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With a host of activities, this club is a great way to develop a new set of friends, find your bearings and get involved with the community.
President Liz Dardar Bryant and Gretchen Blanchard, Director of Communications, talk with contagious joy for the work they do with AWCL.
The American Women's Club of Luxembourg, AWCL, was founded in 1959 by two ladies, one of whom was the wife of the first Secretary of the American Embassy. The same year they published 'Hints for Living in Luxembourg' to help the English speaking community. This still continues, and is available online.
Activities and Groups
There are a huge number of activities available within the Club to cater for all women as much as is possible: those coming here for their own work and those coming as a trailing spouse with their partners work, with or without children.
One of the most popular groups is Travel Talk, where a member gives a talk on where they are from. This information is kept online for whenever anyone wants to visit that location, full of local facts, places to go and eat.
Other activities include:
- Cafe Français
- Career Support Group
- Cinema Sisters
- City Walk
- English Conversation
- French Conversation
- Hiking Group
- Ladies Luncheon Delights
- Luxembourgish Language Conversation
- Moms and Babies (playgroup)
- Philharmonie Concerts at Lunch
- Ramblers (longer format hikes)
- Sit & Stitch
- Travel Talk
- Women who read (book club)
Currently their Career Support Group is experiencing a surge of participants as more and more women are relocating here for their job. Due to this, the club are trying to shift more events to the evening after-work hours at our clubhouse.
Charity work has always gone hand in hand with the club's mentality. In 1979 the club raised funds to help establish the only centre for Autistic children in Europe.
In 1996, as the US Marine Corps unit was leaving Luxembourg, the US Embassy asked AWCL to coordinate the Toys for Tots Campaign, which has developed into their current initiative - Gifts for Kids, which the Marines still help with. Each year, in the run-up to St. Nicholas's Day, the AWCL partners with Cactus and as many corporate and private sponsors as possible to fulfill the wishes of children in Foyers.
They also have other initiatives such as Zonta, where they collect toiletries and clothes for women who are displaced from their homes.
Ramadan in a Basket is an offering of supplies for refugees without the means to celebrate.
“Meet the Non-profit” Heart Stretcher Pot Lucks are luncheons where AWCL invite non-profit organizations to come in and present their cause to drive involvement from our membership.
if you want to get involved with the charitable services, you can email firstname.lastname@example.org.
In a typical year there are about 250 members, with three-quarters renewing from the previous year.
As with the British Ladies Club, whom I interviewed a couple of weeks ago, any English speaking females can join the AWCL, and you can belong to both clubs! Just under half of AWCL are US Citizens and the others are from 42 different countries.
Liz Dardar Bryant was born and raised in Chicago. She started her career in communications and advertising but soon changed to study at culinary school and then worked in a prestigious Chicago restaurant, eventually transitioning to catering.
With her family she also lived on an island off Seattle, and in 2017 moved to Luxembourg from Washington State, where she and her husband Paul had raised their two boys. Fascinatingly, both of her paternal Grandparents are from Luxembourg, and so she also holds Luxembourgish nationality.
Gretchen Blanchard moved to Luxembourg in June 2019. She's originally from New York City and moved here from Connecticut with her husband Brian, three children and their labrador! Prior to staying home with her children, Gretchen worked in Public Relations and Communications.
If you want to become a member you can email Sarah Tiemann at email@example.com
For the podcast on the British Ladies Club listen here:
Get in touch with Lisa Burke if you have any thoughts for future podcasts here.