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Tau Beta Association was founded in 1901 by four young high school women: Eloise Jenks, Hildegarde Meigs, Marian Stinchfield and Margaret Snow. Their first full-fledged project was in 1906 and consisted of a diet kitchen under the direction of the Visiting Nurses’ Association. In 1908, they and their associates raised money to provide for the first Tuberculosis Cottage which was the beginning of Herman Kiefer Hospital.

In 1916, Tau Beta established a Community House on Hanley Street in Hamtramck. It provided a day nursery, clinic and first and only library in Hamtramck. The Community House became one of the finest in the country and was studied, copied and praised by many social workers and civic leaders. The music program at the Community House provided the foundation of today’s Center for Creative Studies Institute of Music and Dance.

In 1929, a campsite was purchased in Columbiaville, Michigan and building funds were made available in 1934. Tau Beta maintained, operated and financially supported Tau Beta Camp. Campers included many non-profit groups including schools, youth groups, The Children’s Home of Detroit, and most notably, the Michigan Diabetes Association. From 1960 to 1994, Tau Beta Camp served as a medically staffed, safe environment for children who suffered with diabetes to enjoy the fun of summer camp.

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History Highlights
History Highlights
1901       April 8th. Tau Beta founded by Eloise Jenks Webber, Hildegarde Davcock, Marian Stinchfield Hopkins and Margaret Snow Sanger.

1905       Tau Beta Alumnae Association began, later to become Tau Beta Association. “Engagement” bracelet started and gold thimble for brides.

1906       Summer sewing sessions for charity. Loving Cup, songs and membership book.

Diet kitchen started under the direction of the Visiting Nurse Association and continued for eleven years. Food prepared and delivered door to door by Tau Betas.

1907       First major fund raising event: baseball game between businessmen and professional men held at Bennet Park, now Tiger Stadium. Netted $742.18.

1908       Second fund raising baseball game netted $861.45.

With the help of young Dr. Herman Kiefer, established first experimental outdoor treatment for tuberculosis patients by purchasing a shack for $125.00 on the site where Herman Kiefer Hospital was later built.

1911       The tuberculosis project was turned over to the city of Detroit. Tau Beta assumed the salary of a visiting nurse ($1,200) and a second nurse in 1915. One nurse later became the first director of the Social Service Department of the Childrens’ Free Hospital. The other worked for the Babies’ Milk Fund in Hamtramck, our first association with the city of Hamtramck.

1916       Operations began at 3213 Hanley Avenue, referred to by the neighbors as “The House with the Light”.

1917       Tau Beta joined the “Community Union of Detroit Patriotic Fund” (forerunner of United Foundation) and received $2,825.26 for work in Hamtramck.

1919       Tau Beta was incorporated.

Ground was broken for the first Hamtramck Community House. A music program was started which was the beginning embryo of the Detroit Community Music School.

1920       The Community House opened its doors with a staff of eleven providing a day nursery, three clinic rooms, carpenter shop, an assembly room, a domestic science room, the first and only library in Hamtramck, and small club rooms. It also offered free laundry and shower facilities. Building cost was $54,880.42.

1922      Community House bursting at the seams – a staff cottage was built. Tau Beta established a Caddy Camp at Gaukler Point.

1923      Work began on raising a twenty-fifth anniversary fund to be used to build a larger Community House. 1924 Addition to the Community House for Nursery expansion. Tau Beta Community House Library became the Hamtramck Public Library. 1926 Joined the Detroit Women’s Building Campaign with the YWCA.

Women’s Hospital and the Florence Crittendon Home to raise $4,000,000.00 of which $200,000.00 was our share. First formal music school instruction with a musical director.

1928       Ground was broken for a new Community House. Cost $170,000 for the building

and $30,000 for furnishings. June 15th, cornerstone was laid. Among articles placed underneath was a coin given by a supportive Sigma Gamma.

December 11, opening day for the new Community House, staffed by sixteen full time people.

1929       Tau Beta purchased 100 acres of land in Columbiaville.

1934       “Hamtramck Tau Beta Camp” was established.

1935       Mess Hall built at Camp, a gift of the Hamtramck Rotary Club.

1937       Winter Cabin (Kanzler Cabin) was built.

1940       Community House used as a Red Cross Blood Bank station.

1945       $10,000 raised to rebuild dam which makes a lake at camp. This had been damaged by a severe storm.

1947       A survey of Hamtramck needs resulted in an Advisory Board which consisted of community members as well as Tau Betas.

1951       Fiftieth Anniversary Celebration.

1955       Tau Beta assisted in the formation of Neighborhood Service Organization in conjunction with Neighborhood House and Highland Park Community Center. Tau Beta launched its own camping program for Metropolitan Detroit area boys and girls.

1957       Tau Beta sold the Community House to the Ukrainian Church. A camp fund-raising dance was held. The Detroit Music Settlement School moved to John R and East Grand Blvd.

1960       Camp Midicha, sponsored by the Michigan Diabetes Association, used the Tau Beta Camp for a two week session at the end of the summer.

