After 76 years of service, 20-Ands club is coming to an end. You ask why? No doubt the biggest problem is age. Younger people are too busy raising their families and holding down jobs so they certainly are not interested in joining a club. Now 76 years later what is left of the members of the club have just outgrown the energy to keep up with the activities.
How did 20-Ands originate?
20-Ands was a service club established in December of 1941 to fill the need for a club for young women of the community, 21-and-older. At that time there were few women who held full-time jobs, thus giving them time to participate in a community service club. 20-Ands was a non-profit organization of approximately 50 women. The club was supported by dues and fundraisers and was a local club without any state or nation affiliation.
In the beginning, 20-Ands was a club for women whose husbands were off fighting in the World War II. This left the ladies wanting to do their share, so they formed the 20-Ands club and began making afghans and gift boxes for the boys overseas. They also went to the USO club and helped with entertaining there. After the war their efforts were not needed in that area, so they changed their club to a community service club. It was founded for mutual benefit, social welfare and congenial relationships.
Through the years 20-Ands has donated to many charities and organizations in Porterville. All money raised stayed in Porterville.
Organizations 20-Ands has supported, donated to and participated with over the years include: American Cancer Society, Barn Theater, Boys and Girls Scouts, Catering at Dog Trials, Central California Family Crisis Center, Collected tea cups for use at convalescent hospital, donated to Jaws of Life, Easter baskets for kindergarten classes, filled a wish for The Recorders’ Christmas Wish List, food baskets for needy families — clothing and toys, Helping Hands, high school band uniform funds, Hope Inc., Meals on Wheels, memory cases for the Porterville Museum, Newspaper in Education, Porterville Reads, Porterville Senior Day Care Center, Porterville Swim Team, Relay for Life, Rock-a-Thon, scholarship for Porterville College, sponsored Christmas parties for needy children, Women’s Crisis Center, YMCA and the list goes on.
The ladies do not feel like they had wasted their time in the club. Oh no! They have the feeling of accomplishment with all of their volunteer work participating in the numerous fundraisers to promote good will and scholarships for students interested in attending Porterville College.
Through the years the ladies have so many lasting friends and as some passed, it was like losing part of their family.
The club celebrated their 76th birthday in September. This was a rare occasion where the husbands and guests were also invited. This event was hosted by Ann Esmay and Betty Blackmon and was held at Veterans Park. The dinner was prepared and given free of charge by the Dutch Oven Group. Their reason was 20-Ands have given so much to the community that it was time that they received something in return.
Their final dinner meeting was held Oct. 26. It was hosted by Karen Jordan and Nancy Likens. It was held at the Barn Theater. President Sandy Achterberg thanked the Barn staff not only for preparing and serving a delicious prime rib dinner, but the beautiful job of decorating. Since the Barn staff knew it was 20-Ands last meeting, they ordered fresh daisies for centerpieces on each table. The daisy is the 20-Ands flower. There were 18 members in attendance and it was a cheery and teary evening. Each member was asked to relate when she joined 20-Ands and who introduced her to the club. Many reminisced on past events that occurred causing more laughs and tears. Everyone was reluctant to have the meeting closed as they knew would be the last one.