The Venice-Nokomis Woman's Club, one of the oldest not-for-profit civic organizations in the State of Florida, was founded in 1926 by Louella Albee.
Its first meeting was held on March 20, 1926 in the Nokomis Schoolhouse presided by Louella Albee (wife of Dr. Fred Albee, orthopedic surgeon, one of the founders of Venice who organized its first hospital) and 18 ladies whose foresight started one of Venice’s most celebrated resources, its library.
The members agreed to collect, preserve, and maintain a lending library, staffed by VNWC volunteers, with books, maps & historical records in their clubhouses for the use of the general public in the Venice, Nokomis, Osprey and Englewood areas. In 1965, this first area lending library of over 6,000 books became the nucleus of the newly established Venice Area Public Library.
At a charge of $1.00 annually and with a 2 cent overdue fee, the library was housed and operated from the offices of Albee and Dunn next to the post office.
Louella Albee is credited with the formation of the Venice-Nokomis Woman’s Club, 1st library in Venice, Nokomis, Osprey and Englewood areas run by VNWC volunteers until 1965 when collected books, records, maps, etc. became part of the new Venice Public Library. She established the first Annual Venice Christmas tree, school for black children, lecture series, garden club, and social dances.
Over 92 years later, the Club continues to carry on the legacy of its founders by donating thousands of dollars each year to local charities and nonprofit organizations, by awarding scholarships to Venice High School students and by participating in community events.
The Venice Museum & Archives has been given early records such as handwritten minutes from the first meeting in 1926 through the 50’s. Additional items were presented to the VMA such as silver tea services, framed picture of Louella Albee, Mrs. Albee’s gavel etc. The museum completed a “Deed of Gifts” document for these historic items.
As a 2016 recipient of the Board of Historic Preservation’s Legacy Award, VNWC has become a respected community presence.
In 2018 the Club was designated “Heart of the Community” status by the Friends of the Venice Public Library for its recent legacy gift OF $100,000.00 to the new William H. Jervey, Jr. Venice Public Library, opening in late 2018. The VNWC gift supports enhancements for the Children/Teen/Creation Station Areas.
Our founders would be pleased the legacy continues. Like the women who founded the organization, our present members are focused on “giving back” and making a difference in the community.
BOARD OF DIRECTORS
President..... Ann Shoup
1st Vice President..... Lorraine Finizio (Membership)
2nd Vice President..... Aimee Holmes (Programs)
Treasurer..... Debra Wright
Secretary..... Paula Sylvester
Chair of Fundraising..... Lise Mills
QUICK FACTS ABOUT VNWC
- Founded in March 20, 1926
- Incorporated July 19, 1933
- Colors are Green and Gold
- Flower is the Cherokee Rose