GFWC Chilhowee Club
Over 120 Years of Service to Our Community
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    The GFWC Chilhowee Club is dedicated to enhancing the communities and lives of others through volunteer service.
    Chilhowee Club is a ladies club whose goals are to stimulate mental growth, moral development and interest in charitable activities, and to strengthen individual efforts through organization. Chilhowee Club is a nonprofit organization limited to charitable purposes as defined under IRS Code Section 501(c)(3).
    Our current enrollment is about 80, comprising of a mixture of retired and currently employed women, civic leaders, community volunteers, educators, founding families of Blount County, inventors, corporate women in the workforce, historians, artists, writers, mothers, grandmothers, wives and homemakers.
    Chairman: Elaine Kant The GFWC Arts Community Service Program encourages members to promote and support art activities in all communities. It is designed to inspire Club women to engage the creative ambiance within their lives.
    Chairman: Dianne Cserbak and Lynne Warner The GFWC Education Community Service Program works to improve literacy and education awareness in communities at home and around the world. For more than a century education has been a cornerstone of the GFWC beliefs and practices.
    Chairman: Marjorie Bogert The GFWC International Outreach Community Service Program is designed to enable members to become better world citizens, through advocacy, education, and action, which will in turn, affect change in our global friends and their communities.
    Chairman: Madeline Cavanagh The GFWC Home LIfe Community Service program is designed to inform members of issues that affect the well being of individuals, families, and communities by providing opportunities and resources to address and meet their needs.
    Chairman: Rose Mary Ballard The GFWC Pubic Issues Community Service Program is designed to actively connect members with effective projects and activities relating to civic engagement. The program focuses on citizenship, veterans affairs, emergency preparedness and safety.
    Chairman: June Ackerman The GFWC Conservation Community Service Program is designed for members to gain an appreciation of our environment through preservation, maintenance and restoration of our natural resources.

2017 Meetings

September 2017 Meetng
Allen Goss presented a slide show and discussion of the "History of the Smokies".
At Great Smoky Mountains National Park, officials recently honored Allen Goss as one of the many volunteers who eclipsed 5,000 hours of service to the park.

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October 3, 2017 Meeting
David Pritchard, Development Director at the City of Maryville was our guest speaker. He addressed the connectivity of our community and additional plans for the Greenbelt Park.  There were 43 present.

