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A lifetime of service

For 70 years Mildred Dimock has been active in the Ellington's Women's Club

ELLINGTON, CONN. Monday, November 17, 2008 For 70 years Mildred Dimock has been an active member of the Ellington Women's Club, joining as a young housewife in 1938.

    And ever since then she's continued to inspire and motivate others.

    Recently, the club recognized Dimock, 94, for her tireless efforts and longstanding membership with the club.

    The club started more than 100 years ago, and in its early years women would meet twice a month in the afternoon at someone's home. When Dimock joined at the age of 24 in 1938 she had time to devote to the then 20-member club since "women didn't work so much back then," she said.

    When the club began it was mainly a literary organization where women read books and reviewed them for discussion, Dimock said.

    The club would sometimes invite guests to present a program or provide entertainment. It eventually expanded its activities to include fundraisers for schools and community events, she said.

    The town's schools have always been important to the club, which also offers scholarships to high school students.

    Dimock recalls a particular program in which the club raised money and completely furnished a cafeteria at one of the town's schools.

    Gardening is also a big part of the club, and Dimock remembers annual trips to an arboretum and planting and maintaining flowerbeds in town. The club also planted flowerbeds around the war monument on the town green and have been maintaining it every week ever since, she said.

    To get children excited about gardening, the club has delivered seeds to local schools over the years.

    When Dimock was club president in the 1940s, the members felt it was time to open the club up to the public and it "immediately went to 100 members," she said.

    Over the years the civic-minded club has worked to better the community.

    According to Dimock, a big undertaking in the club's history was a door-to-door canvas of residents to substantiate the need for elderly housing in town, which helped lead to the elderly housing complex known as Snipsic Village.

    "I made many friends and got a great deal of satisfaction out of the volunteer work we did," Dimock said.

    And her volunteerism doesn't end with women's club. She also serves as the historian for the Ellington Congregational Church and can be seen dressing up as Nellie McKnight, who served as town librarian from 1929 to 1967, in town parades for the Ellington Historical Society, which Dimock is also active in.

    And when her sons were young, she also volunteered with the Cub Scouts. At the age of 94, Dimock is a proud mother, grandmother, and great-grandmother. Her husband, Gorden, died in July.

    Despite all that she has going on in her life, the energetic Dimock is always first to volunteer for a bake sale or a fundraiser, said Dorothy Shackway, president of the club.

    Fellow women's club member Ellen Karadimas calls Dimock a "go-getter."

    "She's such a great role model and an icon in the community," Karadimas said. "She is wonderful for us, she actually motivates us. She's much more energetic than a lot of people who are so much younger."

  Connie Yan, Journal Inquirer, Manchester, Conn.
 
Reprinted with permission.
 
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