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Sixty years of good times and service

Posted: March 20, 2008 12:54 a.m.
Updated: May 21, 2008 5:03 a.m.

The club's 60th anniversary Luncheon Committee, headed by Judy Bartlett (third from left in front row), gather for a picture for posterity. Club members celebrated their 60th anniversary on March 8 during the annual Membership Luncheon and Fashion Show.

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It's been 60 years and counting for the Agua Dulce Women's Club, which celebrated this milestone anniversary on March 8 during its annual Membership Luncheon and Fashion Show.

The Women's Club, which started as "The Mother's Club" back in the late 1940s, has been around almost a long as the town of Agua Dulce.

Its focus is on the betterment of children, with the goal of supporting educational and recreational opportunities for the town's kids.

Now boasting more than 100 members, the club officially incorporated in 1948. Meetings are still held in the building at 33201 Agua Dulce Canyon Road, a property donated to the club in its early days by late member Opal Sciarra.

Charter members Juanita Heinly and Doreetha Daniels, two of the Club's "living treasures," both proudly attended the luncheon to commemorate the organization they helped to start.

"They're still going strong, looking fashionable, driving to meetings, and speaking out for children," said Tana Lampton, the club's historian and 20-year member.

Heinly, who insisted on attending the luncheon despite recent ill health, has been a key part of Agua Dulce's civic and social life for over 60 years.

Employed for 32 years as a recreation services leader by the L.A.

County Department of Parks and Recreation, she helped start the Agua Dulce Civic Association in 1957, is a past president of the Agua Dulce/Soledad Parent-Teachers Association, and was voted Santa Clarita Valley Woman of the year in 1978 by the SCV Chamber of Commerce.

"Our Juanita was reluctant to make an appearance at this luncheon, due to a recent stay in the hospital," said Lampton. "But heck, she looked fabulous!

"She could have been one of our models here today!"

Daniels, 92, is yet another resident who has led a fabulous and full life. After moving to the area in 1947 from Santa Monica to help her improve her son's asthma, Daniels threw herself into community life with gusto. A past president of the Women's Club, she also helped start the Civic Association.

She also spent many years volunteering at Henry Mayo Newhall Memorial Hospital and helped promote senior issues through the Agua Dulce Senior Club, of which she is a past president.

Daniels and her late husband Bob were named "Agua Dulce Pioneer Family of the Year" in 1989.

Among the up-and-coming younger members of the club in attendance was Emma Benatar, "Miss Agua Dulce," who participated in the fashion show and wore a vintage prom dress belonging to Alene Griffin. Many of the other models in the show also displayed vintage fashions from the 1940s and 1950s.

The club's many energetic, hard-working members help raise money to support dozens of recreational and kid's events such as Christmas and Easter parties, college scholarships and youth group grants. They also donate space in the slightly-worn building to Boy and Girl Scout groups and other community organizations, and rent it out for parties, weddings, fundraisers and other functions.

Get involved
• For more information about the Agua Dulce Women's Club, go online to: www.aguadulce-ca.com/AD_Womens.html.

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