1961       Tau Beta was presented a service award by United Community Services. “Guide to Detroit for the Handicapped” was published.

1962       A performance of “Oliver” at the Fisher Theatre benefited Tau Beta Camp in the amount of $3,506.92.

1966       Detroit Community Music School moved its quarters to 5330 John R.

1967       First revision of “Guide to Detroit for the Handicapped” was printed.

1971       Tau Beta operated Camp for the Detroit Board of Education to provide a camping experience for physically handicapped.

1973       “Guide to Detroit for the Handicapped” was revised again.

1974       Tau Beta began a new camping experience with the Michigan Diabetes Association offering camping to the diabetic children of Michigan. Juniors held the first Christmas Wreath Sale with proceeds of $819.60. Rose Terrace Ball co¬sponsored with Sigma Gamma netted $25,000.

1975       The Geranium Sale netted $2,409.38 and the Christmas Wreath Sale netted $1,588.50. The first “Christmas Caper” given with Sigma Gamma raised $10,000 for Camp.

1976       The Juniors made a profit of $2,312.10 on their annual Wreath Sale and Tau Beta received $10,500 as their share of the Christmas Caper Fund-raiser. On July 16, an elegant 75th Anniversary Dinner Celebration was held at the Grosse Pointe War Memorial.

1977       Tau Beta organized a successful Thanksgiving Party at the Country Club for members and their families of both Tau Beta and Sigma Gamma. A profit of $1,700 was realized. The Juniors’ Wreath Sale netted $2,232.10, Christmas Capers, $8,500, and the Flower Sale, $2,000.

1978       On June 24, Tau Beta and Sigma Gamma joined forces to host a benefit picnic and dance at Mrs. Edsel B. Ford’s estate with funds to be divided between the Tau Beta Camp and the Detroit Orthopedic Clinic. The Thanksgiving Party raised $3,985, Christmas Capers $9,500, and the Flower Sale $3,200.

1979       The Country Club was the setting for another Tau Beta “first”: a 4th of July Party which netted $1,931. The Juniors donated $500 to purchase needed Camp equipment from their funds, and the Thanksgiving Party made $700, Christmas Capers $10,000, and the Flower Sale $3,400. 258 members made donations to the Camp Appeal letter which raised $18,935.

1980       220 Tau Beta members contributed $28,013.37 to the Annual Camp Appeal letter. The Juniors’ Raffle raised $155 which brought the Thanksgiving Party total profits to $1,500.

Christmas Capers raised $9,000 and the Spring Flower Sale $2,800.

1981       On May 17th a Sunday afternoon picnic for Tau Beta families was held at our Camp to dedicate the Whitney, Wadsworth and Webber buildings. The Spring Flower Sale netted $3,730.26.

1982       Christmas Capers netted $9,000 and the Annual Flower Sale $3,719.45. An enthusiastic Junior group published the Winter issue of “Black and White”, and a multipurpose Sport Court was built at Camp.

1983       The Thanksgiving Party at the Little Club raised $1,281.95. Ten new Senior members joined us at the January annual meeting. The second Snowball was held February 5. A family open house at the Camp in early October showed off recent improvements. The Eloise Jenks Webber Award for outstanding and sustained service to Tau Beta was established.

1984       Tau Beta celebrated 50 years of camping at a family picnic at the Edsel and Eleanor Ford House September 21. Christmas Capers raised $6,500, while the Snowball raised $3,100. Non-resident members became reporters for the fall “Black and White”.

1985       December 1984’s Christmas Caper was merged with the Snowball. The Flower Sale, a great success, realized a profit of $5,815. The board showed off Tau Beta Camp to our newest Senior members in May and sponsored a “come as you are” soup lunch for the membership in September.

1986       Tau Beta Juniors volunteered at Children’s Hospital; they donated a new flagpole to Camp, which was dedicated on Flag Day, June 14. Tau Beta’s 85th Anniversary was celebrated at a September 27th dinner dance at the Country Club of Detroit.

1987       The garden sculptures and rakes, this year’s additions to the Flower Sale, increased profits to almost $10,000. Camp caretakers, Clyde and Othealia Smith, kindly created an attractive white wood gazebo next to the Ford farmhouse. The Smiths are also responsible for the new Tau Beta Camp sign at the entrance. The dredging of the lake was the main undertaking for the fall.

1988       There were many camp improvements this year-but notably, the tiered steps from the Whitney dining hall to the lake. The successful “bake and bulb” sale by the Juniors – 1987 and 1988 netted sufficient funds for the new camp grill. The Mistletoe Magic event, at Christmas, which encompassed all ages, was a great success and resulted in $13,500 profit.

1989       Emphasis was put on promoting camp. A summer board meeting was held at camp in July and over 100 members attended a Family Fun Day in October where our new Tau Beta Camp T-shirt was introduced. Successful fund-raisers included the Juniors’ Bake and Bulb Sale, Mistletoe Magic, Spring Flower Sale, and our most successful Camp Appeal which raised over $37,000.

