When Sandie Papa moved to Valencia Lakes in 2007, she realized that the community could benefit from a women’s club. Having been very active in her previous over-55 community in Boynton Beach, she recruited Patty Hibsher to help set up the Club and asked Neal Rosen to help with the 501c3 filing, which felt like a full-time job at the time! The IRS finally approved the non-profit status in 2009. No one wanted to be the president, so Sandie volunteered along with Pat Bush as VP, Patty Hibsher as Treasurer, and Kay Laughlin and Joy Rosen as board members.
Sandie already knew success with the Walk for the Cure on the East Coast, so she got the VLW involved. That first year, Yaffa Spieler headed up the walk. They enlisted a jeweler to purchase gold from the residents and raised $4000, no easy feat considering how few residents there were at the time. They raised $4000 in the second year also. Other fundraisers included a cookbook and Valencia Lakes Beach Bags. The club instituted the Scholarship Fund in the early days, the Angel Tree Gift Drive and the Food Pantry benefiting Our Lady of Guadalupe Mission Church.
Sandie says, “It gives me great pleasure to see how much it has grown over the years.”