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Woman’s club awards scholarships, announces upgrades

WATSONVILLE — The Watsonville Woman’s Club began its year of monthly meetings Sept. 6 at its long-standing Brennan Street building that opened in 1917.

One of the oldest organizations in the Pajaro Valley, the group, with 40-plus members, ate lunch, catered by Sunny’s Catering of Santa Cruz, which served as an arena to hand out seven scholarships to area students, make introductions and set a course for the year ahead.

Headed up by president Janey Leonardich, the club also announced a recent $40,000 grant from the Borina Foundation that is being used to spruce up the building’s exterior, along with other jobs.

Guest Joe DeHart was on hand to talk about his late mother, Rhea DeHart, a former PVUSD Board of Trustees member and longtime teacher. He said he was approached once by one of his mother’s students who told him, “If it wasn’t for your mother, I’d be dead or in jail.”

DeHart went on to say that person is now a successful businesswoman.

“Her life was the community,” he said of his mother. “All the children she taught and mentored — that’s what kept her going. It’s an example of a perfect life. She made an impact that will continue.”

The club this year will host its first-ever Sock Drive to help those in need through the Salvation Army. They will present the socks at the annual Share Your Holiday by KSBW. They are welcoming donations.

Leonardich said the club will hold a fundraiser barbecue chicken and ravioli take out dinner on Oct. 19. Tickets are $20, advanced sales only. For information, call Leonardich at 722-7958.

Reporter Tarmo Hannula was invited as a guest to the lunch by member Nancy Shott. Since the Pajaronian recently moved downtown, across the street from the Woman’s Club, the club asked Hannula to bring the group up to date on changes at the Pajaronian, which is at 21 Brennan St., Suites 14 and 18.

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