“Oh, I didn’t want to,” club president Norma Newport said as she explained why the club disbanded. “Health issues were a factor for several members, and some members moved recently too.”
“We were so busy and burned out, nobody wanted to be president, and Norma had it five years consecutively, and her husband isn’t well,” 65-year member Sue Nance added. “Nobody else wanted to be president, and with only a few left, we felt that we couldn’t keep it going.”
LASC had 120 members from the time they started until their end, with nine active and six associated members at their closing. The club started with 11 members, and over time they grew to about 24 members.
Nance said the most recent ladies to join the club were Rita Arnst in 2008 and Dawna Courtney in 2010.
The club started in late 1937 or early 1938, according to Newport, with a group of women who wanted to form a junior study group to the Live Oak Study Club. Newport also said the original members met with Thelma Bomar with plans to focus on “health, music, safety, drama, poetry, famous characters, better speech, current books, current events, motion pictures, Bible, gardening and others.”
Over the years, the subjects they covered in their meetings broadened to book reviews, history, government and guest speakers such as representatives from the Border Patrol.
But one thing that didn’t change about the club over the years was the thing they were best known for – fundraising.
“It is a prestigious group of women that had their hearts dedicated to serving the community and broadening their knowledge,” Newport said.
But it wasn’t just their club members’ knowledge they fostered; in the 1950s, they helped bring a library to Three Rivers by holding bake sales, and each member contributed a penny for every pound they weighed.
The club also helped support the Live Oak County Little League, the Live Oak County Fair, the Sunshine Room, the Three Rivers High School Library and the library in Three Rivers. They also served refreshments at the National Honor Society and provided scholarships for TRHS graduates.
Their scholarships started in 1958-59 for $100 and eventually grew to $500, according to Newport. They were funded with what would become the club’s signature fundraiser, their Style Show Luncheon.
“It was fun; it was really,” Nance said. “We had different themes we would have. Back in the early days my daughter was a flapper.”
Nance said they also supported individual’s projects such as Whitney Arsek’s efforts to help Three Rivers Junior High and High School girls feel beautiful by providing them with compacts this spring.
Their most recent meeting place was First United Methodist Church; prior to that they met in First State Bank, Dairy Queen and members’ homes.
Their final meeting was held at the library in Three Rivers on May 16 where NHS students spoke about their appreciation for the club’s support. The LASC presented the NHS with a silk flower centerpiece.
Live Oak County Judge Jim Huff declared May 16 as Little Acorn Study Club Day for Live Oak County as a way to honor past and present members’ contributions to the community. Judge Huff’s mother was a member of the club and, according to Newport, Huff recalled her saying she was “going to club today” and he knew what she meant.
Although the club is no more, their legacy will be on display at the museum in Three Rivers in the near future with yearbooks from all but the first three years that the club was active.
“It is something you put on the calendar every month, and now I think ‘no more,’” Nance said. “It was something to look forward to. You see some of the members that you don’t see every day or every week, and we knew it was always a good program.”