Exeter Women’s Club marks a milestone
EXETER — At 91, Bradley Brewitt still remembers the work she did as the first president of the Exeter Area General Federation of Women’s Clubs.
That was 60 years ago.
“When I was president and I was young, we worked hard and did a lot of things. We did a lot of good for the community,” recalled Brewitt, who lives in Wolfeboro and summers in Hampton.
Sixty years later, the club is still going strong thanks to the work of women like Brewitt and many others who have followed in her footsteps.
The club marked its 60th anniversary with a celebration last Saturday night at the Exeter Inn, but it wasn’t just a big party. The women’s group dedicated to improving the community used the event to raise money as it prepares to kick off a fundraising campaign aimed at renovating the Exeter Senior Center.
“We really want to make a difference,” said Stephanie Canty, who serves as co-president with Nikki Graney.
The women’s club plans to work with other groups on the fundraising effort to improve the Senior Center on Court Street.
The club meets regularly at the center, which is used by many other community organizations. The Rockingham Meals on Wheels program uses the building the most.
The center, which was once a fire station, is in need of improvements, including new flooring, upgrades to the kitchen and more storage areas, club members said.
The center is the latest project taken up by the women’s club, which several years ago spearheaded efforts to build a new pavilion at Swasey Parkway where summer concerts and other events are held.
Club membership has grown over the years to about 70 members today. Their ages range from women in their 20s to those in their 70s and include people like Julie Avant of Brentwood, who serves as treasurer and joined eight years ago after moving to the area.
“When I moved to the community 10 years ago I was looking to connect with women,” Avant said. “We bring a lot of different talent to the table.”
Betty Lusona, 88, of Exeter, was among the club’s past presidents who attended Saturday’s gala. She served as president in the early 1960s.
“We were all very active women who were very willing to take on projects and see them to conclusion,” she said.