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President’s Message 

Happy New Year!

Warm greetings to everyone as we end the holiday season and move into a new year that is sure to be eventful, if not entirely fun. Ken and I spent some time in Florida visiting family and friends that have gravitated to the warmer weather.
 
At Vale Club, we packed a lot of eating into December starting with the indoor picnic at the Schoolhouse. It was a lot of fun and most people thought we should do it again next year. Thanks to Pam Guffain and Rita Pierre-Davis for the planning and Sue and Chip Bowers for providing all the BBQ meat, sauce, and chili for chili dogs.

Next was lunch and a tour of Mt. Vernon which was decorated for Christmas. Many thanks to Suzanne Freeman for the arrangements.
 
Our holiday party was hosted by Mary Martin who decorated her house earlier than normal and opened her lovely house to Vale Club. Mary’s house was beautifully decorated, which set the tone for a festive gathering! Over 80 people signed up to attend and the food was amazing. It was wonderful to see so many Vale Club members gathered together.

I want to thank everyone who participated in our two outreach projects this fall. Patti Cooksey and Nancy Singer did a great job advertising and coordinating the fundraising efforts of both Helping Hungry Kids and Family Pass. How nice that Vale Club members responded with generous donations!

Alicia Clelland attended the December Board meeting and presented the idea that Vale Club create a travel club in conjunction with Collette Tours. I know that many Vale Club members like to travel, and it might be fun to travel with other Vale Club members. You can find more info in the newsletter if you are interested in helping with this initiative.

2024 will be the 90th year of Vale Club! Look for a new banner at the corner of Vale and Fox Mill Roads thanks to Trish Strat. We want to celebrate our 90th and if you would like to be part of a planning committee – please let me know.

I am looking forward to seeing you at the January meeting!

Betsy Rock
Vale Club President

FVS History Highlights: “A Place to Tie To” 

‘Vale History —1950s’
 
In the 1950s there were 1,656 properties designated as farms in Fairfax County (in the latest census there were 2017). The Vale Community was still largely rural as its activities show. Our Schoolhouse was solidified at the center of community activities and was being actively maintained by Vale residents.
 
In 1951 a well was dug bringing a source of water to the building. In 1952 cabinets were built in the kitchen. In 1956 it was reported that “members worked without consideration of time and effort expanded scrubbing, cleaning, and reorganizing the kitchen with the result that all utensils are now stored in plastic wrapping and we have vermin-proof storage for our dishes. Members contributed several work days to making curtains for the main hall and the kitchen. We have a stove installed and we have acquired a piano.”

The Vale Club was then the Vale Home Demonstration Club, a subsidiary of the Fairfax County Home Extension Service, which then included the Grange for men, the Home Demonstration Clubs for women, and the 4-H for youth. (for those not familiar with 4H the name stands for Head, Heart, Hands, and Health and has a mission of engaging youth to reach their fullest potential while advancing the field of youth development).
 
The Vale group was one of the most active groups in the county, sponsoring many programs for the Vale 4H Club, sponsoring a summer camp on the property at which 4-H kids learned about fitting and showing livestock, breaking calves, planting and fertilizing, and giving back to the community by raising money through bake sales and scrap paper drives. The Club also sponsored a number of dances for the teenagers, including the popularHalloween dance, attracting 75 attendees.

Labor Day was designated LABOR DAY IS NEIGHBOR DAY with festivities at the school, which included contests with awards for such projects as “the best article of clothing made from feed bags,” and “best home-made hat of flowers.” Supper consisted of sliced ham or hot dogs, potato salad, baked beans, coleslaw, pie and cake. Sound familiar? We carry on this tradition with our annual Fall Fair.
 
The 1956 report of the Vale Home Demonstration Club contains the following (shortened and paraphrased): our contributions reflect the broad and deep scope of influence and responsibility of the Club. We feel our duty as an organization is first to the group and the community, but we also operate effectively on a family and individual basis, supporting our members. Written in 1956 – still holds true today.

Darlene Williamson
Historic Preservation Chair

Vale Club

Vale Club is dedicated to enriching the lives of women in the Vale community. Our goal is to provide our members with a variety of social, educational, and volunteer opportunities throughout the year. The majority of our members live within the Oakton community. We have multiple member activities each month, primarily scheduled from September through May, with a few Special Interest Groups meeting during the summer months ...
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Sunshine Committee

“When “I” becomes replaced by “we” even illness becomes wellness.”…… Comforting those through an injury, an illness, or loss of their loved one is a role we, as Vale Club members, have taken pride in for many years. I am very happy to be the liaison for those members who may need our support. Contact me if you hear of a member who could use a visit, a card, or other help. I will do my best to see that this is conveyed through a mass email. I will also organize meals for those who could use that gesture by setting up on SUG. Remember, I will contact the member first to get their permission to share the information. Together, we can offer our fellow members support in their time of need. Sue Bowers

Vale Schoolhouse

A brief history of The Vale Schoolhouse as recorded by the Fairfax County Public Schools of Yesteryear and Today: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yUOCcwvqBB0

Vale Schoolhouse, at the corner of Vale and Fox Mill Roads in Oakton, VA, was built c.1884 as a one-room public school. A second room was added in 1912. The school closed in 1931 when many Fairfax County schools were consolidated ...read more
Friends of Vale Schoolhouse, Inc. is Vale Clubs 501(C)3 charity for the maintenance and preservation of the historic Schoolhouse property which was placed on the VA Landmarks Register and the National Register ...read more