1990       Tau Beta hosted a beautiful evening at the Detroit Art Institute to view the Manoogian Exhibit. New friends were made as well as $6,000.00 for camp. A generous Tau Beta friend donated funds for playground equipment and a tennis court which were installed before camp opened. The Flower Sale and Camp Appeal continued. More promotion continues to see that camp is more fully utilized.

1991       Tau Beta continued its happy association with the Michigan Diabetes Association, which again held its Camp Midicha at Tau Beta Camp. The generous donation to the camp of playground equipment and a tennis court was recognized at the “French Open” in June. The Flower Sale was a great success, raising over $9,700 with almost 60% of Tau Beta members participating. The Board hosted the second Fall Breakfast Meeting in September. An elegant dinner was planned for November 7 at the Country Club of Detroit to celebrate Tau Beta’s 90th Anniversary.

1992       In planning for Tau Beta’s future, we determined to strengthen our commitment to the sisterhood and its goals: charity, philanthropy and, in particular, Tau Beta Camp. We also determined to generate new enthusiasm among our members and to have fun by getting involved in the activities of the Association. In 1992 our fun, commitment and sisterhood centered around the January Annual Meeting, which included the Juniors’ successful “bulb and bake” sale, the Winter Blues Soup Luncheon, the lovely June Tea, and our October Breakfast “Catch-up” meeting. The May Flower Sale brought members together for fun-filled work and generated a record $11,000+ to benefit our wonderful Camp.

New Senior members were given a warm welcome and introduced to Tau Beta at the “President’s Coffee”. The September bus trip to Camp combined a day of fun with the opportunity for new members to visit the Camp. We held our annual Thanksgiving Party, which was once again enjoyed by members and their families of all ages. We introduced an exciting holiday party format with the “Boxing Day Ball”, to be followed in the Spring of 1993 with a companion party. The good times had by all and a profit of $10,000 led us to declare the Boxing Day Ball ’92 a great success, as well as the perfect ending to a year dedicated to fun, involvement and commitment to Camp and our sisterhood.

1993       Our Annual Flower Sale and Mistletoe Magic each raised almost $11,000. to be used for our Tau Beta Camp. Members had an opportunity to share their sisterhood at our many events. New this year were the Spring Dinner Dance and the Camp Trek, an overnight at our Tau Beta Camp. The Juniors continue to volunteer in several community projects and also had a successful Bulb and Bake Sale at the Annual Meeting. Our Annual Camp Appeal letter continues to have a most successful response from both resident and non-resident members.

1994       Tau Beta Camp, our treasure in Columbiaville, has received generous support from our Tau Beta sisterhood. New this year, is a docent committee formed to promote the use of our Camp by groups and agencies in the greater Detroit Metropolitan area. We gathered at the Winter Blues Soup Luncheon in February to share news, planted our gardens with beautiful annuals and perennials purchased at our Flower Sale, and greeted our new Juniors on a lovely summer day at our June Tea. In September, the Board hosted our Fall Breakfast Meeting, an opportunity to greet one another after a summer break and hear of our future Tau Beta activities. A bright fall day was with us as we shared a day in the country with our Second Annual Fall Trek. Our Thanksgiving Harvest Fest gave Tau Beta’s and their families of all ages an opportunity to come together to open the holiday season. New Senior members were welcomed and heard of the rich history and community commitment of our sisterhood. Mistletoe Magic, a magical evening, was so successful raising $10,000 for camp. And finally, in January, the Annual Meeting brought us together to share our successes, welcome new Senior members, recognize community involvement and thank all who participate and share in the sisterhood of Tau Beta.

1995       Major maintenance repairs were made at the camp this year. Extensive scraping/painting of most of the buildings was completed. A clapboard building was built to store water tanks. New landscaping was planted. New furnaces were installed at the Ford and Wadsworth houses. The stone chimney at Kanzler Lodge was rebuilt and the dam was repaired.

Over twenty mattresses were purchased, carpet was installed at Wadsworth as were new appliances and new plumbing facilities. The lake was professionally treated and a new video of the Tau Beta Camp was produced. Our new manager, Tim Case, was hired.

This year a history of Tau Beta and the camp was written. Miss Plumb’s history ended with 1938 and we are happy to have a written record of Tau Beta from 1938-1995. We have obtained additional storage space for our archives at the Edsel & Eleanor Ford House. Our annual fund-raisers, Black & White and many activities were very successful.

1996       Tau Beta members enjoyed the following events: the Annual Meeting in January, the Soup Luncheon in February, the June Tea, the Spring Camp Trek, the September meeting and Harvest Fest in November. Capital improvements were made at the camp as a result of our two fund raisers and the Annual Camp Appeal. In addition to our camp work thirty volunteers put together Christmas baskets containing groceries/gifts and distributed the packages to families in need.

