For a half century, the Pittsburg Women's Community League has emphasized the "community" part of its title.

This fall, the group enjoys its 50th anniversary but, as is the members' style, there will be no over-the-top celebration, no patting themselves on the back, no one standing in the spotlight.

The 30-some members will instead gather and keep the focus on its city.

Ann Custer and Ellie Marchoke are the two founding members still involved in the group.

"I have stayed with this group because I like working on projects that benefit Pittsburg," said Custer of her five decades as a member. "I enjoy the friendships and fellowship that are created when we are working together."

She said most of those who founded the club were initially members of the Junior Women's division of the Federated Women's Clubs of America.

But as those members "aged" out of the junior title, some decided to branch off.

"We felt the national organization spent too much time on national projects (and paper work). We wanted to spend our time on projects that would benefit Pittsburg directly, and keep our membership intact."

And, so the Pittsburg Women's Community League was born.

Custer said the "strong suit of the group is that we are all interested in making Pittsburg a better community."

The group has had their helping hands in projects like Wee Care and the Crisis Nursery.

Of course, 50 years equals a load of good memories.

For Custer, she has a fondness for the Memorial Tree project. "This went on for years and some of the trees were moved three times (due to vandalism) before they found a permanent home in Buchanan Park," she said. "I also remember the fun we had as clowns for the first Seafood Festival and at other events and parades."

Marchoke said she's stayed with the club "all these years for the companionship. The club has such a great group of women, which keeps the membership strong. All the women were so suited to be together, always working together on whatever their project might be."

One of Marchoke's favorite memories goes back to the 1970s Tiny Tots playground project. Louis Armstrong performed at Pittsburg's Creative Arts Building, raising about $1,500 for the playground. She noted that was a "great amount of money back then."

Myrdell Dybdal is the current president. A member for 28 years, she was drawn to the organization for its philanthropic and social aspects.

"And, that's why I am still a member today," she said. "PWCL is a group of pretty amazing women who care about each other, as well as the community. We raise money, and pretty quickly give it away primarily to support worthy endeavors that come to our attention. This is the rare organization where everyone participates. When there is something to be done, members don't wait to be asked, they just volunteer and do it. I think that is the strength of PWCL."

Like others, Dybdal has a long list of favorite memories, including "clowning at the Christmas parades, cleaning up Columbia Linear Park, the annual Christmas parties and Secret Pal revealing, and learning from the wonderful speakers we've had through the years."

Over the five decades, the group has spread its wealth to various groups, organizations and community programs. A vast majority of the money raised has gone to the Pittsburg public library. Most recently, the group's focus has been on Pittsburg High's Marching Show Band, which is raising funds for participation in the 2014 New Year's Day parade in London.

Members recently held its annual fall luncheon fundraiser, where folks enjoyed a nice menu and tasty conversations. The entertainment was provided by members of PHS band, which was presented with $500 from PCWL.

The group will also hold a fundraiser luncheon in the spring. If you'd like to donate to the group, call 925-439-7752.

Reach Trine Gallegos at TrineG@att.net.