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Markvue Manor Women's Club celebrates 50th anniversary

| Wednesday, May 1, 2013, 9:00 p.m.
Aaron Lougner | For The Norwin Star
Markvue Manor Women's Club is celebrating its 50th anniversary. Dorothy Yankis, the organizations founder, and Diana Popelas, its current president, look over some past programs and memorabilia.
Aaron Loughner | For The Norwin
Markvue Manor Women's Club is celebrating its 50th anniversary (1962-2012). Dorothy Yankis, the organizations founder, and Diana Popelas, its current president, unwrap the 50th anniversary commerative mug. Aaron Loughner | For The Norwin Star Aaron Loughner | For the Norwin Star
Aaron Lougner | For The Norwin Star
Markvue Manor Women's Club is celebrating its 50th anniversary. Dorothy Yankis, the organization's founder, and Diana Popelas, its current president, unwrap the 50th anniversary commerative mug.

A neighborhood women's club marked a half-century last month with celebration featuring its current and former presidents and members.

The Markvue Manor Women's Club started in 1963 as a way to provide fellowship for women in the housing plan. While it still offers fellowship, the organization has grown into a philanthropic organization, offering scholarships and financial contributions to local charities and fire departments, President Diana Popelas said.

“It started with a community picnic, so everybody could get to know their neighbors, and the club began to grow,” Popelas said. “Now, we also do our best to provide funding to various organizations, food banks, churches and to help our community.”

Markvue Manor resident Dorothy Yankes started the club as a way for women in the growing housing plan to get together, and allow their children to meet and become friends.

“When we started, my street was one of the very few that was even halfway completed,” Yankes said. “It continued growing as more streets developed, and we started with about 74 members.”

Its popularity grew quickly, and the club had more than 100 members. It forced the club's members to begin a waiting list for future membership, Yankes said.

“It was just an expedient thing we hoped and prayed would work,” Yankes said.

The club first began giving out its annual scholarships during its second year, and eventually began collecting more money to make donations to community-based organizations, such as the township's fire departments and food banks, Yankes said.

Markvue Manor has about 700 homes, and the club now has about 30 members, Popelas said.

She blamed the smaller membership on the economy.

“Women didn't work at the time the club started – they were homemakers,” Popelas said. “Most homes are now made up of working families, which is why our membership isn't as high as when we started.”

Despite a smaller membership base, Popelas said the Markvue Manor Women's Club still serves an important function in the neighborhood.

“We want to let people know their neighbors are there for them, and that we're here helping eachother out,” Popelas said. “It's important to know you have neighbors to depend on, and we want to show that to the newer people moving in.

“We always want to introduce ourselves and let them know we're here.”

Brad Pedersen is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-856-7400, ext. 8626, or bpedersen@tribweb.com.

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