The Women’s Association of Hilton Head Island started in 1961 with 23 members as the Hilton Head Garden Club. Started with the idea to turn Coligny Circle into something beautiful, the club has not only grown but still remains committed to the community. The group has been involved in countless projects around the island, including the restoration of the Hack House at Honey Horn, donating to the beginning of a Dolphin Education Program at Honey Horn, contributing to the pathway map kiosks that dot Hilton Head’s bike paths, starting the Youth Community Service Awards, and helping to establish the first day care on the island the Children’s Center.
Seated from left: Judith Tyler (2013-14) Rose Zella Morris (2007-08) Elizabeth Hanson (1998-99) Char Long (2012-13) Sue Todd (2015-16) Carol Wolf (1979-80) Standing from left: Sally Kingree (2011-12) Annette Martino (1989-90) Glyndal Partington (2009-10) Lois Wilson (2005-06) Lois Schuhrke (2004-05) Jackie Cordray (1999-00) Donna Manske (2014-15)
Its more than 600 members are focused on promoting the natural and cultural beauty of the island by encouraging projects that will ultimately benefit the community as a whole and improve communication among the island’s women.
Members come from Hilton Head Island and Bluffton, up to and including Island West and the area bounded by the Colleton River to the north and the May River to the south.
By becoming a member of the Women’s Association, you can take part in learning something new and come together with the women of the community. The group holds four luncheons each year in February, April, September and December, where members are entertained and educated while they enjoy a nice lunch.
With more than 35 different interest groups, finding something you want to learn or teach is not a problem. The group offers interest groups in the arts, book clubs, bridge, community service, technology, food, games, gardening, health, home, photography, sports, theaters, tours, travel, women’s issues and writing.
Giving back to the community runs in the blood of the Women’s Association members; during the holiday season, the group holds a luncheon where members bring presents and donations to benefit children’s organizations in the Hilton Head and Bluffton area.
In the spring, the organization presents the Youth Community Service Award to seniors from Hilton Head and Bluffton high schools who been involved in community service projects in their communities. At the end of the year, the Women’s Association donates any leftover funds to local charities.
When the group celebrated its 40th anniversary, members decided to donate a piece of art to the public. The Walter Palmer bird sculpture it donated resides at Honey Horn, waiting for visitors while holding a book titled “Tales of Hilton Head.”
A group of women that started out with small numbers but big goals has grown into something extraordinary for women and the community.