Serbian-American Civic and Education Club
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Serbian-American Civic and Education Club

The Serbian-American Civic and Educational Club was formed, in 1933, to sponsor the newly organized church choir. Its membership was composed of singers and their supporters who were eager to have a choir to sing the responses in church.

The club also continued the activities initiated by the St. Nicholas Club (organized in 1925), which was dissolved. In 1935, with Prohibition repealed, the members of the club applied to obtain a liquor license which would allow the club to sell alcoholic beverages. The question arose regarding the official name of the club. Some wanted it to be, simply, the Serbian Club, a name the club was, and still is, commonly called. This name, though, did not bear the weight or seriousness of focus which members felt the club deserved. Also, it was felt that recreation should not be the clubs sole occupation. Eventually the members arrived at the title which the club bears today: The Serbian-American Civic and Educational Club. The preparation of the clubs non-citizen members for citizenship (Clubs Constitution, Article II) became one of the clubs central objectives.

As it appeared, with the application of a liquor license, that the interest of the non-singing members of the club was becoming more social, the singing members decided to form their own organization, the Serbian Social and Dramatic Club, strictly for singers. This organization would eventually become our present-day choir, the Serbian Singing Society Josif Marinkovich, whose history can be found here.

On March 3, 1938, the club was issued its first liquor license. Since then, the club has provided the beverage service for most of the churchs social gatherings.

Through the years the club has sponsored or hosted many types of social and fund-raising activities including sporting tournaments, balls, dances, dinners, picnics, raffles (just to name a few) which have been attended and supported by many friends. In addition, the club has commonly rendered service to the church and its other organizations for their various events. For many years now, the club has operated without paid employees. All the work is done by free labor donated by its faithful members. All proceeds derived from club operations are donated to the church, its affiliated organizations and various church-related or culturally affiliated funds and charities.

The club moved to its current site in 1968 after the new church had been consecrated. Instead of occupying, as it had on Second Street, a separate building (the two-storied Serbian Orthodox Home or Church Auditorium as it was called), the club now occupies a facility directly adjoining the church. 1982  saw the adoption of St. Prophet Elijah as the clubs Patron Saint. The members planned to celebrate their slava on August 2nd (the actual feast day), or the closest Sunday to that date, with an annual picnic. The club maintains this annual celebration today.

Ever since its formation, the Serbian-American Civic and Educational Club has provided for the social needs of the Serbian-Orthodox Community here in Steelton. The club has had committed and hard-working members who have put countless hours into its operation and furtherance. Many devoted and dedicated officers, too numerous to list, have guided the club during its 70 years of existence. As a result, the club has enjoyed success as a social organization, an organization which draws people together and strives to hold true to its other central objectives: to promote friendship and social enjoyment among its members; to foster the spirit of harmony among its colleagues... (Constitution, Article II). May the club continue on, in this manner, for many years to come!