Atherton 'Dames' are now 'Friends'


The Atherton Dames, the fundraising arm of the Holbrook-Palmer Park Foundation, has changed its name to the Friends of Holbrook-Palmer Park.

The group began after the Holbrook-Palmer Park Foundation was formed in 1968. When the town accepted the gift of the park from Olive Holbrook-Palmer in 1964, it specified all park development was to be paid for with donations.

In addition to sponsoring annual events, such as the Easter Egg Hunt (coming up this year on Saturday, April 4, from 10 a.m. to noon) and a Children's Holiday Tea in December, the group also raises money for specific park projects, such as the recently approved Event Garden that will be a site for formal outdoor events in the park. The group is currently working on raising money to restore the park's historic carriage house.

In a press release, the group said that its members "felt it important to adopt a name that better reflects the mission and role of the organization in the community which is to raise funds for much needed capital improvements for the community's much loved park, raise community awareness of the importance of preserving the park and to sponsor events that promote community engagement."

Sandee Archer, publicity chair for the Friends, says the name change has already succeeded in attracting new members to the organization, some of whom, she said, find it easier to be a "friend" than a "dame."

Now that the organization is no longer limited to dames, it may also attract its first male members, Ms. Archer said. "If a man applies he can be in it," she said. "There's nothing that says a man can't be a member."

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