Schwaben Club Ladies AuxiliaryThe Ladies Auxiliary was founded in 1935. On February 9, 1936, Their Constitution was formed. They helped in the club wherever they could. They hosted Bingos to raise money. In the first year there were 30 members and they paid membership fees of 15 cents per month. They had birthday celebrations 3 times a year. The ladies baked cakes for all the members and provided Christmas stockings for the member’s children. They also visited those who were ill, bringing flowers and good wishes.
Mrs. Koch became the first president. She would serve for 30 years and continues to be the longest standing president in the history of the club. The Ladies often hosted dances in the evenings. In 1939, all meetings and activities were stopped due to the 2nd World War.
On March 30, 1947, The Ladies resumed meetings at the America Hotel in Kitchener. The number of immigrants to Kitchener increased after the war. This increased membership as the Ladies wanted to stay close to their roots.
In 1950, The Ladies raised $400.00 which they donated to the club. They also bought new dishes and cutlery for the kitchen. This allowed more members and guests to be served. Bingo evenings were started up again and continue today.
In 1955 there were 80 members. Mrs. Killian held quilting bees for interested members and the quilts were often raffled at Club functions to raise money for the group.
In 1967, the kitchen duties were transferred to the club. Up to this point, the Ladies had done all the cooking for the club. The Ladies Auxiliary remained a separate entity from the Club, although they paid one dollar each to the club each year. The group sold homemade tortes and pastries on Family Day during Oktoberfest. This continues to be a fundraiser for the Ladies Auxiliary.
In 1992, memberships rose to 150 and as many as 100 were quite active. In 1995, the Ladies Auxiliary finally became an official part of the club. They continued to maintain their own Board of Directors but could now also run for positions on the Club Board and vote. Special cabinets were constructed in the Heritage Room to give the Ladies Auxiliary a central location in which to display their souvenirs and accomplishments.
In 2010, the Ladies Auxiliary celebrated their 75th Anniversary and had 96 members. Due to an aging membership, the number of active members averages between 35 and 45. We continue to meet for monthly meetings and birthday meetings. They are a chance to meet to play bingo for fun and laugh together with old friends.
We continue to fundraise and support the club. In the last few years, the Ladies Auxiliary has assisted the club in purchasing new cutlery. We continue to host banquets such as the Kirchweih in September and our Anniversary Celebration in November to name a few. We support Oktoberfest at our club by making cabbage rolls to be sold during the event. In the past few years we have made as many as 2000.
Our bake sale on Family Day also continues and remains one of our best fundraisers. We also assist in baking Krapfen, for our Schlachtfest. They are homemade donuts for our Butchering Celebration in the spring.
While our support of our Club is of the utmost importance, we also support our community through donations to our local hospitals and radio station.
There have been many dedicated members throughout the years who have carried on the Auxiliary by acting as President. In 2011, Mary Hild stepped down after almost 20 years of service as President. It has now been taken over by the next generation, who will strive to carry on our traditions and maybe introduce some new ones that will encourage the younger club members to join.
The Frauengruppe meets twice a month, on the first and third Wednesdays. They enjoy a little Bingo, a lot of camaraderie, and love celebrating birthdays. Anyone wishing to join or wanting more information, please email the Schwaben Club. The group is open to women over the age of 18.