In the early 70s, a small group of Yorkie lovers formed a social group that met at the home of Jack and Flo Young of Boca Raton to discuss our favorite topic. Jack served as our first president. Another group with similar interests from Ft. Lauderdale joined us to form the “Gold Coast Yorkshire Terrier Club.”
As the club grew, it held informal meetings at members’ homes. Any subjects relating to Yorkies were fair game. In addition, the club tried to get a local breeder or vet to speak at each monthly meeting. This attracted members who were pet owners to knowledgeable breeders. Another attraction was the superb desserts provided by the hostess for the evening. One favorite hostess was Maggie Vernon due in large part to her many Swedish specialty desserts.
But the club was not just talk. Fun matches were held several times a year in the parking lot behind Boca Raton’s City Hall. Local breeders and judges helped us by judging the shows. In order to allow all level of dogs and owners to participate, the shows included not only breed prizes, but awards for the best costumes, the long tail, etc. Matches were usually followed by picnics.
Club pitch-in parties were held at members’ homes, several times a year with a special Christmas party where special achievement awards were given out. At the Christmas parties members not only pitched in but they brought a grab bag gift.
The club attracted members from the East Coast from Palm Bay to Miami, but since Boca Raton was the approximate middle point, it remained the meeting place for the club. As the membership grew and was recognized in the Yorkie community nationally as well as locally, the club moved to get formal recognition from the Mother Yorkie club, Yorkshire Terrier Club of America. At the same time, people from more far flung areas began to form their own local groups.
The original members of the club at the time the club was started were: Jack and Flo Young, Simone and Maggie Vernon, Janice Lester, Pat Rosenthal, Joan Effenberg, Emily Schilling, Dot Tarantino, Thelma Jarrett, Shelby Stevens, Gloria Brooks, Connie Hutchins, a breeder from the United Kingdom, was listed as the breeder of the smallest Yorkie in the world at that time by the Guinness Book of World Records, Santa Romano, Judy Vukmanich and Karen Taylor.
Janice Lester was instrumental in getting others into the Yorkshire Terrier Club of America.
The Club was accredited by the American Kennel Club on October 19, 1988. Correspondence to the American Kennel Club from Mr. George Feldman reveals that he was instrumental in initiating the trials during the year 1991. The Club was licensed by American Kennel Club on May 1, 1992. The Club held its first dog show on December 4, 1992.
Today, the Gold Coast Yorkshire Terrier Club has approximately 25 members.