WILLIAMSBURG — Since moving to Williamsburg in the early 1960s, Lucy Ringler has been involved in serving her community.
She joined the Woman’s Club of Williamsburg in 1961, and has been an active member since.
During the club’s November meeting, Ringler was surprised to find out that she was being honored for 60 years of membership in the club.
“I was amazed,” she said. “When they called my name, somebody at the table said ‘Lucy, they’re calling your name!’ I was overwhelmed and was real pleased.”
Ringler has seen plenty of history in her last 60 years in Williamsburg.
“We have really done an awful lot,” she said.
The club, which was formed in 1949, is part of the General Federation of Women’s Clubs (GFWC), an international women’s organization dedicated to volunteer service.
Since joining in 1961, Ringler remembers the many services the Woman’s Club of Williamsburg has provided, including the evolution of the college scholarship program, which started out as offering an annual award of $100 to a high school senior at James Blair High School, Walsingham Academy, York High School or Bruton Heights High School. Now the club awards two to four scholarships of $1,000-$1,500 each.
Ringler also recalled that the Club raised enough money to retire the loans for a community center that the Club saw the need for to provide a place for community organizations and activities.
“I was the one who was invited to the luncheon to burn the mortgage for the community center,” she said.
Among the Club’s many accomplishments, Ringler also looked back on the Club supporting the Equal Rights Amendments for Women in 1972, as well as getting the Virginia Department of Transportation to widen Longhill Road leading to Lafayette High School.
Now with currently over 50 members, the Club meets monthly September through June, typically on the fourth Wednesday of the month, and supports many organizations in the community, including The Arc of Greater Williamsburg, Avalon Center, FISH and Literacy for Life.
Ringler’s favorite part of the Club?
“Knowing that you do a whole lot of good, but also meeting so many nice people,” she said.
Communications Chair for the Woman’s Club of Williamsburg Jan Walker said that Ringler’s 60-year honor was particularly special.
While there have been many women who have been honored for being in the GFWC for decades, it is unusual to reach that milestone in one club.
“It’s extremely rare that Lucy was in the same Club for 60 years,” Walker said.
Even after 60 years, Ringler plans to remain active in the Club for as long as she can.
“I’m at an age where I’m slowing down a great deal. I can’t do what I used to do, but I still go and plan to go [to the meetings],” she said. “I will stay a member of the Woman’s Club as long as I live.”