Organized in 1949 as “The Woman’s Club of Reiffton,” the object of the organization is to develop the educational, civic and social interests of its members, and to advance the welfare of the community. The driving force behind the club was a group of women who wanted to establish a kindergarten in Reiffton. With generous support of the community at club fundraisers, the kindergarten was opened in 1951. It was managed and maintained by the club until the school district added kindergarten to its program.
Our next project was the beautification of the trolley bed that ran adjacent to Perkiomen Avenue in Reiffton.
As the community expanded, so did our membership, and in 1978 our name was changed to “The Woman’s Club of Exeter Township.” We are a member of GFWC-Berks County Federation of Women’s Clubs.
Before Exeter Township was required to have municipal recycling, our Club initiated recycling on our own. When we started the project in 1990, we had no idea we’d be recycling paper, glass and aluminum cans every month, year round, for FIVE YEARS. The community supported our efforts far beyond what we ever imagined and the Club was cited by the Pennsylvania Senate for keeping 1,000,000 pounds of newspaper out of our landfills. When the Township took over recycling (on a much larger scale), they expressed concern that they were taking away a means of our Club raising funds. We assured them we were quite happy to find other means!
Our first annual holiday house tour took place in 1998, and has been held every December since, until the pandemic of 2020. Two years late we had our first spring fashion show and continued that event every two years. The pandemic of 2020 became a crisis on March 13, two days before our planned show, causing a complete shutdown of all events. The Exeter Community Library was the designated recipient for all the profits, and through unimaginable generosity of The DoubleTree, sponsors of gift baskets and most of our attendees, we were able to give the Library upwards of $7,000.
In 2002, we returned to our recycling ambitions, but this time on a much smaller scale. For six years, we collected residents’ Christmas trees and took them to the brush depository for recycling into mulch. In 2008 we GLADLY gave the project over to the local Boy Scout troop, which had far more energy than our “maturing” club members.
Long-time Berks residents may recall when all the women’s clubs in Berks County joined forces with Boscov’s and held “Federation Day” in each of their three stores, with the profit going to a selected charitable cause each year. When that stopped, our Club began its own soup and bake sale at Boscov’s East in 2004, continuing each spring and fall since. The pandemic of 2020 brought that to a halt also, but we look forward to being able to continue baking and making soup as soon as it is permissible.
Come back and visit this site again to see what we’re up to in the months ahead.