Younger Woman's Club of Louisville 



The Younger Woman’s Club (YWC) of Louisville was founded on October 14, 1921, stating as its purpose “to promote among the younger women of Louisville, an active involvement and intelligent interest in culture and civic affairs in the community.” The founding class was comprised of 125 young women. Membership dues were two dollars and fifty cents until 1925, when they were raised to five dollars. Meetings were held bimonthly at 3 p.m., with afternoon tea being served. Early years of service included many volunteer hours to the Red Cross City Hospital, the YMCA, and the Girl Scouts.

In the 1930s, the YWC began its work with the Kentucky Children’s Home, continuing service with that organization until 1969. The Club's perennial fundraiser  was the sale of tickets for the Cincinnati Symphony Concert Series. During this era, the age limit for Club membership was raised to thirty-five. In 1939, the YWC Play was opened to the public; the Play raised $1,600 for charitable causes!

In the 1940s, Louisville was forced to adapt to the dramatic changes of World War II. During the wartime era, the Club formed a Defense Committee to help Louisville’s service organizations and to perform war-related community projects. In 1945, total YWC membership reached a record high of 175 members!

In the 1950s, the Club's age limit was raised to 38 and YWC became a non-profit, non-stock organization. The first Charity Ball was held in 1954 at the Kentucky Hotel;  over three thousand dollars were raised for charity. The Ball became an annual event five years later. The 1960 Ball was such a large affair that it was moved to Freedom Hall! Since then, the Ball has been held at the Bluegrass Convention Center, Louisville Gardens, The Galt House, The Hyatt, The Seelbach Hotel, the Convention Center, The Olmstead and the Henry Clay Building.

In the 1960s, the Club fielded a Community Chess team for the annual drive. The Club awarded its first Citizen Laureate Award to Robert S. Whitney, Conductor of the Louisville Orchestra. Membership dues were raised to twenty-five dollars.

In the 1980s, the first YWC Show House became reality with the help of Owsley B. Frazier, Bittners, and Dr. Bertolone. Local Charities received $33,342 from the proceeds of the first Show House.

In the 1990s, the graduation age was changed from 38 to 45. The YWC Style Show was introduced as a popular new fundraiser and the Monticello served as the YWC Show House. Other fundraisers in the late 90’s included the Tortoise and the Hare 5K run/walk and the YWC cookbook, Bon Appétit.

In the 2000s, the YWC changed the length of provisional membership from two years to one, in keeping with the trend toward more and more members working outside the home. Major fundraising events included the Charity Ball and Auction, a Walk/Run, and the Monticello/Leaf Show House. Other popular events throughout the decade included the Nine & Dine Golf Scramble, a Holiday Tea, and a Holiday Couples Cocktail Party. In 2004, the Club hosted the 50th Anniversary YWC Charity Ball.

By 2001, the all-time fundraising total of YWC Charity Campaigns was three million dollars, with one hundred percent of all contribution aiding Community organizations. The Mayor of Louisville declared October 14, 2001, the 80th anniversary of our founding, Younger Woman's Club Day

By 2010, the YWC's internal correspondence was conducted electronically. A new bi-monthly email update called the YWC Scoop was utilized to keep members apprised of upcoming Club events.  In addition, the Club's LOG newsletter transitioned to electronic transmission, saving over $3,000 in printing and mailing expenses. The annual Fashion Show and Charity Ball continued as the YWC's main fundraising activities. Despite the global economic downturn, nearly $70,000 was raised for local charities.

The modern Younger Woman's Club strives to meet the changing demands of its members and the Louisville community while revering the history of our founding members and our association with the Woman's Club of Louisville. For nearly a century now, we've cheerfully offered a helping hand to the Derby City, remembering our Club's slogan, YWC: Yes We Can!


Younger Woman's Club of Louisville  is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization.

1320 South 4th Street, Louisville KY 40208 ywc@ywclouisville.org

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