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2016 Recent Work


  1. Cancer Society Relay for Life Game Day
    Cancer Society Relay for Life Game Day
  2. November 3, 2015  GFWC Chilhowee Club met at the clubhouse at 1:30P for a program planned by our International Outreach chair Marge Bogert.  Dr. Scott Brunger, retired Maryville College professor brought 3 international students from Maryville College to speak on the topic "Immigration and the Process of Assimilating into American Society." After the meeting refreshments were served.
    November 2, 2015 Meeting
  3. Title
  4. October 24, 2015  GFWC Smoky Mountain District Fall Meeting
    October 24, 2015 GFWC Smoky Mountain District Fall Meeting
  5. Sept. 20, 2015  Alzheimer's Tennessee WALK
    Sept. 20, 2015 Alzheimer's Tennessee WALK
  6. 2015 GFWC Smoky Mountain District Fall Meeting
    2015 GFWC Smoky Mountain District Fall Meeting
  7. September 2015 Meeting
    September 2015 Meeting
  8. August 2015 New Member Lunch
    August 2015 New Member Lunch
  9. Annual Spring Tea & Fashion Show 2015
    Annual Spring Tea & Fashion Show 2015
  10. Organizations that we supported in 2015
    Organizations that we supported in 2015
  11. Organizations that we supported in 2015
    Organizations that we supported in 2015
  12. Organizations that we supported in 2015
    Organizations that we supported in 2015
  13. Organizations that we supported in 2014
    Organizations that we supported in 2014
  14. Organizations that we supported in 2014
    Organizations that we supported in 2014
  15. Organizations that we supported in 2014
    Organizations that we supported in 2014
  16. Food Pantry 2014
    Food Pantry 2014
  17. Adult Education Program 2014
    Adult Education Program 2014
  18. Organizations that we supported in 2014
    Organizations that we supported in 2014
  19. Organizations that we supported in 2014
    Organizations that we supported in 2014
  1. Morbi nunc odi
    November General Meeting and Lunch
    November 7, 2017
    Dedee Edele will present "Art Action in Blount County" Hostesses: Elaine Kant (Art Chair), Madeine Cavanagh and Susan Clarke Lunch @ 12:30 Meeting @ 1 pm
  2. Morbi nunc odi
    Christmas Dinner with The William Blount Singers
    Tuesday:December 5, 2017
    The annual Christmas Potluck dinner will be served at 6:30. The William Blount Singers will bring us sounds of the season under the direction of Carol Bellgrau.
  3. Morbi nunc odi
    Tuesday: January 9, 2018
    Anne Van Curen will share with us her experience working with Hospice. "The Hospice Experience - It's Importance When Needed" Lunch @ 12:30 Meeting @ 1 pm
  4. International Outreach
    Tuesday: February 5, 2018
    Patricia Goddard is the Chilhowee Club Chair for the International Outreach. Lunch @ 12:30 Meeting @ 1 pm
  5. Morbi nunc odi
    Bring a Vet to Lunch
    Tuesday: March 6, 2018 12:30 pm
    Eddie Mannis, Chair of Honor Air will present a program titled "A History of the Honor Air Program for Flights going from Knoxville to Washington, DC"
  6. Morbi nunc odi
    GFWC Smoky Mtn. District Meeting
    Saturday: March 24, 2018
    The GFWC Smoky Mountain District Annual Spring Meeting will be held at the Chilhowee Club.
  7. Morbi nunc odi
  8. Morbi nunc odi
    Blount County Poetry Contest Winners
    Tuesday: April 2, 2018 5:30 pm
    The Art Committee Community Service Program presents the Blount County Poetry Contest Winners. Margie Carico, our liaison with the schools and from our Club, will introduce the students who will then read their poems. The students represented range from elementary through high school. Supper will be served to members, the students and their parents.
  9. Morbi nunc odi
    Spring Blossom Tea and Fashion Show
    FRIDAY: April 27, 2018, 2pm
    This is our primary fundraiser for the groups to whom we contribute. A Fashion show will be presented by our members. Tickets will go on sale in early spring.
    General Meeting and Drama Presentation
    Friday: May 1, 2018
    A fun time will be had by all at the presentation of our annual drama. Hostess: Margie Carico Lunch @ 12:30 Presentation @ 1pm


Our history is filled with notable contributions to our community and state.

Chilhowee Club was founded in 1891 by six women, all of whom were connected with Maryville College.  It is the second oldest Federated Women's Club in Tennessee.
In 1894, six ladies from another area of Maryville, organized the Tuesday Club.  On May 6, 1939, the two clubs united taking the name Chilhowee Club.  The Chilhowee Club has always continued to meet on a Tuesday.  The Clubhouse was completed in 1940, and is considered an architectural treasure. 
In 1931, before the two clubs joined, they collaborated efforts to open the first public library in Maryville.  Club members have since led the campaign to build our current Blount Co. Public Library.
Club members were activists in stimulating civic and funding support for the Clayton Center for the Arts, and are major contributors to the development of the Great Smoky Mountains Heritage Center. The Club donated a hand-sewn quilt to display there showing the Smoky Mountain wild flowers.  Junior Chilhowee Club members were collaborative members of Haven House, a safe haven for victims of domestic violence in need of transitional housing.


