Women’s Athenaeum Club keeps Park City history alive | ParkRecord.com

Women’s Athenaeum Club keeps Park City history alive

Though Park City treasures relics from its time as a booming mining town, one is different from all the rest.

One, after all these years, remains a living, breathing thing. The Women’s Athenaeum Club was founded by miners’ wives in 1897. Isolated in the small town, with little to do, they established the club with two goals in mind: perform community service and help education in town.

Now, 118 years later, the mission remains the same. The Women’s Athenaeum Club has withstood the test of time and is still aiming to make Park City a little bit better in any way it can.

"We want to keep it alive," said Kim Knutson, public affairs officer for the club. "With everything that happens in this day and age, with new innovations and new organizations coming to Park City, there’s a group of people who would like to keep some of the history and the old traditions alive."

One of the organization’s main education-based projects is sponsoring two Park City sophomore students to attend the Hugh O’Brian Youth Leadership Conference in Provo each year. This year’s participants were Camden Woll and Stella Ray, who went to the conference in May and reported to the club last month about their experience.

Knutson said hearing the students talk about their time at the conference is something the club looks forward to throughout the year.

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"We love giving students that opportunity," she said.

Other highlights of the club’s year is the annual mother-daughter celebration for Park City High School graduates and reading with and giving books to first-graders at McPolin Elementary School every spring.

"For some of these kids, it’s the first book they’ve ever owned, which is hard to believe in this day and age," Knutson said. "It’s just an awesome experience. To see the excitement on the kids’ faces is so neat."

But the club’s community service is about much more than education, Knutson said. And the group is hopeful that more women in Park City want to get involved. The organization currently has 42 active members, but there is room for more who want to take part in the club’s charitable efforts, such as donating food and goods to the Peace House.

"It’s not something where you have to do something every single week or something like that," Knutson said. "We have monthly meetings, and there is a lot of opportunity to get involved."

Those interested in becoming involved in the Women’s Athenaeum Club can contact parkcitywac@gmail.com .