RWC History

Redwood was the fourth CWC branch, established in 1975, with special impetus from Helene Schellenberg of Berkeley CWC who had moved to the North Bay. In Santa Rosa, Helene was a writing teacher who formed a private critique group with some of her more eager and talented students. She, along with Ruth Walker, promoted to the critique group the idea of forming a regular club as a branch of CWC. She founded the Redwood Branch with 45 charter members with the help of James Walker, acting chairman for the organizational period.

It was through the teachers of writing, Helene S. Barnhart in Santa Rosa and Margaret Scariano in Novato, that many new members were recruited and guests invited to the dinner meetings.

In 1984, the late Inman Whipple (President, 1978) wrote of Helene Schellenberg Barnhart and Dianne Kurlfinke:

“In my opinion, these two people have brought the dream of a writing club to fruition and then stood behind it and encouraged it all the way. They have constantly fostered the exchange of ideas, speakers, activities, support, and cooperation with all the other branches. Our success is directly due to the efforts of these two—the right dream with action at the right time.”

For a period of ten years, Redwood Branch was one of the CWC “Quad,” the four existing branches (Berkeley, Sacramento, Peninsula, and Redwood), each in Northern California. It was possible to hold all-branch meetings and to form close relationships among CWC members.

Today, Redwood Branch continues the tradition and purpose that our founding officers established. Redwood is currently the largest branch in CWC and its growing membership both attends and supports its many activities.

Presidents of Redwood Branch

1975 Helene (Schellenberg) Barnhart

1976 Dianne Kurlfinke

1977 Natlee Kenoyer

1978 Inman Whipple

1979 Herschel Cozine

1980 Edward Dolan

1981 Alla Crone Hayden

1982 Mildred Fish

1983 Waldo Boyd

1984 Margaret Scariano

1985 Dave Arnold

1986-87 Mary Priest

1988-89 Marion McMurtry

1990-91 Mary Varley

1992-96 Barb Truax

1997-98 Marvin Steinbock

1999 Dorothy Molyneaux

2000 Carol McConkie

2001-02 Gil Mansergh

2003 Carol McConkie

2004 Charles Brashear

2005-07 Linda C. McCabe

2007-09 Karen Batchelor

2009-12 Linda L. Reid

2012 Elaine Webster/Robbi Sommers Bryant

2013-15 Robbi Sommers Bryant

2015-16 Sandy Baker