On Sept. 9, 2002, a few dozen Robson Ranch residents gathered at an area restaurant for what turned out to be the first meeting of the Robson Ranch Women’s Club.
Today, nearly 500 women belong to the organization, many of whom attended an all-day celebration on September 6 at the Robson Ranch Clubhouse Ballroom honoring the group’s 20-year anniversary. The festivities began with a noon luncheon where members enjoyed entertaining skits and memorabilia with 13 of the 20 presidents there to share memories including the first president, Martha Fagin. Each received a long-stem, white rose to honor their service.
That evening was open to the entire community with food catered by The Robson Ranch Grille and featuring a performance by the Der Robson Hausen Dancers. Among the speakers were Lyle Dresher, district liaison for State Representative Lynn Stucky, Denton Mayor Gerard Hudspeth and County Commissioner Diane Edmondson plus leaders from several charities the club has supported throughout the years. Proclamations from Denton County Judge Andy Eads and Stucky also were presented.
“Everyone was invited because even though it was the Robson Ranch Women’s Club we wanted everyone to help celebrate and see what we do,” said Rose DePoe, the 2022 president and event master of ceremonies.
“We wanted to toot our horn about the women who came before us,” said President-Elect Nancy Garre-Caldwell, who chaired the event.
Originally started as something fun where the women would have lunch and chat, it quickly became a source of assistance to needy people in Denton County. At first canned goods were collected for the Denton Community Food Center and the women wrote letters to military troops overseas. As the club grew, meetings later moved to The Grille and finally to the Clubhouse Ballroom.
Beginning in ensuing years, the board has selected two charities to raise money through two major annual fundraisers – the Home and Garden Show in the spring and Holiday Market which this year took place Oct. 8. This year those groups are the Denton County Friends of the Family and Our Daily Bread
“At the end of the year, we’re giving to charity between $25-27,000 just from those two events,” DePoe said. “Every month at the luncheon there’s a charity table where you can give cash and that’s between $400 and $600. Plus we bring food goods and we do a backpack event every August where we provided loaded backpacks with all the school supplies to about 200 kids.”
It is estimated the club has raised more than $355,000 over its first 20 years.
Even during the teeth of the Covid-19 pandemic in 2020, the club kept going thanks to then President Gayle Coe’s persistent communications efforts. Despite government-induced restrictions for much of that year, the Robson Ranch Women’s Club still raised $27,000.
“The thing that impressed me about the Women’s Club was it’s a fun group of women who enjoy sharing and caring for each other but extended it to the entire community,” said DePoe, who moved to Robson Ranch in 2016 from Dallas. “When I first came I thought ‘these women are having so much fun and in the process helping the less fortunate.’ ”
The club currently is preparing duffel bags of clothing and toiletries to help homeless people on the path to normalcy.
“It’s a very generous group of women,” said Garre-Caldwell, who moved to the community from Flower Mound in 2015. “They’re very selfless. It blows me away how they help materially or financially or to volunteer.”
“All the work we are doing is not work,” Garre-Caldwell said. “It’s a gift to us to be able to do it. That’s the attitude of the women who are really working hard.”