Serving the community for nearly two decades, Inviting Arkansas continues to recognize philanthropic + civic leadership in Central Arkansas. As we begin this new decade, we have some buried treasures to share from the archives. These are just a few illustrious covers that reflect the continued mission fulfillment work in our community. Enjoy the memories, read about a few of the Capital City’s beloved foundations and remember to vote for your favorite cover – one of these nonprofit organizations will win a complimentary ad in the magazine. The contest will close on May 31st… #MakingPhilanthropyFUN
Tommye Stuart for 20th Century Club – March 2010 Issue
20th Century Club President Tommye Stuart shares how a dream is becoming a reality to help those fighting cancer.
Tommye Stuart had just returned from a 20th Century Club meeting when she welcomed us into her elegant home. Her caring nature and mediately was revealed as she helped us walk up her outside steps that were still blanketed with ice from the February snowstorm. She assured us to her spacious kitchen (a home entertainer’s dream) and prepared a cozy space for interviewing.
Although not a career woman, she was dressed for the part, because seeing the 20th Century Club to succeed is her business and has been for more than a decade. In her 11 years of service to the club, she’s been everything from beverage cochairman to Hope Ball cochairman, historian and now president. “ And I have loved every position,” says Tommye. “The 20th Century Club is such an amazing honorable and worthy organization consisting of smart, talented and caring women who work hard and ask for nothing in return. The obvious reward is seen our vision of a new lodging facility come to fruition. It was a plan and a dream and now it is a reality. The unspoken rewards are the friends you make. I have made friends who will be friends forever.”
She adds, “I volunteer and work alongside women who juggle careers, children and volunteer. I don’t know how they do it, and I admire them. It sounds cliché, but I’m really doing what I always wanted to do. I always wanted to be a stay at home mom and give back to the community.“ She says when she was approached about being president, “ I didn’t know if I could do the job, but I knew that I would commit to doing my best. I knew that I could adapt to the responsibilities and made my friends promise to answer my unending questions.”
The 20th Century Club, formed in 1941 to assist the American red cross and USO in the war efforts, realized in the 1960s that Little Rock was a destination for cancer treatment in the focus shifted to helping cancer patients. It’s mission became to provide no cost housing two patients who live outside the Little Rock area and must travel to the city for treatment. In 1984, the club purchase the historic Foster-Robinson home in Little Rock Quapaw Quarter and is listed on the National Historic Register. It was known for 20 years as the 20th Century Club’s Hope Lodge because of the need for a larger and more efficient state of the art facility, the home was sold in 2005. The Lodge didn’t have private bath or an elevator, notes Tommye. And thus began and aggressive capital campaign to secure funds to build a new lodge for patients to be house. Currently, patients are housed at Baptist Plaza Hotel.
The club will break ground on the new lodge at 11am on April 29 at the corner of Maryland and Cedar Street in Little Rock. Tommy says the club is able to begin construction through grants and donations from generous individuals, companies, foundations, Will break ground on the new lodge at 11am on April 29 at the corner of Maryland and Cedar street in Little Rock. Tommye says the club is able to begin construction through grants and donations from generous individuals, companies, foundations, “and of course, our dedicated members.” The new 17,000 square-foot lodge will have 21 private patient suites and feature a large family-style kitchen and dining room, a computer reference room and library for cancer related material. The facility will also include an interior courtyard with a water feature, a veranda and a cozy great room. Club members will benefit from the new lodge with the conference room that will be built. “Seeing this building come into fruition, having dreamed it and planned it and now that it’s becoming a reality is a special thing,” says Tommye. “I think when we break ground and the dirk flies, it will hit us all.”