1997       This year we continued to enjoy our annual Tau Beta events. We started the year with our January Annual Meeting and Luncheon when we met our new Senior members. This was followed by our February Soup Luncheon, the June Tea, when we met our new Junior members, our September Breakfast and our Harvest Fest where our families joined us. The year ended with the joint Tau Beta-Sigma Gamma Mistletoe Magic Party in December. We also continued our tradition of supplying Christmas baskets for sixteen less fortunate families in Detroit. This year we decided to have a Garden Boutique at the June Tea instead of the Annual Flower Sale. Although this was only the first year for the Boutique, it seems to be a success. We continued to raise money for our camp through the Annual Camp Appeal, the Garden Boutique and Mistletoe Magic. Our Juniors continued their tradition of selling flowers and baked goods at our Annual Meeting. They also volunteered at Barat House and worked together on many worthwhile projects.

1998       In 1998, the members of Tau Beta took on two new projects to benefit our camp. We desperately needed to clean our lake so we drained, dredged and refilled it to make the lake clean and clear again. Tau Beta also wanted to build a volunteer relationship with a charitable group that would use and benefit from the camp. The response from various charitable organizations was overwhelming. Tau Beta ended up pairing with Barat Child and Family Services. The Tau Beta members are looking forward to a wonderful and long-lasting volunteer relationship with Barat House. The Tau Beta members once again did a wonderful job at promoting, sponsoring and supporting camp as well as enjoying all of the eagerly anticipated annual events.

1999       1999 was a year of many improvements at Tau Beta Camp. A much needed new tractor was purchased to the delight of camp manager Tim Case. He reports he can now do many jobs in minutes that used to take days. The road up to the Kanzler Lodge has been graded and the beach has received several loads of sand. A new compressor for the refrigerator in the Whitney Dining Hall was purchased along with a generator. The Brossy and Wilcox cabins received new roofs.

The camp is fully booked for the summer of 2000. Our usual activities have been wonderful and very well attended. The new Senior members were introduced at the January Annual Meeting and Luncheon. The February Soup Luncheon was extraordinary. Also in February the Juniors from Tau Beta and Sigma Gamma enjoyed bowling and lunch. We met our new Junior members at a sizzling June Tea. The September Breakfast Meeting was followed by a fabulous, very popular Harvest Fest. The Junior Initiation was outstanding as every girl we rushed accepted the invitation to join Tau Beta. The Annual Camp Appeal raised a nice sum of money and we closed out the year with a spectacular Mistletoe Magic.

2000       The year 2000 was an excellent year for Tau Beta and the Tau Beta Camp. The camp was fully booked and is again for 2001. The Camp Appeal was very well rewarded. Money was spent from the Esther C. Ford memorials for new docks to enhance swimming and canoeing sports.

Camp itself is looking in good condition. General maintenance by Tim and Sue Case is excellent and they have added nice touches of their own. Tim, himself, repaired the cane chairs in the Kanzler cabin.

The Association enjoyed our usual annual events.

We met the new Senior members at the Annual Meeting in January, and had a wonderful Soup Luncheon in February. The Juniors giggled their way through the Sigma Gamma – Tau Beta bowling party.  The June Tea at a spectacular setting on Lake St. Clair was delightful. The September Breakfast Meeting went well and we moved on to another successful Harvest Fest. The Junior Initiation was again outstanding with every girl rushed accepting. And Mistletoe Magic was, indeed outstanding.

We look forward to the 100th Anniversary Party and to the completion of the history book to 2001.

Over 1759 girls have been given the “right hand of friendship” in 100 years.

2001       The social (and sentimental) highlight this year was the celebration of Tau Beta’s 100th year. An elegant dinner dance at the Country Club of Detroit featured photos from the past which gave us a sense of continuity. It was a tribute to the four young women who founded Tau Beta and saw the association expand in numbers and in community service.

Also this year, some of the venerable buildings at camp received new siding and new roofs. The faithful response to camp appeals makes constant upkeep possible. A bequest from Esther Caulkins Ford provided a new dock and in-memoriam donations honoring Frances Boyer Mead created a nature trail.

Tau Beta Camp website links were installed to encourage maximum use.  Tim Case, our resident caretaker, continues his devotion to our 109 acres near Columbiaville.

2002       This year’s annual events were beautiful. Many thanks to those who opened their homes for the Soup Luncheon and the June Tea.

Harvest Fest and Mistletoe Magic had the usual good attendance. These parties bring so many Tau Betas together.

The Fall Breakfast Meeting was held at the Grosse Pointe Club and focused on camp with an excellent power point program.

In late October a family picnic at camp drew sixty of all ages.

Also in October, twenty-two juniors were inducted in the traditional candlelight ceremony. May these young ladies enjoy lasting friendships!

2003       Our traditional events, the Soup Luncheon, June Tea, Fall Coffee, Harvest Fest and Mistletoe Magic were well attended and enjoyed by all.

A new event, the Tau Beta Walk-A-Thon took us on a beautiful walking tour of many members’ gardens on a crisp fall Sunday afternoon. The day provided a wonderful mix of family fun, exercise and friendship.

