Tuesday Club of Sacramento ceases operations after 117 years

Former Tuesday Club of Sacramento members Nancy Leneis, left, and Anita O’Bryan met with the East Sacramento News last week to discuss the decision to cease operations of the club, which met for many decades at the organization’s clubhouse, just south of Sutter’s Fort. Photo by Lance Armstrong

Former Tuesday Club of Sacramento members Nancy Leneis, left, and Anita O’Bryan met with the East Sacramento News last week to discuss the decision to cease operations of the club, which met for many decades at the organization’s clubhouse, just south of Sutter’s Fort. Photo by Lance Armstrong

Editor’s note: This is the first article in a series about the Tuesday Club of Sacramento.

The Tuesday Club of Sacramento, a women’s organization that was founded 117 years ago, has come to an end.
In a meeting with the East Sacramento News last week, former Tuesday Club members Anita O’Bryan and Nancy Leneis explained the decision to cease operations of the club.
“The Tuesday Club took a very difficult vote to disband, because of declining membership, and less (members) were able to come due to health (issues),” Leneis said. “And younger people are not as interested in clubs, so they decided to disband. And it was a vote of the board taken first and then a vote of the entire membership at a meeting (at the Dante Club earlier this year).”
O’Bryan, who was one of the club’s 50-year life members, as she had been a member of the club since 1959, added that the club had been contemplating the idea of disbanding since last year.
“A year before that (final decision), we felt that the club was in trouble and should we consider closing,” said O’Bryan, whose mother, Irene Sweet, was a former president of the club. “And we tried to see if we couldn’t get it going before we made the final decision with the membership.”
Another former Tuesday Club member Irene Ryder was the first person to inform the East Sacramento News about the club’s demise.
At that time, Ryder said, “We have probably had our last meeting as a club.”
And after those words became a reality, a decision was eventually made to break the unfortunate news about the club to the public through the East Sacramento News.
That decision was partially made due to the fact that the club had met just west of East Sacramento for the majority of its years of operation.
The major timeline dates of the process of ending the club were provided by Laura Asay, the club’s last secretary, as follows:
“Dec. 10, 2013: Board of Directors meeting. Board voted to begin the process to terminate the Tuesday Club’s 501(c)(3) status by the end of the program year in May 2014.
Jan. 8, 2014: Date of letter to all Tuesday Club members advising them of vote to be taken at the Jan. 20, 2014 luncheon meeting, on whether or not to dissolve the Tuesday Club of Sacramento.
Jan. 14, 2014: Board of directors meeting. President Hunter reported (that) she talked (to) our attorney, who said the vote (would become) effective when cast, and the dissolution (would become) effective when the documents (were) filed with the Secretary of State.
Jan. 20, 2014: General membership luncheon meeting. Before the regular luncheon meeting, a special business meeting was held with all attending members to discuss the possible dissolution of the Tuesday Club of Sacramento. Our attorney was in attendance to answer any questions the members may (have desired to ask). There were 29 (of the then-57) Tuesday Club members in attendance at the special business meeting. Ballots were distributed, and 19 members voted to dissolve and seven members voted not to dissolve.”
In its latter years, all Tuesday Club meetings consisted of monthly lunches at the Dante Club from October through April.
Each meeting included a program, which featured such attractions as a speaker or a live musical performance.
Leneis noted that in recent years these programs have focused on community talents, which she described as being “very rich.”
Additionally, Leneis noted that beyond the club’s foremost position as a social club for women, the organization also provided service within the community.
“Every president had a service project, I think maybe one big one a year, although the sewing section always did one for the Children’s Receiving Home (of Sacramento at 3555 Auburn Blvd.),” Leneis said.
Despite the loss of the Tuesday Club, members of its sections continue to gather, as they did in the past. Those sections are the sewing, arts and crafts, book and bridge sections.
In speaking about the continuance of three of those groups, O’Bryan said, “It’s the same people. We enjoy reading and we like to discuss what we’ve read recently, and we’ll keep going. We meet once a month in homes. The bridge section continues to be active, too. I think most of the time they have one table, where in the past they had two tables or more. They’re playing, because they’re enjoying the people they’re with. It’s not for the game. These ladies have played together for decades. And the arts and crafts section is very active, and it continues. We’re not letting go of the whole thing.”
Leneis added, “The sewing section has met for many years in homes, but if there was a large project that needed more space, they would meet at a place where they had more sewing machines available. Of course, some years, we met at Meissner Sewing (and Learning Center at 2417 Cormorant Way), and we met there once a month in their room. They graciously allowed us to meet there. And the book sections, how they met depended on the section. I was in a different section (than O’Bryan), and we met in restaurants. We would give book reports at the restaurant and you were assigned what month you were giving a book report. And usually, you gave a book report every other year.
O’Bryan, in reminiscing about one of the earlier Tuesday Club sections, said, “We used to have a travel group. We took good trips. I went to China with a Tuesday Club group. We went to Los Angeles on the bus. We went to Hearst Castle.”
At the time of its disbanding, the club had about four 50-year members, as well as many 40 and 25-year members.
Both O’Bryan and Leneis expressed their sorrow for the loss of the Tuesday Club.
“I’m very disappointed, because (the Tuesday Club) has been, and I’ve said it before, like a second home to me,” Leneis said. “I’ve spent many happy years at the Tuesday Club with my mother and my aunt and friends.”
And Leneis added, “I think (the disbanding of the club) was with great sadness for many of the members, because this is a club with members who have been in for decades and decades, and the women stay and they have very close friendships. I think we all looked forward to Tuesday Club meetings and seeing our Tuesday Club lady friends, and to lose that, it hurts the heart.”

Lance@valcomnews.com

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