womens clubShe was the first to arrive, suitably attired in a fetching little number created by a famous designer in 1925; and was the last to leave. And why not? It was her 100th birthday celebration and she was enjoying the moment. Music, a play, champagne, and cake. It was all there, and all in her honor.

The “lady” was in fact, the Boynton Women’s Club, of Boynton Beach Florida and the aforementioned attire was the club house which was created not by a designer from a Parisian house of couture, but by the famous architect of South Florida, Addison Mizner.

How did it all begin? In 1908, thirty local ladies gathered at a school house to discuss how to better themselves and their town. They decided to band together to create a meeting hall for civic, social, political, and religious activities, as well as a library. They made the money by pooling their talents into baked and other homemade goods and raffling them off. They also sponsored street dances and spaghetti dinners. Over the years times changed, and fashions changed but one thing remained the same; namely, the club’s steadfast performance of its original mission, which is to improve life in Boynton Beach through charitable and educational activities. These days the list of charities supported by the club is still growing and includes a variety of institutions ranging from hospitals and nursing centers to Forgotten Soldiers and Habitats for Humanity.

Getting back to the celebration, the highlight of the evening was a clever and informative play written by local, award winning playwright Rick Harlowe depicting the early days of Palm Beach County. Mr Harlowe also appeared in the play as the ghost of Addison Mizner providing an insight into that famous man’s career in business and investing; as did local actor John Zambito, who posed as Major Nathan Smith Boynton, the founder of Boynton Beach. Last but not least, was a thoroughly delightful song and dance number by Angel Wrona depicting the hardships of early pioneer women. Ms. Wrona is a former June Taylor dancer, whose Broadway credits include Camelot, Pippin, and Dolly, just to mention a few. When the performance was over, the audience retired to the elegant library downstairs to listen to a proclamation read by Boynton Beach Mayor Jerry Taylor. Then it was time for champagne, cake and just plain socializing.

Although the membership of the Boynton Women’s club has remained relative stable over the years I was told by one of the members that to paraphrase the Marine Corps recruiting slogan, they are always looking for a few good people. Anyone interested in joining, she said, should go to their website, www.boyntonwomensclub.com for more details. On the other hand, if you just want to drive by and take a look at Mizner’s elegant handiwork, the club house is easy enough enough to find. The address is 1010 S Federal Highway, Boynton Beach, FL.

Meanwhile, here’s to that grand old lady. May she live another 100 years—or more!

Ron Standerfer is a novelist, freelance writer, book reviewer, and journalist whose articles have appeared in numerous news publications including online editions of the Chicago Tribune, USA Today,and the Honolulu Star Advertiser.  For more information about this writer please visit www.ronstanderfer.com or contact him at

 newsblogger@ronstanderfer.com .

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