Tried and true, Shamrock Club’s fall dinner a favorite

The Shamrock Club’s Harvest Dinner is on the calendar for Sunday, Nov. 5, from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Above, members Jill Grandi, left, and Tonya Capurro are pictured by the club’s pull down screen that includes the logos of numerous past Weiser businesses. Photo by Nancy Grindstaff
Nancy Grindstaff
 November is here, the weather has cooled off noticeably, and this year’s harvest season is about to be made complete with the 100-year-old Shamrock Club’s annual Harvest Dinner on Sunday, Nov. 5, running from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.
 If your favorite meal is the one that someone else cooks, don’t miss this one. Served up the first Sunday in November at the historic Jeffrey Schoolhouse, located at 1818 Weiser River Road, the homemade meal of roast beef, mashed potatoes and gravy, green beans, salad, rolls and pies is prepared entirely by Shamrock Club members.
 Cost is $14 for adults, $7 for children ages 6-12, and free for children 5 and under. Takeout orders are available, as well.
 Proceeds from the dinner go towards maintenance and upgrades to the 113-year-old schoolhouse that served to educate children living east of Weiser from 1908 to 1958. The building itself replaced the original Jeffrey School that was established in 1870. 
 After Park School’s construction, the area’s students rode the bus to town and the Weiser School District sold the building to The Unity Grange 416 and the Shamrock Club.
 The beginning of the Shamrock Club dates back to 1922,  formed as an extension group for rural women and initiated by Eva Breshears, who lived just across from the school on Weiser River Road. She was also prominent in establishing an early 4-H club in the area. After its purchase, the building had been used steadily by a 4-H club up until the 2020 pandemic. 
 Through its long existence the group’s purpose has been two-fold, first as a service organization, and, after buying the schoolhouse, to preserve and maintain it as a community center for local events. Beyond the Shamrock Club’s monthly meetings, the building is used in a variety of ways, from memorial dinners to baby and wedding showers to craft classes to dance lessons, and reunions.
 Over the past several months, the Shamrock Club’s leaders have been taking steps towards the organization becoming a 501c3 nonprofit..
 “We are now incorporated and recorded with the state,” acting club president Tonya Capurro told the Signal American Sunday afternoon. “And we filed an application for the 501c3, which will open doors to grant funding for us.”
 She said that sometime after the nonprofit process is complete, they will also be applying to have the building added to the National Registry of Historic Places.
 Capurro stepped into the leadership role late last winter after the death of 40-year president Kathy Skow, adding the club will be holding elections after this month’s annual dinner.
 “There’s no way we can replicate how Kathy did things,” Capurro said. “But, we had been talking about becoming a nonprofit even before the pandemic. We knew we needed to do that, but it was a monumental task. How you applied for them years ago, which I had been involved with, is nothing like is required today.”
 Joined by Jill Grandi on Sunday, they and longtime member Marg Chipman are the designated board members of the newly established corporation. 
 The pair described the upstairs room of the building as being in desperate need of repair.
 “The plaster is coming off the walls,” they said. “At one time a lot of birds got in up there, and along with there not being any heat or air conditioning, it has deteriorated the plaster on the walls. 
 They said the goal for the upstairs is to recreate a classroom, similar to what it was when it served as the area’s school.
 “The fold down stage is still up there,” Capurro said. “And we already have old style desks that have been donated to us. The main thing is we need to keep the building in good repair.”
 The finalization of the nonprofit status is likely a few more months out.
 “The application was submitted within the last two weeks,” Capurro added. “They were backdated by about a month in processing applications, so we were hoping for year end, but I don’t know if we’ll be able to achieve that.”
 Grandi commented that one of the club’s members had actually attended school in the building.
 “They still have a reunion here every September,” she said.
 Capurro added, “She’s talked about that a lot of times they didn’t have classes upstairs, that they had everyone down here, and the younger children would sit on the older children’s laps and they would help them with their lessons.
 “It had to have been wonderful,” she said.
 “The charm of the club, it reminds me of the 1950s when every month a couple of people hosted, and would bring their best candy dishes, make coffee and dessert,” Grandi added. “After the meeting we just visit, which these days just doesn’t happen.”
 “We want to preserve the building so we can continue to serve the community,” they said. 


Signal American

18 E. Idaho St.
Weiser, ID 83672
PH: (208) 549-1717
FAX: (208) 549-1718

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