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Mary Willis Critchlow Society

About the Mary Willis Critchlow Society
The Mary Willis Critchlow Society is a group of diverse, interesting and welcoming women who are committed to the YWCA’s mission and who want to explore the issues the YWCA addresses in our state while sustaining the YWCA’s work.

Mary Willis Critchlow is often referred to as the founding mother of the YWCA Utah. Born in Pennsylvania in 1859, Mary came to Utah with her husband, Edward B. Critchlow, a recent Princeton Law School Graduate. Edward created a successful and lucrative law practice in Salt Lake, making it possible for Mary (and their nine children) to live an affluent lifestyle. But instead of an easy life, Mary constantly chose to give her time and resources to help those in need. In 1906, only months after the death of her six-year-old son, Mary, along with ten other women, received the articles of incorporation for the YWCA Utah. Their work began with a boarding house and cafeteria for young working women. YWCA histories include several references of Mary bringing food from her home by horse and buggy to meet the needs of the women they served. Mary led the work of the YWCA until her death in 1930.

Membership in the Critchlow Society requires a $500 minimum annual donation. Critchlow Society members are invited to attend luncheons throughout the year. Each luncheon features a speaker or activity that helps members better understand the YWCA’s mission and work, and the issues the YWCA addresses in our state.

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 Memberships and gifts are both tax-deductible contributions to the YWCA.