On Tuesday, Oct. 12, The Porch Club of Riverton hosted a program that was in partnership with the Historical Society of Riverton and the Indian Springs Moorestown Chapter of the Questers. According to Hilary Brennan, this event was a crossover as some Porch Club members are members of the Historical Society as well as Questers. This was also the first time all three organizations came together.
Brennan is serving her first year as president of The Porch Club of Riverton after previously serving as vice president and communications chairperson. As a resident of Moorestown, she joined the club after attending her first meeting four years ago. She has since seen the club grow tremendously. Since the start of the pandemic, many events that were planned for members were put on hold.
“It’s nice that the club is back open and we’re having activities,” she noted. “Last Friday we had a roaring twenties party and we’re having an open house this evening. So, it’s great to have things up and running. You feel vibrant and alive, and we can show people why we love the club and why it makes an impact on so many of our lives.”
According to the official website for The Porch Club of Riverton, the club is a Federated Women’s Club that was founded in 1890 and is one of the oldest in New Jersey. At the start, eight women met weekly on porches as a reading circle and, in 1895, they organized their gatherings more formally. Brennan notes that women from 31 different townships, seven different counties and five different states have been members throughout the club’s history.
“Every other year we do a garden tour,” said Brennan. “That’s lovely because the community is so supportive to us and it’s one of our biggest fundraisers and it allows us to not only upkeep the building but also do a lot of the charitable work that we’re able to do.”
Lynda Brady, who sits on the committee of the Indian Springs Moorestown Chapter of the Questers, which consists of 25 members, enjoys the responsibility of working and leading by example for her community.
“When I moved to Moorestown, which was about 20 years ago, I moved here in the wintertime and I knew that I wanted to get involved in something,” said Brady. “I joined the [Moorestown Neighbors] and Newcomers Club…I had never heard about Questers because a lot of people still don’t hear about Questers, they say it’s the best kept secret.”
The program also featured a PowerPoint presentation on Riverton’s history given by town historian, Roger Prichard, and a walking tour for participants to check out some of the town’s oldest houses.
Moving ahead, Brennan is excited for The Porch Club to welcome new members and see more communities come together.
“I’m looking most forward to opening the club up to the community and partnering, just like we did today, with other community groups,” said Brennan. “As you learned today, about the history of the club, they were directly involved with young families and started the first kindergarten PTA [parent-teacher administration] and that is my goal for the club,” she stated.
“For us to welcome new people and young people into the club, so that they can appreciate and understand that as you go through life, you gain different things through meeting people, whether they are older people or younger people.”