The Three Amigas

From left to right: Pat Warchol, Kathy Zellmer, Diane Edward
Photo courtesy of Alice Plale

They call themselves “The Three Amigas”: Pat Warchol, Kathy Zellmer and Diane Edward.  Amiga is the feminine form of the Spanish word meaning “Friends” and that’s what these three women consider themselves – good friends.

They’re friends with one another – and they need to be on friendly terms in order to work together cooperatively for the benefit of Hales Corners Woman’s Club.  All of them are friends of the community as well.  It all fits together.

Let’s start out with the Mission Statement of the Woman’s Club, conceived in the middle of a sleepless night many years ago when Verena Faherty was President.  “The woman reflects the community; the community, the woman.”  That statement continues to hold true in 2008. The Woman’s Club lends its support to other organizations in the community including the library, historical society, Stahl-Conrad Homestead, Trimborn Farms, and others. 

In December 2007, the club raised $600 at the annual Christmas luncheon raffle, donating $400 to two needy families in the area and putting the other $200 into Project Study for future distribution to worthwhile causes and endeavors.  The Project Study committee reviews requests for specific causes each spring and makes awards in May. In 2007, the club made $4,000 in awards plus an additional $2,000 to local scholarship winners.

Pat and Diane have previously served as President of the club – Pat, in fact, held the office for two terms, and Kathy has served in various capacities, including Vice President.  When no member stepped forward to be president in 2007-2008, the “Three Amigas” decided, Let’s do this together.  Women traditionally are skillful at team leadership and cooperative management, so this has been working out well.  They take turns presiding over meetings; they each take responsibility for lining up monthly programs, and they all pitch in to help wherever else their leadership is needed. 

Pat Warchol has been a member of the club for over 20 years.  She has helped get club members involved in the Stahl-Conrad Homestead, where she serves on the board, as well as at Trimborn Farms, the Historical Society’s Christmas House, and for other house tours to support breast cancer research.  About eight years ago Pat organized one of the club’s most popular interest groups, “Unique Antiques.”  These women get together in one another’s home to learn more about particular collections and usually incorporate a lunch outing afterward. Pat also serves as hostess at Tuckaway Country Club for the club’s annual Christmas luncheon.

Kathy Zellmer specializes in fund-raisers and community events.  Twice a year, in cooperation with the Whitnall Rotary Craft Fair, the Woman’s Club sponsors a bake sale.  Kathy coordinates the transportation of those bakery items from Village Hall where they are delivered and packaged to Whitnall High School for the sale.  (The next sale and craft fair will be on Saturday, March 8.)  Kathy has also led the efforts to get the club involved in the Hales Corners Chamber of Commerce and at the Channel 10 auction in May.  She’s usually at the forefront on the 4th of July as well, when the club participates in the annual parade.  In recent years the club has been one of  the community organizations to sell brats and hot dogs outside Sentry grocery store in summer months.  (Kathy also manages to hold down a full-time job!)

Diane Edward refers to herself as “the new kid on the block” because she didn’t join the club until after her retirement from teaching.  Initially, she was drawn to the club because of her interest in singing.  She joined the Women of Note, a group that initiated in the 60s with the Hales Corners Woman’s Club.  The singing group decided to become independent but many of the members, including Diane, retained membership in the club. Diane is enthusiastic about the community service work of the club and the scholarship program, which was started within the first few years after the club organized in 1956.  In May of 2008, the club will again award two $1,000 scholarships to graduating high school seniors in the Hales Corners area.  Applications are available from guidance counselors at Whitnall High School and Martin Luther High School or by contacting the current scholarship chair Audrey Peterson, (414) 427-1738. 

“The Three Amigas” can be seen on Local Access Television (Channel 14 in Hales Corners) talking about the club, their involvement, and opportunities for other women in the community to get involved.  Special thanks to Roger Brinkmeier for videotaping this discussion and editing it for public viewing.

For more information about membership, programs, and opportunities to support the club in its philanthropic endeavors, please call one of “The Three Amigas”:  Pat Warchol – (414) 529-1158; Kathy Zellmer – (414) 529-3175;  and Diane Edward -  (414) 425-8635. 

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