Altrusa is an international service organization dedicated to improving communities worldwide. With almost 10,000 members, Altrusa has 361 clubs in ten countries. Members work on promoting literacy and identifying and solving community problems through original projects and by partnering with other organizations or agencies.
Altrusa International of Rochester, Inc. was chartered as a club in 1950, thirty-two years after Mamie L. Bass founded the first club in Indianapolis. Mamie is famous for saying women should not just be good, they should be good for something! The most well-known Altrusan was Eleanor Roosevelt.
In Memory of Our Friend Phyllis Edwards
We recently received the sad news that Phyllis Edwards, one of our much loved former members, has passed away in Surprise, Arizona. Phyllis was president of Altrusa from 1995 to 1997 and she held many other offices during her tenure as a member of the Rochester Club. She worked as a Paralegal in Rochester until she and her husband retired and moved to Surprise.
I knew Phyllis through the Paralegal Association of Rochester and I will always be so grateful to her because she is the person who introduced me to Altrusa. When she moved to Surprise she immediately found and joined an Altrusa club there. She was very active in her retirement. Her annual letter with her Christmas card always mentioned the projects she and her club were involved in along with the fun she was having with ballroom dancing and the other activities that she was involved with. She had two or three dogs when she lived in Rochester and she used to get up early every morning all year round so she could take them for a walk before she went to work. I remember talking to her about how dangerous that could be on a snowy, icy, dark winter morning but that never deterred her. I am sure that she will be sadly missed by everyone who knew her.
~contributed by Liz Finnegan
Altrusa Awards Scholarship
Each year Altrusa of Rochester awards a $1,000 scholarship to a young woman graduating from high school and who will be furthering her education. This year, we are happy to announce that the 2013 scholarship was awarded to Crystal Colon from East High School. Crystal graduated at the head of her class and is the first Latina in East High School history to be Valedictorian. Crystal will be attending University of Rochester in the fall and wll major in Economics. Please read the YNN article.
Altrusa in the News
Democrat and Chronicle
The Altrusa of Rochester club was recently featured in an article written by Lisa Tiffin. This article was in the Saturday, June 5th Democrat and Chronicle ROCNews section. Please take a few minutes to read the article.
Terra Osterling, Suburban News (weekly local west side newspaper), recently contacted Alrusa members living on the west side of Rochester for an interview about our group. Terra met with the members and learned of our many community projects that support literacy and women in transition. Enjoy reading the Suburban News article.
Altrusa of Rochester Hosts "Get to Know Us Tea"
As a result of the two wonderful articles in the local newspapers our club received many inquiries to learn more about our service projects and how to join our club. We hosted a Sunday afternoon gathering inviting those who inquired about our club. Many of our club members shared their personal interests, their experience as an Altrusan and information about our many projects. We are very happy to welcome several new members who joined our club to help carry forth our mission.
Book Shower to Help the International Academy and School 42 Libraries a Huge Success!
On April 10th we hosted a "Book Shower," inviting friends to attend a simple supper, enjoy a wonderful guest speaker (Vivian Vande Velde - a prominent Rochester children's author), and help contribute to the book needs of the International Academy and School 42 in Rochester. A list of books still needed by these schools can be found here.
Forty-five women gathered at Christ Church in downtown Rochester for this event. Vivian Vande Velde gave a lively speech about everyone telling their unique stories and the two school librarians spoke movingly about the gratitude of their students for the books they will be given. Thank you to all who participated and to Liz, Barb C, Karen, Jody, Carol, and the rest of the club for all their hard work organizing and running the event.
Rochester Children's Book Festival
In the Fall of 2012, Altrusa completed its seventh year participating in the Rochester Children's Book Festival. This wonderful festival brought many of our local children book authors to one location. There were craft and reading rooms, three workshops by authors on the craft of writing every half hour and many community groups' tables to visit.
The 17th Annual Rochester Children's Book Festival will be November 16, 2013, in the Flynn Campus Center of Monroe Community College. If you have not attended this wonderful event please plan to do so this coming Fall. Please stop to visit our Altrusa of Rochester table and learn of our many community events.
Festival to Go
Several of the invited authors from the RCBF also volunteered to partner with Altrusa at our city schools in the "Festival to Go". This event was held over several days to bring the writing experience to the classroom. The event, in the Fall of 2012, included visiting the Nathaniel Hawthorne School and Mary B. Anderson School, during the week of October 22nd. The Altrusa Club purchased books from these authors and donated them to each school library.