Founded in 1948, the Boca Grande Woman’s Club has a long history of community involvement and support on Gasparilla Island. Founded by twenty-five women who shared a common vision for their island, the Club now has over 350 members whose year-long efforts support the two major philanthropies of the organization: college scholarships and support of local non-profit organizations.
In the early years, the Club sponsored annual Christmas and New Year’s Eve dances for the public, supported the establishment of the Boca Grande Health Clinic, and organized the annual Christmas Tree Lighting ceremony. They were also involved in various beautification programs.
Later Accomplishments Include:
- In 1966, the Club introduced and promoted the drive for a fresh water system for the island, which replaced the antiquated cistern system used up until that time.
- BGWC took the lead in developing a study which led to the establishment of the Community Center in what had been the old school. The Club was also a leading financial supporter of this project.
- A long time supporter of the Gasparilla Island Community Improvement Association (GICIA), in 2008 the Club contributed $100,000 for the establishment of the bike path and in 2015, $150,000 toward the purchase of the Mercabo property at the north end of the island.
- Education has always been a priority of the Club which supports both the Boca Grande Child Care Center (now the Boca Grande preschool), The Island School and various programs at Lemon Bay High School. Additionally, the Club’s Scholarship Program has awarded over $2,500,000 in college scholarships to over 250 students since its inception in 1982.
On-going Community Events:
Community–wide events of the organization include the Annual Christmas Tree Lighting Program, the Annual Spring Fair and Bike Parade and the BGWC Dog Show (which is held every other year).
Boca Bargains, located a the corner of Park and Banyan Streets, is a cornerstone of the organization and is open for business beginning in late November through the middle of April. (Please see Boca Bargains page for details.)