Background of the Mesquite Club, Las Vegas
In 1911, 20 women founded the Mesquite Club in the City of Las Vegas. At that time, the population of the city was just over 1,000 and the city consisted of less than ten miles of graded and oiled roads. Most of 150 buildings in the city at the time were tents.
The Club was founded to cover a broad area of endeavors of social, civic, and philanthropic importance, and the founders adopted the name of the Mesquite Club from the mesquite tree because so many of the trees grew where there was underground water. The Club's first major project was planting cottonwood, shade trees as shelter from the intense, desert heat. The Club undertook the task of planting these shade trees throughout the City. Then, with the help from the City, they ensured that the trees were watered daily, and the livestock did not damage the bark.
The Club has made many important contributions to the Las Vegas area including: working to pass suffrage for women in Nevada, joining with the Red Cross to make bandages and raise funds during World War I, forming a USO Club during World War II, helping to start the Secret Witness Program (now known as Crime Stoppers), establishing a memorial endowment at UNLV to purchase children's literature, and establishing the first library in Las Vegas. The ladies of the Mesquite Club also worked to build playgounds for children in Las Vegas. The Mesquite Club has helped serveral non-profit organizations over the years with monetary donations and hands-on projects.
In 1912, the Mesquite Club was affiliated with the international organization, General Federation of Women's Clubs (GFWC) which is an international women's orgainzation dedicated to community improvement by enhancing the lives of others through volunteer service. While it was founded in 1890, it's efforts can be traced back to 1868. On April 24, 2015, GFWC celebrated it's 125th anniversary. With nearly 100,000 members, GFWC affiliates work in their own communities to address social issues.
Over the years, the ladies of the Mesquite Club have enjoyed various activities including fashion shows, musicals, crafts and arts, literary book clubs, garden clubs, reading in schools, helping in children's programs, fighting crime, safeguarding neighborhoods, and responding to both national needs of the country and local needs of the City. The Evening Mesquite Scholarship fund awards scholarships to eligible female high school seniors who will be attending a Nevada college or university. Today, the club has two chapters: Daytime and Evening. Club meetings include social activities, program meetings on a wide array of topics, and a focus on community service.
In 1961, the Mesquite Clubhouse at 702 E. St. Louis Avenue was constructed to serve as the meeting place for Mesquite Club members. The Clubhouse is listed on the City of Las Vegas Historic Property Register. It serves as meeting places to both Day and Evening programs for the Mesquite Club. It is also used for the Club's fundraising and social events throughout the year. The Clubhouse also serves the Las Vegas area with neighborhood meetings and community events held there.
Today, the Mesquite Club members are as lively and active as the founders were 105 years ago. While Las Vegas has changed over the years, so has the Mesquite Club as it provides fulfilling experiences for it's member as they continue to do good works in the community while enjoying each other's camaraderie.
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2015-16 Scholarship Winners.
Kon Care Cancer Pillowcases
The Mesquite Club, Inc.