A Ways and Means Committee was formed to examine three main issues facing Tau Beta; camaraderie, deficit spending and lack of focus.  After a year of study, the Ways and Means Committee recommended that a vote should be cast by the membership whether to continue with Tau Beta Camp or to pursue a new focus area. At the January, 2004 Annual Meeting the membership overwhelmingly voted to pursue a new focus area.

Ways and Means also polled our non-resident members for fund-raiser ideas used in their distant locales. Their input gave birth to the Tau Beta Spring Market to be held in April, 2004! Planning has begun, and your Tau Beta sisters are working diligently to create a fabulous inaugural event.

2004       2004 began with the nearly unanimous vote to change Tau Beta’s focus from Camp to a more localized focus area, offering hands-on volunteer opportunities. After much research, four worthy organizations were presented to the membership. At the June Tea, the membership voted to partner with The Children’s Center.  Located near the Detroit Medical Center, The Children’s Center serves the mental and emotional needs of over 7,000 children each year through 25 inter-related programs.  Placing our energy, time and resources at The Children’s Center promises a rewarding and bright future for Tau Beta.

Our new fundraiser, The Spring Market, was a tremendous success.  The Preview Party brought together 170 Tau Betas and friends to kick off the event in style. After two shopping days, over $100,000 in sales had been rung up, and Tau Beta had raised $40,000 for our association.

The Tau Beta Endowment Fund was established to help ensure our strong future. Lastly, Harvest Fest and Mistletoe Magic capped off a busy, enjoyable year.

2005       Our relationship with The Children’s Center is growing in many ways. We have been exploring ways for our members to become involved with The Children’s Center. Currently we have members in place chairing or co-chairing such projects as the Closet O’ Stuff, Easter baskets, birthday parties, Mother’s and Father’s Day crafts and The Children’s Center Garden. We presented The Children’s Center with a check for $30,000 at our June Tea. The money was raised with funds from both Mistletoe Magic and The Spring Market.

2006       Our relationship with the Children’s Center has continued to grow and prosper. In April we opened the Tau Beta Center for Discovery. This is a wonderful resource room used by both clientsand clinicians of the Children’s Center. Some of our continuous projects are: The Closet O Stuff, Easter baskets,The Children’s Center Garden, Thanksgiving Turkeys, the Christmas Card project, Christmas gifts and the Mother’s andFather’s Day project. In June we hosted a cocktail party in the Center for Discovery and the garden to introduce our members to both the Center for Discovery and the Children’s Center.

The Spring Market was a huge success as was Mistletoe Magic. Between the two fundraisers, Tau Beta raised over $40,000 which was presented to the Children’s Center for the Tau Beta Center for Discovery.

2007       The year 2007 was an eventful one for our Association. After a historic era, the Tau Beta Board approved the sale of Tau Beta Camp in June.  With the sale of camp, our Endowment is now fiscally healthy, and our philanthropic focus is solely with our partner, The Children’s Center of Detroit.

Both our Junior and Senior members continue to volunteer at The Children’s Center in numerous ways including: gardening, supplying goods and gifts and hands-on mentoring.

A $75,000 check was presented to The Center for Discovery at our Fall Coffee with the majority of proceeds being raised by Spring Market and Mistletoe Magic. Spring Market was our most successful event yet assisted by a new venue at The Grosse Pointe Club. The Fall Walk took place in October followed by a successful Harvest Fest and Mistletoe Magic.

2008       In 2008, our focus was on our membership volunteering in various ways with our partner, The Children’s Center of Detroit.  For the first time, the Soup Luncheon was held at The Center and was well attended. Dedicated Tau Beta Senior and Junior members continued to staff and maintain our Center for Discovery and helped out families in need.

Because of the success of our fundraisers, Spring Market and Mistletoe Magic, $82,000 was donated to the Center for Discovery this year.

Our new website was designed and is now a helpful tool available for our members to stay connected with our organization.

2009       In 2009, we continued our vital work during the after school hours in the Center for Discovery, at the Children’s Center of Detroit. Many Senior and Junior members consistently volunteer their time at the Children’s Center. Our successful fundraisers, Mistletoe Magic and The Spring Market enabled us to donate $70,000 to the Center for Discovery.

The Margaret Watkins Junior Scholarship Award was established.

2010       In 2010, at the June Tea we presented the first Margaret Watkins Junior Scholarship Award to Kiki Fox.  Our two successful fundraisers, Spring Market and Mistletoe Magic allowed us to donate $100,000 to the Children’s Center. The board funded a summer music program to be instructed by the Michigan State University, Music School students for the benefit of the clients at the Children’s Center. The Board hosted a festive gathering in the garden of the Children’s Center, “Cheers to Six Years”.  Tau Beta continues to develop and fine-tune her partnership with the Children’s Center. Along with our commitment to the Center For Discovery, we support and/or coordinate the Closet O’ Stuff, Thanksgiving Turkeys, Christmas gifts, Easter baby baskets, a tennis outing, Spring planting and numerous Junior activities.

