Just as any parent stands proudly in the background after a child has taken its first steps or achieved a major milestone, the May Court Club of Oakville is a group of women who actively assist behind the scenes with many local community organizations but remain relatively unknown.
The origins of the club can be traced back to Lady Aberdeen, wife of the Governor General, who founded the Victorian Order of Nurses (VON) and in 1890 she summoned 100 young ladies to a garden party at Rideau Hall. In her speech, Lady Aberdeen told them “… the solutions to all life’s difficulties … can be put in one word – SERVICE.” The Oakville club was founded in 1956 with 14 members and now boasts over 240 members. Since that time the club has raised over $2.2 million for local groups
The club runs four core initiatives: the Nearly New Shop on Kerr Street, The May Court Puppeteers (an entertaining and educating program for kids about bullying), The May Court Lunch Box Program (which provides non-perishable foods as a supplement for elementary students who arrive at school without a lunch), and The May Court Scholarship Program, which has awarded over $500,000 for scholarships to local students over the past
The club is run entirely by volunteers, including staffing the Nearly New Shop, which is a great source for fashionable gently used clothes for men, women and children. In addition to the consignment shop, the club raises funds for the community through unique events including The Mirror Mirror Fashion show, Art Around the Benz, The Cap and Gown Scholarship Dinner, Oakville Cuvee and their bi-annual Table Tops Designer and Entertaining Trends event.
Over the years, May Court has founded and supported many important local community programs. Each year, the Club carefully reviews where the need in our community is greatest, keeping in mind their mandate of providing support to the most vulnerable women, children and families in our community. Local charities supported include Wellspring Birmingham Gilgan House, Food for Life Canada, Acclaim Health, Salvation Army Halton Lighthouse, Home Suite Hope, The Children’s Aid Foundation, St. John Ambulance Oakville Branch, HIPPY Oakville, Lighthouse for Grieving Children and many more.
To view a detailed timeline of The May Court’s accomplishments, donate, become a member or learn more, visit maycourt.ca.
Article by Becky Dumais