Lefkovits beloved treasure in community

The Vignette Club recently awarded member Sonya Lefkovits with the 50-year General Federation of Women’s Club gold pin for devoted service.

Miss Sonya, as she is known, was a charter member of the Vignette Club founded in 1949 by the Columbiana Culture Club.

Lefkovits remembers those early days. She was a young bride who moved to Columbiana in 1947 after WWII. Culture had a limit to their number of members and an influx of new brides to the bedroom community created the need for a new club. Culture member Mrs. F. E. Williams held the first meeting at her home, and Culture members Mrs. Rux Carter and Mrs. Richard Ozley attended to help form Vignette. Lefkovits held the second meeting at her home. Mrs. Ginny Fowler was elected president and Lefkovits vice president from 1949-1951. She served as president from 1951-1953. Lefkovits remembers her active years as a Vignette.

“Our goal was to have a good time,” she said. “This was our ‘Girl’s Night Out’ and we outdid ourselves with making the most luscious desserts possible. We did try to come home before midnight.”

Lefkovits remembers one of their successful community projects.

“Columbiana was a small community and we all banded together to get things done. One of my proudest accomplishments was working on the building committee for the Columbiana Library when I was chairman of the Columbiana Library Board. We received funds from the National Library Act, the state, county and city. Our library was the last library built with funds from the National Library Act.”

Sonya Damsker was born in Memphis and grew up in Tyler, Texas. She graduated in 1944 from Louisianna State University with a degree in public school music and moved to Birmingham in 1947 to work at the Jewish Welfare Board as its first activities director. It was through this organization she was introduced to her future husband, Norman Lefkovits. They were married and moved to Columbiana where the Lefkovits family had the Columbiana Leader, founded in 1896 by her father–in–law, Max Lefkovits, an immigrant from Hungary.

The whole Lefkovits family lived together: father-in-law; brother- and sister-in-law, Alvin and Dorothy; as well as Norman, Sonya and their children.

“My husband Norman was born and died in our home on North Main,” Lefkovits said. “Not many people can say that today.”

Miss Sonya has been a beloved treasure of Columbiana and will be sorely missed when she moves to California to be closer to her children in the coming months.

“I love Columbiana,” Lefkovits said. “I have had a good life here.”

Phoebe Donald Robinson can be reached by e–mail at phoeberobinson@bellsouth.net.