2011       2011 was a record-breaking year for Tau Beta! The overwhelming results of our two fundraisers, Mistletoe Magic and Spring Market, allowed us to present The Children’s Center of Detroit with a donation in the amount of $100,000.  The new position of Spring Market Administrator was created to assist the Spring Market Co-Chairs with the ever-growing administrative details of this highly successful fundraiser. The Board approved three new policies: 1.  Conflict of Interest 2. Whistleblower Protection 3. Document Protection /Record Retention. Complete descriptions of all three policies can be found on the website, We continue to strive for improved communication by streamlining how and when we distribute emails and by utilizing the power of social media to promote our fundraising events.

The Margaret H. Watkins Junior Scholarship was presented to Ellen Harness at the June Tea. Our membership remains engaged and enthusiastic about the many philanthropic opportunities created by our partnership with The Children’s Center.

2012       Due to the passion and commitment of the membership, the Board of Trustees and the Ways & Means Committee, 2012 will be remembered as a year of great accomplishments. For the third consecutive year, Tau Beta was able to present The Children’s Center with a donation in the amount of $100,000.  To solidify and strengthen our partnership, Tau Beta collaborated with The Children’s Center to diversify our financial investment and improve volunteer offerings to better serve our membership. A timeline and goals were established, and through the leadership of the Ways & Means Committee, a new proposal was developed, approved by the Board, and presented to the membership. In summary, beginning in 2013 our annual donation will be divided between four areas at The Children’s Center: Head Start Academy; Summer Camp, The Boutique, and The Center for Discovery. Many new volunteer opportunities were introduced at The Fall Coffee. A plan for an annual review of these programs was also established, allowing us to always put the needs of our membership first.

The Margaret H. Watkins Junior Scholarship was presented to Amelia Boccaccio at the June Tea.

2013       Our partnership with The Children’s Center remains strong as we witnessed exceptional achievements in 2013. We kicked off the year with an online survey to the membership to assess that the interests of our membership and our investment of financial resources reflect a successful collaboration with The Children’s Center. Spring Market was amazingly successful as we celebrated its tenth anniversary! We were able, once again, through profits from Spring Market and Mistletoe Magic, to make a gift of $100,000.00 to The Children’s Center, to be diversified across four programs: Head Start Academy, Summer Camp, The Boutique and The Center for Discovery.  In addition, we were able to make a one-time donation of $25,000.00 to launch The Center for Family Literacy at Head Start Academy; a library filled with resources to support the classroom curriculum and to serve as a lending library.  As a component of our partnership, The Children’s Center provided us with a Stewardship Report that outlined the positive impact Tau Beta has had on their programs. Our investments reinforce Tau Beta’s commitment to put children and families at the center of all that we do.

2014       This successful year of partnership with The Children’s Center culminated with a spectacular ribbon cutting ceremony to celebrate the opening of The Center for Family Literacy at Head Start Academy.  With Tau Beta’s funding support, this lending library and family resource center provides a place where children can develop a lifetime love for books and a place where parents and guardians will have the opportunity to improve their own literacy. We presented The Children’s Center with a gift of $100,000.00, which represents the profit from Spring Market and Mistletoe magic, to be diversified between three programs aligned with early childhood education and enrichment. New to our membership is the ability to sign-up for volunteer opportunities online, using We now offer the option of online transactions for membership dues, endowment contributions, Spring Market and/or Mistletoe Magic payments; keeping us abreast of ever advancing technology.

2015       A successful Mistletoe Magic and Spring Market once again enabled us to generously support The Children’s Center with a gift of $100,000.  In addition, we were able to donate $12,000 to hire a part-time professional media-specialist at the Head Start Academy Literacy Center. With the Center now professionally staffed we look forward to greater use of the facility and the additional volunteer opportunities for our members to be able to read to the students. In the spring we provided completely stocked diaper bags to new or expectant mothers at Head Start Academy and in June we gifted the successful graduates of the YASS program with much needed bedding and supplies for their next step in independent living. In September we honored and celebrated our 50-year members at a lovely champagne reception at The Country Club of Detroit. October we held a new format fall meeting in the evening at the Grosse Pointe Yacht Club and the turnout was a big improvement over recent fall coffees. One area that received a lot of long overdue attention was our archive. We were fortunate to have the service of a summer intern who began the sorting process and at the end of the year we were able to hire a professional archivist to get our historical records in order and help us to preserve for the future. Our successful Turkey Drive and Holiday Gift Drive were both able to help more families than ever. And we were thrilled and delighted that Tau Beta received an incredibly generous gift from the estate of former member, Mary Owen Harper who left us more than $350,000. We look forward to studying possibilities this gift presents.
  1. 2016 Our support of The Children’s Center continued to grow as we were able to contribute more than $150,000 in cash and in kind contributions as a result not only of a very successful Spring Market and Mistletoe Magic, but also due to extraordinary generosity of our members who donated items and money in the Backpack, Turkey and Holiday Drives. The Baby Basket Drive allowed us to outfit nearly 40 families with diaper bags and basic necessities for their newborns. Once again, the Turkey Drive and Holiday Drive set records for the number of families we were able to serve. In another way to honor our 50+ year members, the Board voted to make them “Life” members who will longer have to pay dues. With some of the funds donated by Mary Owen Harper we were able to hire a professional archivist who has made significant progress in the organization of our historical materials and records. Fifteen new Juniors were added to our membership and the Juniors group held several enjoyable activities and events at The Children’s Center including a St. Paddy’s day craft party, a tea party, Fall Festival, Birthday party and assisting at the Holiday Shop. Looking ahead, the Board has decided to invest in upgrading our website and finding a suitable membership data software program that will enable us to keep better records on all facets of our membership and operations.

