Study club continues good work

Published 3:48 pm Monday, May 10, 2010

Sit back and close your eyes for a moment, just imagine the year is 1933, and you are at the first meeting of the Montevallo Study Club.

Seventeen prominent ladies of the community are gathered in one of their homes, sitting primly, properly dressed in their nicest dresses, hats and gloves.

They are there with the purpose of organizing a club to, as stated in article one of their constitution, “promote the intellectual development and social intercourse of its members and to create an active interest in civic affairs.”

Jump forward 77 years to April 27 of this year, and you are visiting in the home of Mimi Lawley where there are about the same number of ladies, dressed more casually and perhaps behaving a little less formally, but with the same serious purpose set out so long ago.

The program for the current meeting was a presentation by Dr. Jerry Spencer on finding food locally; in keeping with the theme for this year’s program “Sustainability Issues on Stage: What Part Can We Play?” Spencer is the founder of the Grow Alabama program.

“Ninety-five percent of all food consumed in Alabama comes from some other state or country,” he said, “A tremendous loss of revenue to the state, rural communities and farmers, plus of equal importance is the cost to our environment and personal health.”

Grow Alabama (991-0042) is a program that provides an assortment of locally-grown fruits, vegetables and meats delivered to a convenient location within a day or two of harvest.

The April program was just an example of the club’s learning experiences designed to reflect their concern with today’s issues.

Membership in the Study Club is restricted to 20 members and by invitation only, but over the years more than 100 members have been involved in gaining knowledge, enjoying wonderful fellowship and supporting the community.

Some of the organizations benefiting from that support are the Parnell Memorial Library, the Community Chorale, the Community Garden and Shelby Emergency Assistance.

Members of the club are: Frances Albright, Sharon Anderson, Sarah Arnold, Jane Clayton, Betty Coe, Lois Doyle, Susan Fulmer, Brownye Gillespy, Michele Hill, Mimi Lawley and Susan Lehman. Others are Gene Lightfoot, Augusta Lovelady, Joan McMillan, Emily Pendleton, Libbie Rodgers, Betty Walker, Mary Lou Williams, Sandra Williams and Dee Woodham.

Catherine Legg can be reached at