Board of Directors 2023-2024

Past President
Christine Beelen

Donna Shields-Poë

Vice President
Kathy Yach

Recording Secretary
Leslie Jones

Corresponding Secretary
Barbara Hykle

Dorothy Scorsone

Assistant Treasurer
Gill Puxty

Member Services Director
Jenni Barbarie

Communications Director
Holly Heser-Quirk

Property Management Director
Zenia Leigh

Social Director
Barbara Burton

Bargain Box Director
Patricia Sanders

Betty Rehbein
Dj (Dorothy) Smith

About Us

The May Court Club of Ottawa was founded in 1898 by Lady Ishbel Aberdeen, the wife of the Governor General. In a time when there were no social safety nets, she wanted to provide young socialite women with the ability to help other women and their children who were in need. Early activities of the Club included establishing clinics, educational services, and knitting for the war effort. As the needs of the community changed so did the projects undertaken by the Club. For a look at the history of the Club go to Our History page.

Are you interested in becoming a member and being part of this dynamic group? Check out our Become a Member page for details.

Our Annual Report provides details of our activities as well. Click Annual Report 2022-2023 to see the latest issue.

Daytime Ottawa on Rogers TV interviewed our President, Donna Shields-Poë.

Click here to watch.


The Old Ottawa South Community Association Review (The OSCAR) highlighted the May Court Club of Ottawa and our 125th anniversary Celebration Luncheon recently. View the article here.

Certificate of Appreciation from the Sandy Hill Community Health Centre

Sock Project
In December 2022, the Bargain Box was presented with a Certificate of Appreciation by a representative from the Sandy Hill Community Health Centre for the Sock Project. Photo: (left to right) Bargain Box volunteer Barbara Burton, Melissa Rukundo of the Sandy Hill Community Health Centre, and Patricia Sanders, Bargain Box Director and moving force behind the collections for the Sock Project

Featuring the May Court Club of Ottawa

In March 2022, the local magazine ‘Neighbours of Old Ottawa‘, published an article featuring the May Court Club. View this interesting account here.

June Callwood Outstanding Achievement Award for Voluntarism (group) for 2019

June Callwood award
I am very pleased to share that The May Court Club of Ottawa was chosen as one of the recipients of the June Callwood Outstanding Achievement Award for Voluntarism (group) for 2019. The award was presented virtually by the Minister of Heritage, Sport, Tourism and Culture Industries, Lisa MacLeod on January 27, 2021. The May Court Club of Ottawa has a long history of service, often caring for the vulnerable members of our community. We were founded in 1898 by Lady Aberdeen, the wife of the Governor General of the time. She wanted to find a way for young women of leisure to return service to the community. We’ve come a long way from those days but our commitment to service remains the same. Lady Aberdeen would be proud.

Currently our major contribution is to provide, free of charge, the property of Hospice Care Ottawa’s May Court Hospice. Along with providing all the physical property maintenance costs, many of our volunteers also work with the staff as they provide outstanding end-of-life care to individuals as well as supporting their families. We also provide financial assistance through scholarships to two qualified nurses entering the first or second year of study at an approved Ontario University and to a qualified student entering the first or second year of the Master’s Program in Information Studies at the University of Ottawa. Pre-pandemic we also awarded grants to small community organizations, provided a nutrition program at six community houses, and operated the lending library at the Civic Hospital.

Our volunteers spend thousands of hours in working to bring these projects to fruition including operating the May Court Bargain Box on Laurier Street which is our largest source of funds. We also normally hold a number of fundraising events throughout the year. We look forward to reintroducing these activities again after the restrictions to combat COVID transmission have passed. If you would like to support the May Court Club of Ottawa, please go to our website at

Christine Beelen
President, 2020-2022,
The May Court Club of Ottawa