The Worthington Women's club has been providing an avenue for local women to connect for 87 years.

Club president Paula Cross said the club was established in 1932 as a way for women to have interests and make friends outside their homes.

She said the club has changed a lot since then, but the club has general meetings once a month and separate meetings for interest groups that members can join.

Cross said the interest groups have a wide range of subjects, from bowling, Scrabble, mah-jongg, art studies, current events, gourmet food, global cuisine, dominoes and knitting.

She said an interest group for new members, called Acquaintances, helps them make friends and form genuine friendships within the club, she said.

Members are not required to be Worthington residents.

Karen German, the club publicity chair, said many of the club's 250 members once were Worthington residents but now have moved away

"They've now downsized out of their original homes and no longer live in Worthington," she said.

In addition to the social aspect, German said, the club contributes money to Worthington-based organizations or for groups who help residents of Worthington.

Marilou Beachler, a Worthington resident and former president of the club, said she joined in 1995 because she was moving back to the Worthington community.

"I knew that it was a wonderful club that afforded many interests," she said. "It was just a way to be a part of the Worthington community."

She said she served as president from 1999 to 2000, and has made many friends.

The club also has several generations of women from the same family, Beachler said.

"We have women who were in the group and presidents of the group, and now their daughters are also in the group," she said.

Cross said the club is able to contribute about $1,000 per year to a number of community organizations. She said the club raises money from a raffle at its Christmas luncheon and uses money from its annual budget to allocate to groups to support.

"It's membership that's actually supporting those allocations," she said.

She said in previous years, the club has given to the Peggy R. McConnell Arts Center of Worthington and the Worthington Resource Pantry.

Mollie Shaw, spokeswoman for the MAC, said the Worthington Women's Club has donated almost every year since 2004.

She said when the MAC opened in 2009, after its transformation from Worthington High School, the women's club played a large role in raising funds for its debut. She said its current total donations are $4,135.

Shaw also said the Worthington Women's Club arts-study group meets at the MAC about nine times a year and brings an artist or speaker to talk to or give demonstrations to the group.

Cross said after requests from members, the Worthington Women's Club is changing meeting locations from the Worthington United Methodist Church, 600 N. High St., to the Worthington Country Club, 920 Clubview Blvd. in Columbus.

The club will have its first yearly meeting at 12:30 p.m. Sept. 24 at the country club.

Cross said the twice-yearly luncheons for the club already were being held there. She said the change was being made so members didn't have to spend time cleaning up and could feel more involved.

"A lot of members are expressing that they're looking forward to it," she said.

She said anyone interested in joining the club may download an application from worthingtonwomensclubofohio.com, pay a $30 fee and attend one general meeting.

ominnier@thisweeknews.com

@ThisWeekOlivia