae Club for over 50 years, proving that sisterhood is truly a lifelong experience.
The club has an annual Arrowcraft sale to benefit Arrowmont®, rummage sales to benefit the Settlement School® and has created and managed the Eta Province Assistance Fund which provided grants for sorority expenses to Pi Phis attending Ohio colleges. Alumnae clubs in Ohio contributed annually to this fund. One year they awarded $1,113.00 to 11 girls representing all six active chapters in Ohio. The current philanthropic aim is to provide local assistance to Pi Phis in need rather than general fundraising.
One of the significant items that the club has is a spoon from the 19th Biennial Convention in 1906. It is silver-plated with hand engraved Pi Beta Phi Greek letters on the handle and in the bowl of the spoon. A framed artist rendering of the Pi Beta Phi badge commissioned by the Cleveland Panhellenic council in 1965 is another item they treasure, and a Cookie Shine sheet signed by club members. New signatures are added each year at the club’s annual Cookie Shine. The club also has a Pi Beta Phi pillow from Ohio Alpha in 1975, which has been passed down from President to President.
- Barbara Sands Olsen, Grand Vice President Alumnae, National Historian
- Lucy Baker Warner, Grand Vice President Alumnae