OUTREACH & HISTORY
The mission of the Magic Circle Republican Women’s Club is to elect Republican candidates and effectively influence good government at all levels on issues important to Republicans.
The fundamental function of our programs is to educate and inform our members. Magic Circle's reputation for excellence, combined with our members' extensive participation in leadership roles throughout the Republican Party, continue to attract new members dedicated to making our region a better place to live.
With the leadership and participation of caring and engaged members, we play an active role in many programs. Here are just a few that recognize the commitment of so many of our individual members for the betterment of our community.
- 1Masks for Hope
- 2Star of Hope
- 3The Fisher House
- 4Summer Library Program: Bane Elementary
- 5The Houston Food Bank
- 6Operation Helmet
- 7Adopt a School: Chinquapin School
- 8Cancer Education and Awareness
- 9I Have a Dream: Gregory-Lincoln Education Center
Throughout its history, Magic Circle members have held numerous influential leadership positions. We've served as chairperson in local, state and national campaigns, been elected precinct chairpersons, and served at candidate headquarters for block walking, phone banking and more. Some of our members have received noteworthy recognition including:
- National Committeewoman 1989-1996 (Penny Butler)
- Texas Federation of Republican Women “Ten Outstanding Women” (Penny Butler, Caroline Pierce and Mary Sage)
- First woman chairman of the influential Calendars Committee, Texas Legislature 2003 (State Representative Beverly Woolley).
Among our membership are judges, three past presidents of the Greater Houston Council of Federated Republican Women, eight seats as delegates to the national conventions, two gubernatorial appointments to state commissions, one Supreme Court of Texas appointment to an advisory council, three Harris County Republican Pioneer Award winners, Texas Federation of Republican Women board members, and a National Federation of Republican Women board member.
Looking back... The first 43 years
Magic has touched us from our very founding when Joleen Reynolds, then a deputy president of the Texas Federation of Republican Women, gathered a group of eight women to form a new Republican women’s club in the summer of 1978. It was designed to serve that part of Houston called the Magic Circle and now known as the Galleria area. More than 120 women attended a membership coffee at the home of Penny Butler, who is still an active member of Magic Circle. Honored were founding members who were wives of elected officials or candidates for office: Nellie Connally (Governor John Connally, presidential candidate), Ann Mather (Russ Mather, chairman of Harris County Republican Party), Susan Baker (James A. Baker III, candidate for Attorney General) and Eleanor Archer (the mother of Congressman Bill Archer).
In 1979, Magic Circle federated with 186 members, setting a new state record. We were immediately the fourth largest club in Texas and the largest in Harris County, with the distinction of having as members the wives of two1980 presidential candidates. Barbara Bush was honored as a founding member upon her return from China, where her husband had been serving as State Department liaison officer. She hosted our second meeting in her Houston home. In 1983, she graciously hosted us at her residence at the Vice President's home and, in 1991, First Lady Barbara Bush invited us to tea upstairs at the White House. Briefings in the State Department and Congress provided the perfect finale for our second Magic Circle trip to Washington, D.C.
Our club president's brother, Pete Roussel, then press secretary to President Ronald Reagan, hosted a truly extraordinary event, which included Marlin Fitzwater, Sam Donaldson and Helen Thomas, who met with us and fielded questions. Events, programs and achievements over the years have been the result of the efforts of a remarkable group of women, incomparable opportunities, and the convergence of time and place - MAGIC INDEED!