Non-Profit Spotlight: Women’s Association of Hilton Head Island

By 1965, the Garden Club boasted 56 members and changed its name to the Women’s Association of Hilton Head Island. WAHHI is now over 600 women strong.

Mission: To promote the natural and cultural beauty of Hilton Head Island, to encourage projects which benefit the community and to facilitate communication among the women of the Lowcountry.

History: In 1960, a group of seven friends sipping iced tea on the porch of Nancy McBride’s home on Wood Ibis Road in Sea Pines thought it would be a good idea to form a group to beautify Coligny Circle. As a result, the Hilton Head Island Garden Club was born. The seven women recruited enough friends to begin with 23 charter members. Annual dues were $1. There were five standing committees: telephone, membership, publicity, horticulture and project. By 1965, the Garden Club boasted 56 members and changed its name to the Women’s Association of Hilton Head Island. WAHHI is now over 600 women strong.

Who It Helps: The Women’s Association’s Youth Community Service Award Program has been the organization’s most visible community effort through the years. Begun in 1980 as an idea of Carol Wolf, 1979-80 president, it was designed to reward local students. In over 30 years, the program has morphed to recognize local outstanding graduating high school seniors who excel at community service. Well over 100 students have been recognized since the program’s inception and thousands of dollars have been awarded. Also, grants are given to projects which align with WAHHI’s core values and mission statement through the WAHHI Charitable Fund.

How to Help: Membership ($35) is open to all women who live on Hilton Head, in Bluffton and in many communities along U.S. 278. Interest groups are a vital part of WAHHI and there are more than 40 groups in which to participate. By joining, you meet other women with similar interests in smaller venues. Attending one of the four annual luncheons is another way to enjoy the fellowship of other women. Members bring donations to benefit local organizations.

For more information on the Women’s Association of Hilton Head Island, visit wahhi.com or email [email protected].