In 1964 after being originally associated with the Hinsdale branch of Welcome Wagon, it was announced at the end of that year that Oak Brook would no longer be allowed to belong to the Hinsdale Chapter and so formed the Oak Brook Welcome Wagon. Activity groups were formed including the garden club, horseback riding, bowling and bridge. Soon other groups were added including embroidery, a couples’ dinner group and a gourmet group. Due to the restrictions of Welcome Wagon, a new Newcomer’s Club of Oak Brook was formed. More activity groups were developed such as cookie exchanges, chef demonstrations and events sponsored by the Oakbrook Center stores.
Then on September 2, 1965, the first official meeting took place at the Oak
Brook Polo Club of the newly named Oak Brook Women’s Club. Guests
included the Rev. DeKruyter from Christ Church, T.A. Mohlman, the Village
President and Michael Butler. Florence Santucci of York Woods was the first
President. The club grew from an initial membership of 24 to 104 by the end of Florence’s term in 1966. A modest annual membership fee was requested and usually covered the cost of speakers, as is the case today. Extra funds at that time were donated to the Oak Brook Library.
In the past 50 years we have grown to over 300 members. Women participate in our many activity groups and come together for more formal meetings and
presentations. They continue their efforts to serve as a welcoming influence
through the annual Friendship Luncheon. The Oak Brook Women’s Club also
continues their philanthropy to Oak Brook. The tiny tranquil Village of Oak
Brook, built amid polo fields and open spaces, has grown with the times. The
once sleepy hamlet with horses and wildlife has blossomed into a vibrant
community of corporate businesses, retail malls and affluence. But the Oak
Brook Women’s Club has also helped to retain the sense of community.