Group named for one-room school
By Angie Landsverk
Ninety years after a group of mothers formed a club to help the school their children attended, the club continues to find ways to help others.
Ten times a year, members of Lynwood Women’s Club meet for lunch and pass around an envelope in which members place donations.
Twice a year, the group decides where to donate those funds.
“We value education. We are slightly philanthropic,” said Suzen Pope, the club’s president. “It’s all to help kids get their education.”
The club is named for the former Lynwood School, a one-room school once open in the town of Lind.
Lynwood Women’s Club formed on Feb. 18, 1927.
It did so at the suggestion of the school’s teacher, Beryl Ritchie, after she invited mothers of her students to the school.
The club’s motto became, “The object of our society is friendship and helpfulness towards each other.”
That continues to be the motto today, and those words are recited at the beginning of each of the club’s meeting.
The group formed long before the days of parent/teacher groups.
“The mothers got together to help the teachers and called themselves the Lynwood Women’s Club,” Pope said.
Dee Neubauer is also a member of the club.
When the club initially formed, the mothers sewed aprons and towels and sold them, she said.
They used the money to buy things the school needed, such as erasers, Neubauer said.
After the school closed in 1964, the club stayed together.
It then started looking for causes it could support.
Lynwood Women’s Club supports the Weyauwega-Fremont and Waupaca school districts.
The club particularly likes to support libraries in the schools and has also given money to Project Backpack, Foundations For Living and the food pantries in Weyauwega and Waupaca.
How much money it has donated through the years is not known.
The donations it gives today average $200, Neubauer said.
The club meets at 11:30 a.m. on the second Tuesday of the month. It does not meet in January and February.
The group meets at area restaurants as a way to support local businesses and decides as a group where to meet next.
Every 10 years, the club has a celebration.
The celebration of the club’s 90th anniversary took place July 11, in Weyauwega’s park.
“We wanted to have a big picnic this year,” said Joan Schumacher. “We will do it again in 10 years, but there won’t be as many people.”
At 61, she is the youngest alumni and the secretary of the club.
After living in Chicago for 35 years, Schumacher moved back to the area a few years ago.
Rheta Richardson invited her to join the club.
The Sorensen/Richardson and Schoohs families are five and four-generation families respectively with a connection to the school and club.
Helen Schoohs has been a member of the club for 72 years.
She attended school in the West Bloomfield area and joined the club after having a child attend Lynwood School.
Schoohs, 94, is the oldest member of the club.
“We get together and go on picnics,” she said.
The Schoohs family donated the property for the school.
Schumacher said the school is a residence today.
“It doesn’t look like a school anymore,” she said. “But you can still see the two outhouses.”
Schumacher remembers being excited about attending the school her older siblings had attended.
When she became a student at Lynwood School in the fall of 1962, Neal Loehrke was her first-grade classmate.
There were 16 students in eight separate grades.
Schumacher said in a time when many people tend to move a lot, Lynwood Women’ Club is a connection the community.
Today, the club has 25 members.
In addition to donating money during its meetings, club members also pay $10 annual dues.
“Everybody here is either a past student or related to a person that went to the school,” Pope said.
In Pope’s case, her husband is related to Richardson, who went to the school.
“There are five generations of people coming to the club,” Pope said. “We have rules, but they’re not written down and not really followed.”