Chilhowee Club celebrates 120 years of service
By Linda Braden Albert |
May 5, 2012
May 1 marked a special day for one of Blount County’s volunteer groups.
GFWC Chilhowee Club, organized in 1891, celebrated its 120th anniversary that day with recognition from local dignitaries and congratulations from representatives of community organizations, former and current members and other individuals at the clubhouse located on Clarion Avenue in Maryville. Foothills Community Players actresses Carrie Denkinger, MaryBeth Bonneville, Courtney Vastine and Nicci Williamson portrayed women from the club’s past — Emilie Webb, Nettie Spraker, Grace McArthur and current member Lib Jackson, respectively — sharing information about the club’s history and accomplishments that play a vital role in Blount County today as well as at the state and national level.
Blount County Mayor Ed Mitchell said, “One thing that surprises me is how the Chilhowee Club has been involved in so many organizations that are still affecting Blount County.” Among these are the role the club has played in establishing and supporting the public library, raising funds for establishment of Haven House, a refuge for abused women, establishing the Mountain Settlement Work, bringing education to children in isolated areas; creating an Investment Club for women; initiating tax code reform on a national level; and beginning an initiative to clean Maryville’s creeks to prevent flooding.
Maryville College President Tom Bogart mentioned the close ties Chilhowee Club has with the college. “For a number of years the club met at Maryville College in Anderson Hall,” he said. The college maintains the clubhouse.
Joe Swann, representing State Sen. Doug Overbey and representatives Bob Ramsey and Art Swann, read a proclamation from the state senate and house of representatives recognizing the milestone anniversary. The actual proclamation had not arrived in time for the ceremony, so Swann held up a photo of Overbey holding it in Nashville.
“We couldn’t be more proud of the culture this club represents in this city,” Swann said.
Maryville Mayor Tom Taylor has many personal memories of the club, where his mother served as president years ago.
“You carry on a great tradition here in the Chilhowee Club,” he said. 
William Morton, president of the East Tennessee Better Investing Club, recognized the investment club began by Chilhowee Club member Lib Jackson in the 1970s for women.
Delia Gowan, president of the General Federation of Women’s Clubs of Tennessee, installed the new slate of officers. Gowan is a former president of Chilhowee Club as was her mother, Lorena Coulter.
Chilhowee Club began as a literary circle and joined with another women’s club, the Tuesday Club to form the combined Chilhowee Club. The club is a member of the General Federation of Women’s Clubs and focuses on volunteerism to serve humanity.
Chilhowee and Junior Chilhowee clubs impact county in 1960s-80s
From Chilhowee Club   Apr 21, 2012
Editor’s Note : This is the fourth of five articles celebrating the 120th anniversary of GFWC Chilhowee Club in Maryville. The articles will run on Sundays in this section.
The 1960s to the 1980s were monumental times for both Chilhowee and Junior Chilhowee clubs.
The high energy and community spirit of the Junior Chilhowee Club women produced a long list of services to the community. Major among these was their help in establishing Haven House and their memorable spring luncheons.
In 1981, an ecumenical group of women from 45 churches were concerned about the number of women affected by domestic violence. The Junior Chilhowee Club came to the same realization. Together, the groups formed a council to provide a service desperately needed.
Gov. Lamar Alexander and his wife, Honey, became involved in spring 1982. With their help, a walkathon raised $17,000 to lease the first domestic violence shelter on Old Niles Ferry. The shelter was badly in need of renovation. The governor participated in painting and repairs along with men from the Academy of Military Sciences at McGhee Tyson and Junior Chilhowee Club women.
In 1982, Haven House received its nonprofit status and organized with a 10-member board of directors, seven of whom were members of the Junior Chilhowee Club. Today, after several more moves, Haven House has a 12-member board of directors, a chief executive officer, a staff of four professionals and the home that provides shelter for a maximum of 17 women and children.
To raise funds for charitable agencies, Chilhowee and Junior Chilhowee Club women were creative and successful. One fundraising project included a recipe file containing 150 member donated recipes sold in a nice metal file box. To promote the sales, LaRue Johnson appeared on Mary Starr’s Homemaker Show on  WATE to demonstrate a recipe from the file. Mrs. K. Kramer was known in the community for her donation of hundreds of hand-crocheted baby booties to newborns. Substantial volunteer time and fundraising headed up by Mrs. John Crawford Jr. went to the renovation of the Sam Houston School House.
A major fundraiser, organized by Junior Chilhowee Club women, became a highly anticipated social event. The Spring Luncheon had a new theme each year, which transported its guests to exotic places like Paris, Holland, Hawaii and Germany. The costumed servers and menus reflected the flavor of the country. The scale of these luncheons grew to three seatings of 100 guests at each seating. The cookbooks published in the late 1980s captured the social status of the luncheons for more than 30 years. It included descriptions of stylish outfits guests wore, highlights of who was in attendance and recipes from the luncheons.
Chilhowee Club members were grassroots organizers of a resolution that was taken to the White House. Lib Jackson recalls that Margaret Proffitt, from the Blount County Home Demonstration Club (wives of farmers united in betterment of farm life), joined Chilhowee Club to assist widows facing high inheritance taxes. In the late 1970s early ’80s, when value of farmlands began to increase, widowed women were burdened with facing the loss of their property because they couldn’t pay the inheritance tax.
Dr. Agnes Bird, attorney, was a formidable candidate to draft a resolution. She was a club member and a past president. The resolution was taken from GFWC club and up the ranks to a GFWC International Convention where it was adopted. After successful due process, the international president of GFWC and president of Farm Home Demonstration Clubs took the resolution to White House and it was signed by the president. The process took about two to three years, and it started in Blount County with two clubs.
Jackson was once asked, “Why do you care, you’ve already paid your inheritance tax?” Her reply was, “I have daughters.” The passing of this reform, later incorporated in a uniform tax code in the ’80s, was a profound demonstration of the club motto, “strength in unity.”
Chilhowee Club continues to impact community
From Chilhowee Club   Apr 28, 2012
Editor’s Note: This is the last of five articles celebrating the 120th anniversary of the GFWC Chilhowee Club in Maryville.
With this article the Chilhowee Club historical research team closes the covers on the stack of yearbooks. A common reaction rippled through us — what a journey! We “met” the women behind the photos and records spanning 120 years. Their enthusiasm jumped off their handwritten pages. We understood their hopes and aspirations as they embarked on forming a bold new organization for women. We cheered them on as they worked to improve the quality of life by social reform, promotion of education and generous volunteer work.
Member enrichment activities that started in the club’s early years are still enjoyed today, like the ESO (Epsilon Sigma Omicron), an honorary educational society. The ESO Book Review & Study Group, led by Martha Cobb, encourages home libraries and use of the Blount County Public Library, and open channels of thought to meet today’s challenges. ESO members have accumulated awards from General Federation of Women’s Clubs (GFWC) for recognition of the number of books read. Edna Hutchens holds the highest-ranking award with more than 4,000 books read, followed by Nelda Kidd, Gayle Fox, Harriette G. Lee, Sara Margaret Depew, Charla Jean Lambdin, Linda Roberts and Faun Norton, with other members still accumulating reading scores and awards.
The Drama Group has been providing entertainment since the 1940s. Directed today by RoseMary Ballard, the Drama Group, consisting of about 12 members including long-time vets Dee Lidvall, Ann Meyer, Elaine Kant and Jean Lambdin, begin their work three months before the spring performance. They have fun selecting the one-act script, preparing costumes, studying characters, finding set pieces, rehearsing. The philosophy of the Drama Group has been to try to provide something entertaining for the members to enjoy, and to grow from and enjoy the process.
The Investment Club, celebrating its 35th anniversary and led by Lib Jackson, was inspired by the uncharted waters women found themselves in when left to manage their finances and investments. The Investment Club members have studied the stock market and trends, some for many years, with their collective investments reaping the rewards of growing steadily along with their confidence in their investment skills.
The social benefits of these micro groups within Chilhowee Club have included life-long friendships and belonging to a circle of women with like interests and concerns. Carolyn Forster said she became a community volunteer through Junior Chilhowee Club and still enjoys the friendships made from that membership.

