Papoose Club "mothers" Valley's kids
Photography: Anna Mathieu
Cousins Adriana and Marifer Perez pose with their handicrafts made during one of many of the Valley's youth programs sponsored by the Papoose Club.
While others might have been planning how to slow growth in the Valley, a group of enlightened mothers had the foresight 50 years ago to see that the children were coming, and they were going to be sure the village was ready for them.
They were already serving other mothers in a babysitting cooperative, so they had an idea of the needs to come.
And so began the fledgling Papoose Club, whose purpose was to promote and assist cultural, social, educational, and athletic activities for the children of the Wood River Valley and to raise money to further these purposes.
Papoose Club President Nancy Schwab credits the group’s longevity to the quality of volunteers.
“It's just a great group of women,” she says. Perhaps surprisingly, “not all of us have children, we just really want to give back to the community. We enjoy making the money and seeing the looks on people’s faces when we give it to them.
“That’s the greatest impetus, knowing the impact we have on the children of the Wood River Valley.”
Today, its 45 members hold steady to the founding mission: organizing, sponsoring, and supporting local youth-oriented charities throughout the year.
The events sponsored fall into three categories: fundraising, service, and membership.
The fundraising arm hosts the Wagon Days Pancake Breakfast, Holiday Craft Bazaar, and a plant sale. The Kindercup Ski Race and Quigley Cup Nordic race for kids are considered service.
The only requirement for membership is a $20 processing fee and a commitment to giving what time you can, Schwab says.
Some organizations that have benefited include: Bellevue Elementary Library, Blaine County Recreation District, Company of Fools, Cub Scout Pack 87, Developmental Preschool: Blaine County School District, Environmental Resource Center, and Hailey Ice Rink.