Did You Know: WAHHI Is Celebrating Sixty Years!

As WAHHI gets close to the remarkable February 2021 milestone of 60 years, let’s take a quick look back at WAHHI’s 25th, 40th and 50th Anniversary celebrations.

On January 31, 1986, WAHHI’s Silver Anniversary day started with Willard Scott, of the Today Show, giving a shout out on national TV wishing WAHHI a Happy Anniversary. In return, WAHHI gave Willard a tee shirt that sported a picture of an alligator.   In those days, the islanders fondly reported that alligators outnumbered residents on the Island.   In the afternoon, 750 WAHHI members celebrated at an anniversary luncheon at the Marriott Hotel in Shipyard Plantation (now the Sonesta Resort). The luncheon hall was beautifully decorated with black and white balloons, a fountain of silver ribbons, sparklers, and a birthday cake on every table. In addition, Allyson Harden (President 1986-87) dressed as Abigail Alligator, greeted attendees and participated in a champagne toast.

In 2001, in celebration of WAHHI’s 40th Anniversary, WAHHI commissioned the local sculptor Walter Palmer to create a whimsical bronze pelican sitting on a bench, reading a book entitled “Tales of Hilton Head. This was gifted to the town and was originally placed at the Shelter Cove Community Park, but later moved to the Coastal Discovery Museum where it sits in front of the Armstrong/Hack home where all can visit and have their pictures taken.



WAHHI’s 50th Anniversary High Tea/Garden Party was held in the beautiful outdoor pavilion at the Coastal Discovery Museum in 2011.  In line with the theme, members wore beautifully decorated spring hats. Prizes were awarded for the best hats in several categories.

Pictured here are past presidents who attended the tea. They are (from left, back row) Judy Brown, Annette Martino, Jacqueline Cordray, Lois Schuhrke, Carol Wolf, Sandee Brooks and Sally Kingree; (from left, front row) Lois Wilson, Mary Catherine Plowden, Marilyn Eddy, Elizabeth Hanson, Rose Zella Morris and Judy Vogel.

The highlight of the 50th celebration was the compilation of members’ recipes into a lovely cookbook, “Garnished with Gold”, that contained members’ favorite recipes.  Sales of the cookbook were part of a $15,000 donation to the Town of Hilton Head for the renovation of the old gable farmhouse on the grounds of the Coastal Discovery Museum.  Sandee Brooks (President 2010-2011) gave a champagne toast saying, “What a great 50th Anniversary we had, here’s to another great 50 years!”


On February 17, 2021 WAHHI will celebrate its 60-year anniversary with a Zoom presentation featuring three captivating speakers — Barbara Catenaci, Executive Director of The Heritage Library; Dr. Carolyn Grant – “Growing Up Local”; and Joni Vanderslice, CEO J. Banks Design — sharing their insights and experiences on WAHHI’s history, our beloved Lowcountry community, and WAHHI’s heritage. Times and links to be a part of this exciting event are on the website. Join in the celebration!