The Countryside Improvement Association of West Bloomfield will be celebrating its 100th anniversary with a luncheon at the Pine Lake Country Club today, Wednesday, Sept. 14.
The founding of Countryside dates back to Sept. 11, 1911, when the Pine Lake Country Club was known as the Auto Club at Pine Lake. During that period, automobiles were starting to come into their own, but they were causing dust problems whenever they came down the road.
“A group of women got together and raised money to put 40,000 gallons of oil on the road over three summers to keep the dust down,” said Rosemary Zessin, a former Countryside president. “They also named the streets and had signs put up around Orchard Lake and Pine Lake.”
Soon Countryside branched out to donate money for limbs for soldiers injured during World War I, as well as canning produce from members’ gardens to send down to the hungry in Detroit during the Great Depression.
Today, Countryside offers scholarships to students and supports organizations such as Leader Dogs for the Blind, the Gleaners Community Food Bank of Southeastern Michigan, and The Open Door Outreach Center.
Funds are raised through auctions, fashion shows, teas and member donations.
At the Sept. 14 luncheon, a memorial bench will be donated to Marshbank Park in West Bloomfield and a painting for the Children’s Reading Room will be donated to the West Bloomfield Library.
Countryside currently has 24 members, with the oldest being 97.