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The Ravinia Woman’s Club originated as the Woman’s Civic Club of Ravinia in 1911. (Until 1899 Ravinia existed as a village.) The goals of the Club focused on maintaining the needs and friendships of the small community. Throughout its years of service, the Club focused on families, friendship, and civic engagements that benefited those living in Ravinia. General Federation of Women’s Clubs, did not exclude men; and men did join and participate.. The Ravinia Woman’s Club was both state and nationally recognized. These records end in 1969 after the Club voted to be absorbed into the Highland Park Woman’s Club.
Despite their growth and annexation to Highland Park, Ravinia citizens expressed a need for organization that would continue to focus on their small community. In 1911 the Woman’s Civic Club of Ravinia organized and held its first meeting. The original thirty-three charter members held education as their primary concern.
In 1912 the Ravinia Woman’s Club Ravinia Commission was established the Ravinia Commission to focus on the civic needs of the community. Two years later, in 1914, the Commission separated from the Club due to government restrictions. Yet, they continued to work closely with each other for the betterment of the community. From 1914 until 1925, the a Library Committee formed and collected books which it then gave to the local school and Highland Park Hospital. It subsequently changed the Committee name to Civics and Philanthropy.
The different commissions vied for the most unique way to design the meeting house (an old schoolhouse previously used as a community building) to be honored with a dedication ceremony held every November 22. The ceremony, initially known as the “lighting of the fire” in building’s hearth and the designing competitions became known as remodeling and furnishing “The Village House” in honor of having the old schoolhouse given to the Club in 1913.
The Woman’s Civic Club of Ravinia joined the General Federation of Woman’s Clubs and the 10th district Federation of Illinois in 1914. Due to their increased size and activities level, they created many committees to assist with various projects and programs. In 1921 the Education Committee which as become so large and compartmentalized that it renamed itself the Arts Committee and focused on bringing drama, art, and music to the “twilight teas” events. These events included children and adults both associated and not associated with the Club.
By 1928, the Woman’s Civic Club of Ravinia changed its name to the Ravinia Woman’s Club and had 222 active members. Throughout the years of the Ravinia Woman’s Club retained its main focus has always remained the same, a focus on the betterment of the community through sociable, educational, and cultural events that promoted friendship and the beatification of the area. The Club’s information runs until 1969 when the membership voted to became absorbed by the Highland Park Woman’s Club. For more information on the intermittent years, look in the history section of the various Member Directories.
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Born August 27, 1910 in Kansas City, Missori, Reverend Young served as minister of Highland Park Presbyterian Church from 1948 to 1969. Before coming to Highland Park, he served as minister of the First Presbyterian Church in Peoria, Illinois from 1933-1948. After leaving Highland Park, he served at the United Church of Christ in Waukegan, Illinois from 1969 until his retirement in 1976. Rev. Young was a graduate of Park College in Missouri, and was ordained in 1934 from McCormick Theological Seminary in Chicago.
Reverend Young’s wife Elizabeth Young was a long-time first grade teacher at Highland Park’s Indian Trail School.
Young died May 25, 1991 in Lee’s Summit, Missouri.
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