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By Greg Botelho, CNN
(CNN) – The offices of SPARK, a nationwide coalition of girls-only programs, were abuzz Monday as news spread about Augusta National's decision to allow female members for the first time in its 80-year history.
"Shock" was a common sentiment, the organization's executive director said, not because the famed Augusta, Georgia, club finally decided to open its doors to another gender, but because they hadn't done so until now.
"The girls honestly were pretty surprised that Augusta had been discriminating against women like this," said Dana Edell, referring to the teenagers that comprise much of SPARK's staff. "They are horrified that (the club) could legally and blatantly (exclude women)."
Most of these girls were in elementary school when women's rights activist Martha Burk first ratcheted up public pressure on what was then probably America's best known men's-only club. Yet the majority of those women's rights activists responding to Monday's news were well aware of Augusta National's history and that of the decade-long fight to force it to reverse its policy, not to mention the even longer campaign for gender equality.
For them, hearing former U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and South Carolina businesswoman Darla Moore can now hang out in Augusta's clubhouse with corporate and other leaders from around the Southeast and nation was cause for celebration.
Burk admitted that her first reaction, upon hearing of Augusta National chairman Billy Payne's statement, was "we won - and we did."