DEXTER - The late Mrs. Annie Fish organized the Sunshine Club of Dexter on October 28th, 1903. The idea was to bring a bit of sunshine and cheer to children, the ill and shut-ins. For over 90 years the membership was restricted to 25 women but about 5 years ago, due to an aging membership, the club voted to allow older members to becom Honorary, bringing in younger women to help with the many projects. The current membership consists of 25 ladies plus 17 Honorary Members.
Helen Parsons, Co-Marshall of Dexter's Bicentennial Parade, is a long-time member of the club. Another long-time member, Gladys Haynes, was one of the representatives in the club's "float" in the parade.
During the year, the Sunshine Club brings "sunshine" by sending a card, a rose, a fruit basket or dinner to those confined because of illness. Sandwiches, pickles and chips are sent to the gathering after the funerals of Dexter residents. Visiting shut-ins and giving birthday and Christmas presents to each person in the local nursing and boarding homes are done by the Sunshine Club.
When 50th anniversaries are celebrated, a floral arrangement is sent and flower arrangements are also sent on 90th birthdays.
Last year, the club helped many families (86 adults and 63 children) by providing Thanksgiving and Christmas dinners. Toys and clothes were bought for all the children. Some members of the community knit mittens for the organization that are distributed with the Christmas boxes. In addition to these baskets, 43 fruit baskets were delivered to shut-ins and others in need of a little "sunshine."
This year the club provided food for 164 people and delivered 33 fruit baskets over the Thanksgiving holiday. Christmas dinners, toys and clothing will be delivered during the Christmas season. The Sunshine Club also presents the gold-headed cane to the oldest man in town and the silver-headed cane to the oldest woman.
For the past two years, the club has been purchasing books to be distributed at the M.S.A.D #46 Kindergarten screening. Each child who registers for Kindergarten receives two books compliments of the club.
The club is supported through donations, fund-raisers, dues and bequests.
Dexter Sunshine Club
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