From left, Woman’s Club of York members Marion DeMeester and Jacquie Sutton worked with Young Women’s Club of York members Lynn Costa and
From left, Woman's Club of York members Marion DeMeester and Jacquie Sutton worked with Young Women's Club of York members Lynn Costa and Sharon Franklin to raise $4,000 for the Make-A-Wish Foundation. (Submitted)

The first-ever partnership between York's women's clubs has made history.

The Woman's Club of York and the Young Women's Club of York joined together in December to sponsor the Spirit of Christmas Past Home Tour, a two-day tour of one of York City's oldest homes.

Although the tour coincided with a hard-hitting snowstorm, it raised $4,000 for the local chapter of the Make-A-Wish Foundation -- enough to grant a wish to a local child with a life-threatening illness.

"We consider this first-ever joint effort between our clubs a great success," said Sharon Franklin, event co-chair for the Young Women's Club. "We wanted to raise enough money to fulfill a wish, and we achieved that goal."

Granting a wish: Make-A-Wish allows children with life-threatening illnesses to make wishes, from meeting celebrities to visiting Hawaii. Children must be 2-1/2 to 17 years old and cleared by a doctor.

The average cost of a wish is $3,900, based on the most popular wish: a trip to Disney World, said Ann Waltman, regional manager of Make-A-Wish.

The chapter's goal is typically to grant a wish six months after referral, but individual families ultimately determine the time frame, she said.

Although event organizers were a little discouraged by the snow, she said, $4,000 is enough to make a sick child's dreams come true. The chapter grants 50 to 55 wishes a year in York County, and money raised here stays here, she said.

"We're thrilled, and we were so surprised," she said.

The money does not go toward a specific wish, she said, as 35 to 50 kids are waiting for their wishes at any given time.

"I just apply it to the next wish I need it for," she said.

Working together: Both the Woman's Club, founded in 1904, and the Young Women's Club, chartered in 1941, are known for their service projects and fundraisers.

They never thought about working together in the past, said Jacquie Sutton, Woman's Club president.

"And the idea hit me out of the blue because presently, all of us are facing the same problem: declining membership," she said. "Women are very busy these days -- particularly young women."

The Woman's Club began to reach out to other clubs with similar interests about two years ago, Sutton said. It trades information with clubs like New Friends of York County and the Garden Club of York, reaching out to a larger audience. From those loose partnerships came the opportunity to sponsor the home tour event with the Young Women's Club.

"And we were delighted to do it," Sutton said.

Combining forces has resulted in a membership surge and plans for new joint projects, she said.

"We can accomplish twice as much with very little effort -- and it doesn't cost anything," Sutton said. "Plus, it's an opportunity to get to know everyone and make new friends."

-- Reach Mollie Durkin at mdurkin@yorkdispatch.com.