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Fri Sep 25, 2020, 11:02 PM

This 116-year-old Democratic Club in Bethlehem and others could fold under financial strain of

This 116-year-old Democratic Club in Bethlehem and others could fold under financial strain of coronavirus


The 540 Democratic Club opened the same year Bethlehem Steel was formed, and for 116 years has been a gathering spot for anyone with an interest in the party politics, from businessmen to steel workers looking to relax with a cold beer after a long shift.

For some, like Carol Gower, the club has become a family tradition, with memberships spanning generations. Gower’s grandfather Aloysius Almer was one of the founders and Gower herself has been on the club board for 42 years. She has childhood memories of Christmas parties and Easter egg hunts at the private club, which is at 540 N. New St.

By the end of the year, however, more than a century of socializing there could come to an end.

“COVID-19 cut us off at the knees,” said Maddie Barrett, chairwoman of the 700-member club.

Read more: https://www.mcall.com/news/local/bethlehem/mc-nws-bethlehem-540-democratic-club-20200925-uic46ytsvjc5hl43pxj2iosabu-story.html

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Reply This 116-year-old Democratic Club in Bethlehem and others could fold under financial strain of (Original post)
TexasTowelie Sep 25 OP
Hoyt Sep 25 #1
FakeNoose Sep 26 #2

Response to TexasTowelie (Original post)

Fri Sep 25, 2020, 11:07 PM

1. If the club is as popular as it sounds, surely members can come

up with $15 each to keep it open thru December.

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Response to TexasTowelie (Original post)

Sat Sep 26, 2020, 10:05 AM

2. Private social clubs are having a terrible time right now

I'm a 25-year member of a historic German Mannerchor Club on the northside of Pittsburgh. It's not in the political neighborhood, but it's definitely a cultural focal point in the German-roots area called "Deutschtown." Needless to say our many choral rehearsals, concerts, festivals such as Oktoberfest, and cultural events have been cancelled or vastly curtailed. Full-time employees have had their hours cut, others have been furloughed. Our most profitable events such as Oktoberfest and private weddings have all been cut this year.

I have no doubt that other private social clubs are having similar problems. It's going to be touch and go for at least a year, but our members are trying to keep it together. Our historic club is over 165 years old and none of us want to see it go under. It takes a dedicated group of people who are willing to volunteer their hours, since the club can't afford to pay for service-help right now. Hopefully our many members will maintain their sponsorship and help the club make it through this crisis.

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