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Van Buren Republican Women’s Club celebrates milestone

Van Buren Republican Women’s Club officers for the ensuing year are (from left) Mary Crego, secretary; Linda DeBottis, treasurer; Chris Sykes, president; and Sharon Klementowski, vice president.

Van Buren Republican Women’s Club officers for the ensuing year are (from left) Mary Crego, secretary; Linda DeBottis, treasurer; Chris Sykes, president; and Sharon Klementowski, vice president.

— The Van Buren Republican Women’s Club is celebrating 50 years.

The first meeting of this organization was held in April 1962, called by a group of ladies interested in providing help to the Republican candidates seeking office, acting as the candidates’ social arm.

Over the years members of the organization have provided many fund raisers and social events. In the 60s and 70s, the big event was the annual Round and Square Dance.

According to former president Liz McCarthy-Bowers, the club took part in the first year of the old Oktoberfest with a bake sale, and the second year of the event, they started making their famous “kartoffel chips” and continued each year until the old fest was discontinued.

“The first few years we also sold hot meatball sandwiches, but with the success of the ‘chips,’ we dropped the sandwiches,” she said. “About that time we determined that we needed additional manpower and invited the Van Buren Republican Committee to join in our efforts. [We grew] from kitchen magicians for slicing the potatoes to a still used, hand turning, heavy duty slicer; from two small fryers to three large ones; and from about 300 pounds of potatoes to 3,000 pounds. During that period we also had a ‘chip’ booth at the Beaver Lake Fall Festival.”

This club is the only remaining Republican Women’s Club in Onondaga County.

“Our numbers are small but the enthusiasm to continue helping the GOP remain strong is our mission,” McCarthy-Bowers said. “Our by-laws were changed several years ago to include any Republican woman in Onondaga County to be a member. We would be happy to have [more women] join us.”

Installation of the club’s officers for the 2012-13 was held during a recent dinner meeting at Tabatha’s Family Tree. The officers are: Mary Crego, secretary; Linda DeBottis, treasurer; Chris Sykes, president; and Sharon Klementowski, vice president.

Dues for the club are $7 per year; anyone interested in joining should call Chris Sykes at 635-7910.

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