Board recognizes Windsor Club of Elko for years of service, donation for scholarships

A longstanding community group in Elko has a parting gift for Henrico County students. After nearly a century of service, The Windsor Club of Elko is dissolving and leaving more than $50,000 toward scholarships for students pursuing careers in technical fields.

The Board of Supervisors on Jan. 28 voted unanimously to approve a resolution expressing appreciation for the nonprofit club’s dedication to the community, generosity and support for Henrico County Public Schools.

“On behalf of the board members and the stockholders of The Windsor Club of Elko, we are just really honored to keep our legacy alive through Henrico County [vo-tech] scholarships,” Susan Lawton, the club’s treasurer, told the Board of Supervisors after Varina District Supervisor Tyrone E. Nelson read the resolution.

“When we made the difficult decision to dissolve the organization, our stockholders overwhelmingly wanted to donate the remainder of our treasury to the Henrico County Vocational-Technical Education Foundation because it closely aligned with the farmers and the laborers – the Danes – who originally established that tract of land back in the early 1920s,” she added. “We just want to express our appreciation. We know you’ll put the money to good use.”

Lawton, who attended the meeting with other officers and stockholders, noted that the club had finally closed its books and was able to provide an additional $3,943.18 on top of the $50,000 initially set aside for donation.

“It really is amazing,” said Board of Supervisors Chairman Tommy M. Branin, of the Three Chopt District.

Mac Beaton, director of Career and Technical Education for Henrico County Public Schools, added his gratitude for the club’s generosity.

“There’s nothing better to do than to keep an organization going forever [by investing] in a young person, so I appreciate the opportunity that you will be providing for a lot of young people for years to come,” he said.

The Windsor Club of Elko dates to 1921 when seven young members of a fledgling Danish and Norwegian colony based at the Windsor Community Farm along White Oak Road met socially on a Saturday evening, according to published historical accounts.

“The group enjoyed themselves so much they decided to form a permanent organization, inviting as many of the Danish settlers as they thought would be interested,” one account reads.

The club settled on a name, elected officers, established committees and in 1924 built the Elko Community House to serve as a meeting hall. The club incorporated in 1926.

The Hall, as the building was affectionately known, became a hub of activity, accommodating governors and other state and county officials as well as vaudeville acts and other entertainers, including the Georgia Wildcats, Sam Workman, Sunshine Sue and the Carter Sisters. Over the years, The Windsor Club of Elko organized a variety of community activities and events, including a monthly herring breakfast, dances, a Festival Day and an annual parade.

The Elko Community House is now owned by the county and managed by the Division of Recreation & Parks as the Elko Community Center. 

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