Founded 1942: ‘The Loyal Friends’ are not strangers to community giving
By Peggy Kelly
Santa Paula News
Published: January 01, 2014
By Peggy Kelly
Santa Paula Times
Over the decades “The Loyal Friends” have demonstrated they are not strangers to community giving as a recent donation to Blanchard Community Library proved.
The group has been meeting monthly in Santa Paula since 1942, first under the banner of The International Order of The King’s Daughters and Sons, an interdenominational Christian organization.
Santa Paulan May Caldwell was one of the original founders of the Santa Paula Chapter of The International Order of The King’s Daughters and Sons.
Said Caldwell, “We were together for a long time, made a lot of money for different things here in Santa Paula,” through rummage and bake sales among other fundraising methods.
With as many as 40 members, over the years, “We gave scholarships to students, helped the hospital get started up on the hill.”
After 35 years, in 1977 the local group decided to break away from the international organization and start their own nonprofit, “The Loyal Friends” to reflect their personal relationships and commitment to better serve local needs.
“The Loyal Friends” still meet monthly: “We have lunch, still collect membership dues for the year,” an amount that Caldwell said is $10 annually.
“We’ve never raised our dues,” she noted, and although fundraising activities have largely ceased, “We still donate that money,” to various organizations such as the Boys & Girls Clubs of Santa Clara Valley and Blanchard Community Library, the latest recipient from decades of giving.
Caldwell has been there since the beginning: “Twelve of us started it and I’m the only one left of the original twelve...Cathy Hicks’ mother (the late Rita Hose) belonged and asked Cathy to come as her guest...and Cathy has been a member ever since. We would love to have younger members.”
Hicks’ mother was a member of “The Loyal Friends” for 12 years before she passed away about two years ago.
“I’ve been a member now for probably about five years,” said Hicks.
“I honestly think it’s a good organization...every year they always give at least $100 to the library,” in addition to other donations.
Hicks is a very active member: “Mainly I take care of the finances for them, if they need rides I give them a ride,” and she also help members with computer needs as well sending out monthly meeting reminders.
“It’s a good club...all these ladies are able to get out once a month,” for socializing as well as philanthropy.
Noted Hicks, “It’s an older women’s group but anyone that likes to do good works and have lunch once a month is welcome to join.”
For more information, contact Hicks at 625-3259.