The Merrimack Valley is well-known for its non-profit organizations and regional clubs, from Lawrence Community Works to the Greater Lowell Community Foundation. These organizations, many of which were established decades ago, have been extremely important in enriching the lives of residents in and around Lawrence. Over the past month LHC representatives have spoken to two such groups: the Exchange Club of Lawrence and the Greater Lawrence Italian Women's Club.
On February 26th archivist Jennifer Williams and Simmons intern Veronica Denison attended the monthly meeting of the Exchange Club of Lawrence. During the meeting they made a presentation not only concerning the history of the city, but also the work currently being completed at the Lawrence History Center. Williams spoke first about some of the events that have taken place in Lawrence that were of regional and national importance, and was followed by Denison, who spoke about the history of immigration in the city. The audience was very lively and engaged, making jokes about each other and laughing about the former quarrels between the different ethnic groups. They were also very interested in what Williams had to say about the Lawrence History Center. Indeed, several members expressed an interest in visiting the LHC and making donations.
On March 5th staff members Susan Grabski, Jennifer Williams, and Amita Kiley attended the monthly meeting of the Greater Lawrence Italian Women's Club. Also in attendance were Simmons intern Veronica Denison and volunteer Kathleen Flynn. They spoke to the members about the importance of preserving the history of the club, which is celebrating its 80th anniversary. Members were invited to work with the LHC to preserve the club's history by donating materials, current items in the collection related to the Italian community were displayed, and LHC flyers were passed around. The LHC representatives sat at different tables conversing with members and made quite a few connections. One donation was made that evening, and several others were planned. The members also helped to identify women in older photographs of the club. All in all it was a fantastic night filled with laughter, fun, and reminiscences.
The Lawrence History Center is always looking for more opportunities to work with local clubs, organizations, and groups, and we look forward to making more connections with the diverse community in and around Lawrence.