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Aronos Research Club Honored For Civic Program

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Sonora, CA– The Aronos Research Club has received an award for its letter-writing campaign aimed at preserving the historic Sonora Dome building. Built in 1909 as Sonora Elementary School, the Dome is a prominent landmark on the Sonora skyline.

“All are agreed the Dome is a significant landmark and important to the residents of the entire county,” said Cathie Petithomme, an Aronos Research Club officer.

As part of the club’s monthly speakers series, members heard a presentation on the history and future of the Dome. Owned by the Sonora Unified High School District, the building has been unused and declared surplus since 2018. Allan Zimmerly of the Historic Dome Preservation Group spoke about the building’s disrepair and the school board’s inaction. In response, club members organized a letter-writing campaign to encourage the community to voice their concerns to the Board of Trustees.

“Historically, grassroots efforts have proven to be effective,” Petithomme said. “What started out as a presentation to our club ended up being a project that we could share with the community.”

The Board of Trustees responded to each letter, and the Dome’s future has reappeared on the school board’s agenda. The California Federation of Women’s Clubs awarded the Aronos Research Club the Legislative and Public Policy Award for medium-sized clubs and an additional Creativity Award. The project is now the state’s entry in the nationwide competition with the General Federation of Women’s Clubs.

“I believe your letters were instrumental in motivating the school board,” Zimmerly wrote, congratulating the club on its recognition.

Established in 1915, the Aronos Research Club now accepts both men and women as members. The club provides a variety of community services throughout the year in addition to the monthly speakers series.