Club History — Over 60 years + going strong

Humble beginnings

In 1959, a group of twenty American women founded the American Women’s Club of Düsseldorf with Eve Boge serving as the first President. The inaugural lunch at the Steigenberger Park Hotel cost 7 Deutsche Marks (DM) and membership dues were 20 DM. Members attended monthly luncheons, participated in bridge and golf activities, and read the one-page newsletter, the Düsseldorf Digest. They even had an all-club Thanksgiving dinner! From the beginning, charity was a central focus of the club, and in its first decade, the AWCD held Box Suppers and Christmas Balls to raise funds for local charities.

With the large number of American families in the area, the need for more English-speaking classrooms rose. In 1968, AWCD members were instrumental in helping to establish the American International School  which is now the International School of Düsseldorf (ISD). The club enthusiastically supported the new school and organized a fundraising ball that raised over 90,000 DM for the school’s building fund.

Finding our feet

In the 70’s, the AWCD added new activities, such as, its first literature group, culinary groups and the Evening "Stammtisch" which was held in the Altstadt twice each month. The Stammtisch was open to all English speakers.

The AWCD joined FAWCO in 1971. The Club has hosted FAWCO Conferences (1976 and 1985) and Regional Meetings (2004 and 2015). 

In the following decade, the Club introduced its first baby and children’s playgroups. Halloween has always been a big part of the AIWCD. It started with local trick-or-treating, and has included a children's Halloween party held at ISD, trunk-or-treating, and an adult Halloween party. A few years ago the children's Halloween party was moved to the International School on the Rhine (ISR).

A main focus of the AIWCD has always been its dedication to supporting local charities, particularly those focused on women and children. Fundraisers have ranged from dragon boat races to casino nights. The Club has supported a long list of charities over the years with a few that have remained as core  charities.

Keeping in Touch 

The eighties saw the beginnings of the Club newsletter, originally called the Working Woman’s Network, which was later renamed the Evening Section. The first paid advertisement in the newsletter was printed in 1981. By the mid-eighties, the newsletter had increased in size, added a distinctive logo and been renamed The Radschläger. Over the years, the newsletter turned into a full-fledged magazine, beloved among members, and affectionately nicknamed The Rad. In 1995, the magazine was printed digitally for the first time. While much of today's communication has been replaced by the website and social media, the AIWCD continues to publish The Radschläger four times per year. In 2020, members were given the option of receiving a digital-only subscription. 

In addition to The Radschläger, the AIWCD has published a cookbook, Discovering Düsseldorf (8 Editions), and the Daytripping book (reprinted in 2013).

The AIWCD launched its first website in 2002 and updated it in 2014. In 2019, the Club decided it was time for a redesign and created a web team to give the site a new and modern look. The new site was launched in 2021.

AIWCD Today

Since its inception, the Club has celebrated many milestone anniversaries — its 50th in 2009, its 55th in 2014 and its 60th in 2019. 

Over the years, membership needs have changed and formal monthly luncheons have been replaced by an increasing number and variety of informal club activities. In 2013, annual membership dues for the club year were reduced from €80 to the current €65 to make the AIWCD more affordable for a greater number of people. The Club’s membership has also become more international to include new members who are looking for a connection to the American culture and activities in English. Their influence and contributions help shape the club into the special organization that it is today. In 2018, the AWCD changed its name to American International Women's Club of Düsseldorf, to reflect the diversity of its members.

While the Club membership has decreased from a high point of over 400 members to the current membership of about 220 members, the AIWCD has managed to stay stable over the last decade as the world has changed with a lot more offerings from the internet. When the Club first began, and for many years thereafter, up until the advent of the Internet, the Club was a critical source of networking and information for the American expat community. The AIWCD still provides community and support to English-speakers in the Düsseldorf area, while giving them opportunities to give back to those in need. 

BECOME PART OF OUR HISTORY. JOIN THE AIWCD.

Our Noble Leaders

These are all of the amazing women that have led our club as President over the past 6 decades.

Jawaharah Saidullah

2021— present

Alisa Cook-Roehs

2017— 2020

Barbara Bühling

2015—2016

Charmaine Kemeny

2014

Barbara Bühling

2012—2013

Kathryn Neubauer

2011

Anastasia Siskou

2010

Susanne Hirschberg

2009

Molly Dee Rounsley

2008

Lisa McCullough

2007

Julie Kadrie

2006

Paulette Fagen

2005

Sherry Walters

2004

Andrea Matchett

2003

Cindy Cope

2001-2002

Jean Schnatterly

1999—2000

Suzanne Terschüren

1998

Barbara Bühling

1997

Kathy Staloch

1995—1996

Marilyn Richey

1994

Jan H. Hall

1993

Elizabeth Streeper

1992

Mary Nasca

1991

Jean Geesey

1990

Millie Buehler

1989

Connie Premuroso

1988

Mary Brown

1986—1987

Janice Snyder

1985

Barbara Barthelemy

1984

Mary Brown

1983

Mrs. Fred Granger

1982

Mrs. Karl Thilman

1981

Mrs. Lars Olson +
Mrs. David Novy

1980

Mrs. John Elstad + 
Mrs. Dennis Jacobson

1979

Mrs. Jarold Bo

1978

Mrs. Richard Schmid

1977

Mrs. Michael Cousins

1976

Mrs. John Nikolich

1975

Mrs. L.R. Hoernemann

1974

Mrs. Fred Englehart

1973

Mrs. Peter Das

1972

Mrs. D.B. Prior

1971

Mrs. F.W. Almerood

1970

Mrs. T.S. McCory

1969

Mrs. G.A. Smith

1968

Mrs. L.A. Van Houte

1967

Mrs. H.E. Larson +
Mrs. G. Herlitz

1966

Mrs. J.W. Lendved

1965

Mrs. L.W. Niesz

1964

Mrs. R.V. Shinn

1963

Mrs. M.O. Johnson

1962

Mrs. Walter Horth

1961

Mrs. W.P. Hoban

1960

Mrs. H.E Boge

1959




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