Executive Board


President                                  Diane Cserbak/Teresa Horn

1st Vice- president                   Madeline Cavanaugh

Recording Secretary                Marjorie Bogert

Corresponding Secretary        Lynne Bonfardin Warner

Polly Uhrig

Immediate Past President                Chris Arnette


GFWC Liason     Marjorie Bogert
Parliamentarian            Marilyn Bowers
Historian           Diane Cserbak
General Meeting Chair            Mary McKinnon
Year Book           Susan Taylor Bryant
                                and Madeline Cavanaugh,
Bylaws Revisions             Marilyn Bowers
Publicity          Carole B. Ireland
Technology Chair         Shirley Rupert
GFWC Liason                Marjorie Bogert
Welcome, and thank you for your interest in the GFWC Chilhowee Club, located in Maryville, Tennessee.  Our club services, but is not limited to, the Blount County community.  Chilhowee Club was founded in 1891, making us the second oldest Federated women's club in the state. Our club is a non- profit organization that supports the arts, preserves natural resources, advances education, promotes healthy life styles, encourages civic involvement, and works toward peace and understanding.
     If you have a love for people and volunteering in the community, we would love to have you attend a meeting and see what we are all about.
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Chilhowee Club
P.O. Box 4335
Maryville, Tn. 37802


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Maryville College Venue
The Chilhowee Club
Built as a gathering place for Blount County's lady's club, the Chilhowee Club is a charming venue that can be used for multiple types of events.  It features a single large meeting room that can seat up to 70 for a banquet, a stage, piano and sound system..

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