Thirty years ago service clubs like Rotary, Lions and Kiwanis weren’t open to women in business. To correct that deficiency and to encourage women to take a more active role in Lakewood’s business community, leaders of the Lakewood Chamber of Commerce encouraged the women to organize their own group.
The net result was the establishment of Lakewood Women in Business in 1978 with a charter membership of 28 women.
Still in existence, although many of the charter members have since joined other local service clubs, the group got together recently at Oakbrook Country & Golf Club to celebrate the anniversary of the founding and honor one of its stalwarts, Grace Bennett.
Only two of the charter members, Jean Kinkella and Mary Lou Sclair, are still active with the organization and both were on hand with Mrs. Sclair presenting a history of the club. Also attending was then Chamber of Commerce President Tom Sadler. It was Sadler and the late Archie Heany, chamber manager in 1978, who urged the women to form the organization.
Grace Bennett (left) accepts roses from LWB President Jan Luze.
During the evening, attended by more than 40 members and spouses, Sandy Fraley paid tribute to Grace Bennett for her extensive business and community activities over the last 30 years. A number of her family members, including husband, Jerry, were on hand to hear the tribute.
Sandy Fraley lists Grace Bennett’s accomplishments.
Lakewood Women in Business President Jan Luze chaired the program and was the primary organizer of the evening. Also participating was Alma Gray Martin.