Tustin Community Hospital patients welcomed visits
from members of the Tustin Area Woman’s Club Hospital Auxiliary. Ida
McCalla, the third president, 1961 - 62, was a volunteer, delivering
books and other items to the patients
Prior to 1957, the only organizations in
Tustin for women were the American Legion and Knights of Pythias auxiliaries
or church circles.
But that all changed when Lillian Ruth
Beckwith came to town. She decided that the women of Tustin needed an
organization especially for them, something like the woman’s club she had
belonged to in her former hometown.
After convincing nine friends, including
Tustin News publisher Bill Moses and his wife Lucille, that it was a good
idea, she held an organizational meeting on Dec. 5, 1957, for 70
The first meeting of the Tustin Area Woman’s
Club (TAWC) was held at the Revere House in January 1958 for 143 charter
members. Mrs. Beckwith was elected founding president of the club, which
received its official charter from the California Federation of Women’s
Clubs in February.
The new club held ts first fundraiser in
March 1958 and raised $210 to benefit the Tustin Youth Center Building.
Three special interest sections formed: American Home (later renamed Home &
Garden), Bridge and Mannequins. It was decided to limit membership to 200
with a waiting list, but as women clamored to join this regulation was
By 1960 the club had 300 members, more than
the Revere House could handle, and relocated meetings to the Red Hill Tennis
Club. Growth was consistent and in 1963 the membership reached 500. Two
years later they had outgrown the Tennis Club and moved to the Elks Club.
More sections formed to satisfy the interests
of the members: Choral, Arts ad Crafts, Fine Arts, Antiques, Golf, Book
Review, Yearlings, Gadabouts, Gourmet, History and Landmarks, Bowling,
Canasta and Couples Ballroom Dance. But these ladies did more than socialize
and attend meetings. Fundraising was an important function of the club.
Between 1958 and 1967, they donated $35,000
to charities and philanthropic organizations. One of the most unusual
fundraisers was the publication of a book written by one of History and
Landmarks section members, Inez Pierson. Proceeds from “Tilda from Tustin”
were earmarked for the Tustin Area Museum.
In addition, volunteers worked for other
organizations such as Services for the Blind, the Albert Sutton Home and
Orange County General Hospital.
Tustin’s youth also benefited from the
Woman’s Club. In addition to organizing Tustin Youth Employment to help
young people find jobs, they opened a youth employment office and staffed
it. Over the years they have given hundreds of dollars in scholarships in
addition to organizing Artist of the Month and Girl of the Month awards.
Girl of the Month began at Tustin High and was expanded as Foothill and
The club has given financial assistance to
students at Hillview Continuation School, sponsored youth in the American
Field Service Program and adopted Heideman Elementary School in the
“Partners in Education Program.”
When Tustin Community Hospital opened, TAWC
formed a Hospital Auxiliary to do volunteer work there. In addition to
visiting the patients and assisting the staff, the auxiliary operated a gift
shop. After the hospital closed in 1996, the auxiliary began to volunteer at
Chapman Hospital in Orange.
Tustin Area Woman’s Club has provided close
to a million dollars to hundreds of charities and philanthropic groups in
the past 50 years. Their work has been recognized many times by the
California Federation of Women’s Clubs as well as Disneyland, which has
given them five awards, and the city of Tustin.