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The earliest record available suggest the Pollyanna Club was reorganized in 1926 as a service club and a way to socialize with friends and neighbors. Names of the early members are familiar to our city: Howe, Isom, Kirk, Standard, Walker, Cochran, Eggleston and Woody were listed as members in 1926, a total of 21 members.
In reading past minutes, it is obvious the members were very supportive of objectives for the school and community. They worked hard to promote and encourage them. Over the years the club has given aid to Girl Scouts, Red Cross, March of Dimes, American Cancer Society, Heart Fund and many local projects , including Pee Wee Baseball. They painted new picnic tables for the city park and helped promote the medical center. In 1966 they purchased a table and chairs for the children’s section of the Brownsville Library. There is a receipt for $35.00 toward stage curtains for the high school dated December 21,1936. This building is now known as the Rec Center.
At one point the Club went international with their service by donating to a pre- school in France in 1946, a post WWII blessing for her. The American Aid to France promoted this outreach. Items of clothing and school supplies were sent. Each member paid thirteen cents to help pay the postage. Annette Hinault received three packages and sent her thanks. Jesse Howe, past member, was most often the winner of the “Pioneer Picnic Theme Contest”. Another theme winner was member Rosie Etter, former owner of Pioneer Market.
One of the fun things the Pollyanna Club has supported is the parade on Saturday of Pioneer Picnic; there are floats, old cars, tractors, animals and commercial entries. The club has had floats almost every year the parade has been in existence. One of the most loving ladies to be on board the float and funniest too, was Genevieve Overton, a former teacher at Brownsville HS and Central Linn HS. The Pollyanna Club has sponsored the Pioneer Picnic Kiddy Parade since 1939. The parade currently gives prizes for several divisions and a sweepstakes for the best overall entry. The club usually furnishes the prizes. In the recent past, the Senior Center has also helped. Dr. Kirt Glenn, our local dentist, has contributed treats at the end of the parade for all participants. Some of the current members are descendants of the original members, carrying on a tradition of community pride and service.
Currently, the club donates annually to Sharing Hands and the Veterans Home and sponsors a beautiful hanging basket through the Chamber. They donate clothes and money to the Clothing Closet in Central Linn School District, provide holiday gifts and meals to local families, donate to Central Linn scholarships, and more.