If you read the San Saba News regularly, you probably know the Pierian Study Club enjoys having parties. In fact, monthly meetings are typically festive occasions that include beautiful table decorations and delicious food. Sometimes, the hostesses bring out "the good dishes" as a way of making the experience even more special.
What you may not know is that the purpose of the Club is "to cooperate in any work which may advance the welfare of humanity." And, at every meeting, the members recite the Club Collect that ends with: "And, oh Lord God, let us not forget to be kind."
It seems that Pierians are always serving others. Most are active in their churches and many serve as the family matriarch, taking care of aging parents, supporting children through teenage, mid-life or other crises and doting on grandchildren. Among their many roles, these women deliver Meals on Wheels, teach Sunday school classes, visit friends in the nursing home and get involved in a variety of local service organizations.
Founded in 1938, the Club has a long and distinguished history. Current members, led by President Kathleen Hawkins, stand on the shoulders of those who’ve gone before to make a difference in our town. Here are a few examples. Barbara Gilger, Patty Shaw, Linda Sloan and Connie Adams have volunteered for years to respond to EMS calls. Trish Warren often leads Bible studies at her home and graces the puppet stage every week at Faithweavers Friends. Millie Burnham serves as the Treasurer of the Methodist Church. Nancy Bannister encourages people to take advantage of the Library’s resources by writing book reviews. Kay Nettleship chairs the Pierian Project Committee and oversees the distribution of Club-funded scholarships, Angel Tree gifts and other donations to community causes. Gail Bruner almost single handedly beautified our downtown a few years ago when she raised money, purchased containers, planted flowers and, with the help of the Garden Club, maintained the blooming flowers throughout the growing season. Anna Wilson, a gifted artist, routinely donates her paintings to the Catkins Ball Auction and to other fundraisers in San Saba. Martha Leigh Whitten serves on the City Council and Susie Nettleship serves on the school board. Elsie Millican, our 96-year old member with an optimistic school-girl attitude, only recently stopped baking her famous pecan pies as welcome gifts for San Saba newcomers. She, Betty Jo Miller, Paula Barrier and Vickie Stevenson are active in San Saba’s museum and recently helped with a grant application to LCRA. And, don’t forget our perky cheerleader, Anita Miles, who writes community interest articles for the San Saba News and did a fabulous cartwheel at the Baptist Church’s Christmas Program. There’s almost no limit to what the Pierians will do to make a difference in our town!
The connection between these women’s desire to serve their community and their delight in creating joyful experiences at their monthly meetings is that many of them have "servant’s hearts." Regardless of the project, they’re always doing their best, paying careful attention to everyone else’s needs and preferring to serve quietly in the shadows. Maybe that’s why we don’t hear much about their accomplishments.
In case you’re wondering about the February meeting, it was another stunning success. It was held on Thursday, February 10, at the gorgeous home of Dr. Donna Baker. As usual, the hostesses decorated beautifully and served wonderful food. The business meeting, which was chaired by Sandy Smith, ran efficiently and this month’s entertainment was truly extraordinary. The Club enjoyed a string and vocal performance by three talented young women: Lydia Miller, age 20, violin; Abigail Miller, age 15, viola; and Faith Miller, age 13, cello. All of the musicians have been home-schooled by their mother, Sherry, who accompanied them to the meeting. They honed their performance skills under the tutelage of Keenan Fletcher, a violin virtuoso from Llano by way of Dallas. Keenan, who is Barbara Gilger’s cousin, was featured in the Spring 2010 edition of Hill Country magazine(http://www.hillcountrymagazine.com/issues/spring-2010/179/violin-virtuoso/).
Hostesses for February’s meeting were Trish Warren, Chair; Gail Bruner, Jeri Jones and Jocelyn McRorey. Jane Randolph, who has both a servant’s heart and a servant’s hands, is always willing to help and, even though it wasn’t her turn, she volunteered to assist her friends with February’s meeting.