HomeCommunityWoman’s Club member inspiring, connecting community

Woman’s Club member inspiring, connecting community

Published Dec. 13, 2023

BY AUDREY MCATHIE

In a typical job there are many roles one can play: Take a guess at which role Tina DeMaria takes on as part of the Carmel Woman’s Club. Is it (a) setting up and running fundraisers for a good cause, (b) awarding scholarships to deserving women within the community, or (c) organizing the spreadsheets and paperwork that come with parts a and b? Surprise! The current treasurer of the Carmel Woman’s Club does all three. 

Since 2005, DeMaria has held a steady position as a board member of the Carmel Woman’s Club, along with being president from 2012-2014. She now carries out the position of treasurer. This California State University, Monterey Bay, graduate devotes her time to building a strong sense of community with club members.

“There’s many different times and activities that take place throughout the year that help us create our bonds with the members,” says DeMaria. 

The times where they gather together, known to the members as “program,” is when she says everyone is most connected.

Carmel Woman’s Club treasurer Tina DeMaria has a history of community-building in Carmel. (courtesy of TINA DEMARIA)

Holding focus on the fundraising aspect of the job, DeMaria works to help host several events, some of which include luncheons and the annual lobster fest. While each fundraiser brings benefits no matter what, this one in particular, a luncheon and fundraiser known as Sweet Seconds, brought on a whole new potential for the Woman’s Club that she was ready to explore. 

“It was so successful,” DeMaria says. “We made just about $8,000 more than we expected to and knew we just needed to do something great with the money.”

Her vision certainly came true when the Carmel Woman’s Club scholarship program, Women to Women, officially started. As a way to help support women who are attempting to return to college and finish their education, they are provided with both money for tuition and a safe and inclusive environment at the Woman’s Club.

“Receiving the scholarship has allowed me to take time away from work in order to focus on school,” past scholarship recipient Genelle Ramirez explains. “It encourages me to keep moving forward with my academic school work.”

With a total of 69 scholarships awarded since 2011, the desire to help and bring joy to others has never once dwindled.

Taking on an extraordinary amount of tasks doesn’t only cause DeMaria to bond with the members of the Carmel Woman’s Club, but also creates a sense of community with those who work with her.

“There’s not enough hours in the day usually,” says DeMaria. “Sometimes I’ll overcommit myself, but even then, there’s always someone who’s willing to help out.”

Learning to take action and be a light for somebody else can be a hard task, and with the strike of the COVID-19 pandemic, this mother of two had to find new and creative ways to interact with the community. 

Due to the fact that most members are over the age of 65, in-person programs could not continue. This raised the fear that the members would lose their feeling of connectedness to one another. In attempts to reunite people as much as possible, The Carmel Woman’s Club began hanging decorations on their clubhouse and started hosting virtual programs.

“People were starved for a sense of community,” DeMaria expresses, “and all I wanted was for us to be able to give them that again.”

Her tireless efforts to keep the community they built intact did not go unnoticed, and once the club was able to reopen, over 100 new individuals who had seen her going above and beyond became members. While many view the pandemic as only a setback, Tina DeMaria’s willingness to look for the positive made a tragic situation just a little bit more bearable. 

“She is an inspiration to all those who work with her, with her positive attitude, tireless dedication and determination to improve our community,” says fellow board member Heidi Mozingo, the current president of the Carmel Woman’s Club. “She is creative in her solutions, inclusive in decision-making and raises up those around her at every opportunity.” 

Latest comment

  • This recognition is so well deserved. Congratulations Tina, Carmel Women’s Club is fantastic, in large part because of you!

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