Junior Women's Club offers 'Rosie' view of war effort

Memorial weekend show depicts 'We Can Do It' attitude

  • Michele Guyton is a factory worker "Rosie" in the production of "Rosie the Riveter," a musical coming May 28 to Winters Mill High School.
Michele Guyton is a factory worker "Rosie" in the… (Courtesy Thirst 'n' Howl…)
May 23, 2011|By Katie V. Jones

The Junior Women's Club of Westminster is already well known in for its popular children's consignment sale and its annual chili cook-off. Now, the group is planning a new event they hope will become a county tradition as well.

On May 28, at 7 p.m., the club will present "Rosie the Riveter" a production by the Baltimore-based theater group, Thirst 'n' Howl, at Winters Mill High School, Westminster.

"We are always looking for ways to raise money to give back to the community," said Mary Walton, committee chairwoman of the club. "People can come out and enjoy the event and support the community all at the same time." Funds raised from the production will be placed in a discretionary fund, according to Cecilia Alcorn, former president of the club.

"Sometimes during the year, someone in the community needs something or one of the local groups that we give to calls," Alcorn explained. "The discretionary fund is for if something comes up or there is a need, we can help them."

As it will be Memorial Day weekend, the group thought it was appropriate to present "Rosie the Riveter."

"We thought it would be a real cool production for around Memorial Day," Alcorn said. "I tell them (members of the group) we're the Rosies of today, as we pick up the slack where there is a need."

Founded in the 1952, the Junior Women's Club of Westminster is a member of the General Federation of Women's Clubs. The non-profit organization of women aged 20 to 60 supports the community, women and families in need.

Currently, there are about 40 to 45 members, according to Walton.

Meetings are on the second Thursday of every month at the Carroll County Non-Profit Center, in Westminster.

"It's a neat club," Walton said. "Homemakers, professionals, we all get together. We have lots of contacts."

If the production proves to be a success, the group hopes to host a series next year.

"Our goal is to …have a series of three (productions) every year," Walton said. "The theme would be around women, and what we can do. Hopefully, it will entertain the public."

"Rosie the Riveter" is based on the true stories of women who entered the workforce after the start of World War II, many working in factories that built the airplanes and other machines of war.

Debi Wynn, creator of the production, said the play is important because it recognizes what many women did — without much credit.

"It's about how they balanced work and home life," Wynn said. "What these ladies did, working on these planes that actually got in the air, with little training …to me, these ladies are incredible."

Wynn has met many of the real "Rosies" who worked in those factories, and said she was so inspired that she helped organize the Baltimore chapter of the American Rosie the Riveter Association.

It was then that she met Julia Yoder, of Westminster — one of those real-life Rosies.

"She went to work at Martin's (Glenn L. Martin Aircraft Company)," Wynn said of Yoder, who died last year. "She was very small. To imagine seeing her with a rivet gun … . Putting these experiences together was really incredible to me."

The Junior Women's Club of Westminster will present "Rosie the Riveter" by Thirst 'n' Howl productions on May 28, 7 p.m., at Winters Mill High School, 560 Gorsuch Road, Westminster. Tickets are $15 and are available at the Shop at Cockey's in Westminster, the Carroll County Arts Council, the Carroll County Historical Society and at the door.

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