For half a century, its members and their friends have worked to make the Village of El Portal a better place in which to live. In 1946, soon after the end of World War II, national optimism ran high. Men and women were uniting to forge a new home front and community pride meant a great deal. It was at this time that the El Portal Woman’s Club came into being, formed by Dr. J. McCormick (featured left), before El Portal had either its own police station or city hall. With no other funding available, the group raised much of the funding necessary to build such structures. These efforts were only the beginning of the club's community activism.
Over the years, the organization raised funds to build the Little River Youth Center and to erect closing gates along the railroad tracks, which run through the Village. In the 1960’s, the club began fundraising to support the fight against cancer and heart disease. Some initiatives to follow were: charitable donations to the Girl Scouts, the creation of student loans for area school children, assistance to handicapped children, and the formation of a community crime watch.
In 1976, as America celebrated its bicentennial, the Woman’s Club celebrated too, with its now legendary Patriots in Petticoats program. Emphasizing the history of the flag of the United States, Patriots in Petticoats performed over 80 shows for local citizens and dignitaries.
The club was active until the late 1990’s. In 2015, a group of El Portal residents were approached by Mayor Claudia Cubillos to revive the club. The group started working towards establishing a board and the club was revived with the leadership of Maribel Trujillo who was appointed to be the President of the club by Mayor Cubicles. In May 2016, the Greater Federation of Women’s Clubs recognized the El Portal Woman’s Club as a member of the GFWC.
Meet Miss Mae
Miss Mae E. Bush was the first President of the El Portal Woman’s Club, dedicated to serving the community and improving the life of the Village residents. Organizing community activities, social functions, and other events, are an integral part of the club, and it all started with her efforts. She devoted her efforts to preserving good-will and understanding and it is the determined foundation she established, that make the club continue to thrive today.