Pasadena’s Shakespeare Club Has Been Making Christmas Happy for Children for Over a Century

Published on Dec 24, 2020

Gift cards purchased with donated funds. (Photo courtesy of the Shakespeare Club)

Although there was no shopping trip this year with an accompanying photograph of toy-laden carts and a long, long cash register receipt, the Shakespeare Club again partnered with Friends of Foster Children (“FOFC”) to provide Christmas gifts for area children in residential foster care.  

This year to reduce interaction and handling, money rather than toys was provided at FOFC’s request so that gifts could be ordered and sent directly to the residences of the children. Although fewer hands on this year, the heartfelt sentiment of generosity and the desire to fulfill children’s wishes at Christmas remained the mission of the ladies who make up the Shakespeare Club. 

The venerable Shakespeare Club, established in 1888 as one of the first women’s clubs in the West, suffered reduced membership this pandemic year (including the loss of our member, Mary Wynton, who donated most generously to the toy drive each Christmas), and has not held membership meetings since March.  

Despite the disadvantages of 2020, a record donation of $4,000 was provided by the Shakespeare Club members and presented to Friends of Foster Children by the club’s Philanthropy Chairman, Cindy Carlburg.  

FOFC Co-Chairs Debi Mistretta and Kathy Stokes expressed their surprise and gratitude.  “We were so excited with the generosity of your members when we received your check.  Once again, the Shakespeare Club amazed us!”  FOFC shared the funding with the children at Hathaway Residential Program and for a very special need at Helen Evans Center,  a residential facility for handicapped foster children ranging in age from infants to high school.  The remaining funds were used to fill the wishes of  Sugar Plum 2020.

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