  2. 2017   Many new and exciting things have happened in Tau Beta during 2017.
    Our support for The Children’s Center has continued with our donation of

    $100,000.00 presented at the October Fall Meeting held at the GPYC.

    The back pack drive, turkey drive, Holiday Gift program along with the baby basket drive have been huge successes. With everyone’s help we have raised more money each year towards these drives. We gave out 100 turkey dinners, 40 baby baskets, 75 backpacks and many holiday gifts for the children during the Christmas Season.

    Mistletoe Magic and Spring Market are our two largest fundraising events. Both have grown each year with Patron Appeal Donations reaching the highest level of giving, with over $45,000.00 per event. Each year our attendance increases.

    We have paired up with The Children’s Center by remodeling space in the lower level of TCC building. This allowed for a larger clothing boutique, food pantry and more space for accommodating our new Tau Beta Family for Literacy Center. Please come down to TCC and participate in all our activities that go on during the year. Our website is now up and running with the help from the funds donated by Mary Owen Harper. Each year the website gets better and better. Volunteering is easier than ever by picking your day and hours to help out at The Children’s Center by using the Sign Up Genius link found on our website. Tau Beta is moving fast by keeping up with this new technology. Don’t miss out on all the action. Thank you for being wonderful volunteer members.

2018.   This year Tau Beta has seen many changes and improvements.

On May 23, 2018 Tau Beta held a Grand Opening for our Tau Beta Center for Family Literacy. Refreshments and beverages were served. Books were donated and we cut the ceremonial ribbon to officially open this wonderful reading center.

During our October fall meeting we presented two checks to The Children’s Center. The first check was for $100,000.00 from the proceeds from Mistletoe Magic (co-chairs Emily Weaver and Amie Sweeney) and Spring Market (co-chairs Betsy Huebner and Melissa Hurley). The second check was for $10,000.00 to be used for food gift cards as part of the holiday gift drive.

The Turkey Drive, Holiday Gift Drive, Baby Basket Drive and the Back Pack Drive were very successful again this year.  Our membership has been very generous with gifting donations to Tau Beta throughout the year.

During 2018 Tau Beta started the “Recognition Grants” under the leadership of Susan Griffin. These grants are given to 501 3-C nonprofit charities that our members recommend by filling out an application form and submitting it to the Recognition Grants Committee. Once approved, these grants are mailed to the chosen charities.

In 2018 we gave out five grants to Crossroads of Michigan Parents’ Support Program, Kids on the Go, Seven Ponds Nature Center, The Birthday Party Project, and Wayne State University HIGH Program.

Instead of the March Soup Luncheon, Tau Beta focused its attention on a New Senior Member Welcome Reception, held a few weeks after the Annual Meeting. New members were able to get together and meet the Tau Beta Board, Trustees, and Life Time Trustees. At the reception we encouraged the new members to sign up for committees and events, get involved, meet new friends, and get to know the true meaning of being a member in Tau Beta.

All who attended had a great time.


2019    Tau Beta continues to thrive as an organization dedicated to improving the lives of children in the greater Detroit area.  This year proved be another exceptional year with our fundraising efforts culminating in a donation to The Children’s Center of $110,000 and donations ranging from $1000 to $5000 awarded to nine different charities as part of our two year old TB Grant program.

A new board was introduced in January at the Annual Meeting and we also welcomed 11 new Senior members.  Our Center for Family Literacy continued to thrive as a respite for children and adults at TCC who read, check out books and enjoy many learning opportunities throughout the year.  We had two reading events that brought members downtown to spend time reading with the kids—each child received a book and made a craft.  The Baby Basket program had a baby shower for over 35 new moms.  During the lovely lunch, each mom received a beautifully stocked hamper with new baby items that will come in handy for sure.

Spring Market reported another stellar year!  Record numbers filed in for the Preview Party and some of the best shopping was had thanks to the 20+ vendors that came near and far.

It was a rainy day up until the start then the clouds cleared way for sunshine for the Tau Beta Tea held in May.  Eleven new Juniors were introduced.  The Juniors had several events at TCC this year—birthday parties, pumpkin patch, and game night. They also had a flag football game against the juniors of Sigma Gamma; while we didn’t come away with a win, the girls loved it and look forward to making this an annual tradition.

The Fall meeting at the GPYC was wonderful—a change in rooms made the feeling much more intimate for the 50 plus members who attended. We finished the year with Mistletoe Magic—raising almost $20,000 from a night of dinner and revelry.   

