The YWCA in Granby

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On the green during the June 1969 Memorial Day parade at the group’s soda stand. From l.: Nancy Fullwood, Paula Johnson, Elaine Jones, Betty Hopkins, Jan Ryan, Carol Bressor and Marion Mayo. Submitted photo

When speaking about volunteering in Granby, the perfect example would be the 1950s to 60s when the County YWCA was an active organization in a changing and growing community.

It was affiliated with the Hartford Region YWCA, with an executive director, a designated paid staff person, responsible for guiding and implementing the programs. In Granby, the Granby YWCA Area Committee reported to the executive director. Reporting to that committee, the Young Women’s Club served as a welcome club and planned activities for members and the Granby Youth Center, a brick-and-mortar building that provided special activities for the younger people.

The Women’s Club membership expanded, and the East Granby members become a separate club. Within the YWCA programs, many special groups formed such as the bridge marathon for women and couples, a book club, a Christmas fair and workshops of all kinds, pops concerts, bowling teams, and selling soda on the green on Memorial Day. There were also programs at the Youth Center including a ski club, dances, and workshops of special interest. All these activities were planned, executed, and chaperoned by hundreds of volunteers over the years.

The origin of the YWCA in Granby was a group of young women called the “Cadets.” One of its members was Polly Hall who served Granby in various ways: state representative, notary public, quilt maker and historical society volunteer. Granby’s first executive director was Vera McCracken who “roomed” at the Case home. Christine Case, another “cadet,” was instrumental in starting the YWCA in Granby.

Many women learned the art of leadership through the activities of these groups and became wonderful assets to our community—volunteering for the future Drummer, government, community fund, etc.

Note: Eleanor Moody was the 1969 chair of the Granby YWCA Area Committee.

Granby YWCA Annual Meeting at South Congregational Church, April 1969. From l.: Eleanor Moody, Granby Area Chair; Priscilla Scott, Hartford Region Chair; Elaine Jones, Vice Chair, Granby Area; Judy Coady, staff assigned to Granby, and Pat Main, treasurer, Granby Area. Submitted photos