BridGe: Members play together. Courtesy photo

The Santa Monica Bay Woman’s Club is looking for a few good women. As an enticement to join the venerable institution, they are offering free bridge lessons to new members. The club’s goal is to sign up at least eight players, which would be enough for two full tables. Proceeds of the membership drive will help fund the Elmira T. Stevens Scholarship Fund for Santa Monica High School seniors.

“The money we take in goes to scholarship funds for some senior girls at Santa Monica High. Usually, we get four scholarships a year, which sort of depends on how much money we take in,” Darlene Bahr, the club’s former president said. “But because some of our trainees that are playing bridge are getting in their 90’s. We decided we better do something to get more bridge players to continue raising funds for the scholarship.”

Scholarship recipients are given money to help pay for their college expenses, but earning the scholarship takes a strong essay. Interested young women of Samohi must write an essay on how their future college education will allow them to help the community they live in.

To take advantage of the eight free lessons, one must become a member of the Woman’s Club, which costs $50 for the first year and $40 after that.

On Mondays, the club plays bridge and canasta. Duplicate bridge is available to play on Thursdays. Men are more than welcome to join the club as well.

Since 1905, the Santa Monica Bay Woman’s Club mission has been to enrich the lives of members and the community through their legacy of women’s fellowship and charitable service and, through stewardship of their historic building to provide a place for social, civic and cultural programs and events.

Its purpose is to create friendships and to make a difference in the Santa Monica community. There are several weekly and monthly events for members from card games, to arts, to getting together for their monthly potluck.

The club’s building on 4th Street is in the classic revival style. It was built in 1914 and became a landmark in 1991. Its most notable feature is a two-story ballroom that has been the centerpiece of important events for over 100 years and remains a popular venue for wedding receptions, bar and bat mitzvahs, live performance, fundraisers and as a filming locale.

“The Santa Monica Bay Woman’s Club is an inspiration both in its history, the building and the women participating in its continuing events! I have come to love so many of the women I have met there.” Mary Spata, Santa Monica Bay Woman’s Club secretary said.