In keeping up with technology, TB enhanced its current website to make being an active member even easier.  We now have access to an up to date calendar, ability to pay dues, make reservations, sign up to volunteer, access forms, update your information, et cetera—the list goes on and on.  We are hopeful that this can be a helpful resource utilized by all members.

Lastly, the TB archives that have been graciously kept at The Ford House for many years have been moved to an offsite location, still maintained by the Ford House but with our own storage area with plenty of room to grow.  We hope to make this a space for history buffs or anyone interested in our amazing legacy.

Eloise Jenks Webber Award

The Eloise Jenks Webber Award is presented at our annual meeting in January. The recipient of this award is a senior member who has exhibited outstanding and sustained service, devotion and leadership to Tau Beta. This award was initiated in 1983 with the permission of Mrs. Webber. Eloise Webber was honored to have an award presented in her name. The recipient of this award is selected by a consensus of opinion from the last four presidents.

1983 – Mrs. Edward Irving Book (Frances T. Pittman)
1984 – Mrs. Theodore R. Buttrick, Jr. (Alice Gray Griggs)
1985 – Mrs. Frederick S. Ford (Esther Caulkins)
1986 – Mrs. Renville Wheat (Elizabeth Russel)
1987 – Miss Jocelyn Scofield
1988 – Mrs. Edgar B. Galloway (Mary Thurber)
1989 – Mrs. Elizabeth W. Bushnell (Betsy Whelden)
1990 – Mrs. Francis E. Brossy, III (Joan Hadley)
1991 – Miss Margaret Watkins
1993 – Mrs. William D. Gilbride (Helen Posselius)
1994 – Mrs. Emerson James Howard, Jr. (Virginia Downer)
1995 – Mrs. Henry C. Kohring (Jane Decker)
1996 – Mrs. Nancy Dodge Heenan (Nancy Dodge)
1997 – Mrs. Julius J. Huebner (Cynthia Keydel)
1998 – Mrs. Ralph R. Cooper (Ann Meader)
1999 – Mrs. Alfred R. Reuther, Jr. (Jane Weaver)
2000 – Miss Bethine S. Whitney
2001 – Mrs. David S. Cameron (Lynne Garred)
2002 – Mrs. Verne C. Hampton, II (Stephanie Hall)
2003 – Mrs. Benjamin G. Chapman (Lauren Edgar)
2004 – Mrs. George A. Haggarty (Alice Wardwell)
2005 – Mrs. John R. Oles (Mary Beth Tulloch)
2006 – Mrs. Michael S. Mitchell (Catherine Smith)
2007 – Mrs. Robert M. Peabody (Carole Jatkoe)
2008 – Mrs. Edward L. McDermott (Mary Oldani)
2009 – Mrs. Edward C. Milligan (Muffy Boomer)
2010 – Mrs. Julie Cudlip Whitman (Julie Cudlip)
2011 – Mrs. Peter Griffin (Susan Tapert)
2012 – Mrs. William D. Gilbride (Susan Chapelle)
2013 – Mrs. Daniel S. Follis (Libby Stein)
2014 – Jane McFeeley (Mrs. Charles)
2015 – Ellen Kennary Doyle (Mrs. Michael K.)
2016 – Patsy Roby Gotfredson (Mrs. Edward C.)
2017 -  Amie Mogen Sweeney
2018 -  Mary Fox Farley
2019 -  Deborah Worzniak Grob

The Margaret H. Watkins Junior Scholarship Award

This scholarship is awarded annually at the June Tea. The recipient of this award is a graduating Junior member who has exhibited outstanding leadership and commitment to the Tau Beta Junior program. This award was created in memory of our beloved Margie Watkins. The Tau Beta Board of Directors approved the award at the May, 2009 meeting. The recipient receives a check in the amount of $1,000 along with a keepsake. The recipient of this award is selected by a consensus of opinion of the President, Vice President – Association, and the Junior Co-Chairmen.

2010 – Kiki Fox
2011 – Ellen Harness
2012 – Amelia Boccaccio
2013 – Kelly Cullen and Madison Dettlinger
2014 – Kate Krueger
2015 – Maren Prophit and Margaret Sweeney
2016 -  Lily Blake
2017 -  Abbey Schuetze
2018 -  Blair Cullen
2019 - Jaqueline Mercier

From 1994 on, it was increasingly difficult to attract truly needy groups to Tau Beta Camp. Low camp utilization, rising maintenance costs and skyrocketing insurance premiums forced Tau Beta to reconsider whether the Camp was a “good fit” for the membership. Eventually, Tau Beta Camp was sold in 2007. In the interim, Tau Beta membership voted in January of 2004 to partner with The Children’s Center of Detroit and focus our volunteer and fundraising efforts at this worthwhile institution. Located near the Detroit Medical Center, and established in 1929, The Children’s Center serves the mental and emotional well-being of thousands of at-risk children and families in Detroit.

Brunch after a meeting - 1905

Eloise Jenks, Hilda Meigs, Marian Stinchfield, Margaret Snow