The September issue of the Altrusa Announcer is now available. September 2019

The August newsletter is now available.

The March edition of the Altrusa Newsletter is now available.

The December edition of the Altrusa Announcer is now available.

The November edition of the Altrusa Announcer is now available.

Altrusa’s annual golf outing took place on Friday, May 25 at Coldwater Golf Course. We had a great turnout with 27 team (108 golfers) and great weather making it a perfect day for golf.

This year we had six Gold Sponsors ($500 donations): Kiss Jewelry, Sekisui Voltec, Work Heath, Southern Michigan Bank & Trust, Chemical Bank and Cole Ford Lincoln.

Other sponsors included: C & O Insurance & Infinity Mortgage Associates as the Scoreboard Sponsors, Tom Manning & Associates for the Beverage Cart Sponsorship, Mastronardi Produce: Pepper Co/Maroa Farms for Banquet Sponsorship, Karmen Case, Realtor- Hauska Home & Farm Real Estate was the Breakfast Sponsor, Branch County Community Foundation donated the  golf balls for goodie bags, Wal-Mart Distribution Center for Putting Green Sponsor and both Bobilya Chrysler Jeep Dodge and Sherry Haylett Homes and Rec. Properties were the Hole in One Sponsor.

Men’s Team– (L to R) Connor Covert, Jay Dogan, Curtis Covert, and Jeff Sheppard

We also had over 10 Hole Sponsors ($200 donations), around 50 Tee Sponsors ($75 donations) and numerous companies who donated items for the raffle.

This event is one of our biggest fundraisers and this year it made over $16,000 to give back to our community!

The winning teams were:

Women’s Team – (L to R) Becky Olds, Leslie Moore, Lisa Covert, and Kristin Smith

Mixed Team – Scott Rzepka, Gary Werkman, Connie Downs, and Glenn White

The inevitable proof that winter is on its way came last night with our first Frost Advisory. HA ….. “love it or leave it”! Guess we will just make the best of it. J colorful leaves on the trees, Indian Summer days, all the pumpkin pie you can eat, delicious golden apple cider, snuggling into down comforters, rosy cheeks, ghosts and witches with black cats on Halloween.  BOO!

We started our month with an informative presentation about the State of the City from Mayor Tom Kramer. The following week, we had a great time during our Social Hour at the Lamplight. The music with Jim Dove and the wonderful appetizers just kept coming! In November, we will hold our Social in Quincy at the Stables, and in December, at our own Elks Lodge.

I understand “it’s been years” since our Altrusa club held an Annual Meeting GALA EVENT. When I talk with the members who have experienced such an evening, I see stars in their eyes and hear stories about how wonderful it was! It has been the consensus of many that we do it again. After discussing it with board members, we are all excited about the idea, and who else to ask about planning the event but those members who have experienced the occasion. The perfect group to spearhead the June 2019 event is our Past Presidents, and they are open to the idea. This special affair will take a lot of time to organize with many people working together. Therefore, when you are asked to help, the magic word is YES!

Teen Share Frozen Food project will be our “Make a Difference Day” activity. What an exciting and charitable service for these young people in need. The last day for monetary (checks payable to Altrusa) and frozen food gifts is Oct. 17.

Our visit to Mansfield to participate in their club’s “Make a Difference Day” is scheduled for Saturday, October 27. Their project is Days for Girls and we will be contributing LOTS of flannel and helping them make the pads. Call Carol H. if you are interested in going along.

On November 7, our special guest from District Five will be Second Vice-Governor, Ginny Beamish. We are excited to welcome her and look forward to her visit. Our program will be Literacy projects and service. We also look forward, on that day, to honoring our Altrusa member Veterans and their family member Veterans. Remember November 11 is Veterans’ Day.

Each day may we live the words of our benediction:  “May our paths of service lead us to attain our highest ideals for our community and our nation.”


The updated local club bylaws and policies have been added.

Altrusa Receives High Honors at District Five Conference

Coldwater, MI – Altrusa International of Branch County members recently attended the District Five Annual Conference in Dayton, Ohio, where they came home with many high honors. District Five includes 28 clubs throughout Lower Michigan and Ohio and boasts a membership of 665 while the International organization includes over 8,000 members worldwide. Branch County members proudly earned eight awards for their community involvement.

For outstanding Career Achievement, Jan Storrs received the Dr. Elizabeth Powelson Award, which noted her long achievements as an employee of Coldwater Community Schools. The nomination specifically included her work as the founder and director of the Coldwater Alternative Education program which was later named Franklin High School. Jan was named the Branch County Chamber of Commerce Educator of the Year in 2012 and the Michigan Alternative Education Organization’s Director of the Year in 2013.

The Altrusa Teen SHARE program received the Mamie L. Bass Award for best service project of the year. This win means that the project will be placed in the running for the International Award which will be named at this year’s 100th Anniversary Celebration Convention in Nashville, Tennessee in July. This program also won the Branch County Community Service Program of the Year of 2016 as well as the District Mamie L. Bass Award in 1995 and the International First Place Honorable mention in 1997. The program is chaired by Connie Winbigler.

The Happy Feet Program, also chaired by Winbigler, was the recipient of the Leola M. Heiss Long-Term Project Award, noting that during the nine years the program has been running, the club has given away, with a lot of help from the community, over 3200 pairs of shoes and socks.

The club newsletter and club yearbooks both walked away with awards. The Altrusa Announcer, written by Christine Delaney, took the second place Ruth B. Emmons Award and the yearbook, edited by Keely Beemer and Alicia Cole received the Mary Shanks Yearbook Award.

For the second year in a row, the CHS ASTRA club, under the direction of Kristin Smith, DeAnne Hawley, and Karmen Case won the Best ASTRA Service Club Award. This past year their “Book War” pitted Michigan State fans against University of Michigan Fans and resulted in the collection of approximately 350 books which were distributed during “March is Reading” Month.

Also for the second year in a row, the club was awarded the Distinguished Club Award, based on a point system set by the District. It also received a gold cord to be added to its banner for maintaining charter strength, and received a third place Hamilton Award for the highest average meeting attendance. Several members received pins for having sponsored two or more members.

Another highlight of the weekend was when Julie Stratos, local club president, was installed as the first Vice Governor of the District and Carol Hodson, current club recording secretary, was appointed as Program Awards Chair. Karmen Case, the in-coming Branch County president, was recognized for her past two years as the District ASTRA Chair.

According to the Altrusa International website, “Altrusans provide service in our communities in various ways, with an emphasis on literacy. We build libraries, pass out free books, tutor young children, and many other literacy related activities.” In addition, Altrusa clubs focus on specific needs in their community.

Altrusa International of Branch County was instrumental in founding the Branch County Coalition Against Domestic Violence/Shelterhouse programs as well as Altrusa Teen SHARE. It is also well known for the Happy Feet Program and its focus on literacy, international relations, and scholarships for non-traditional students. They have sponsored things like the Picture Me Reading program, and the “Coloring Across Branch County” coloring book for second graders, the ASTRA Gowns for Gals and Ties for Guys Program at CHS, their seven-course dinner offering at the Tibbits Annual Auction, as well as their support of programs like Girls On The Run, Branch County Veterans, the Women’s Health Fest, Quincy in the Park, the Four Corners Park project, the Great Start Collaborative, Tommy’s House, and the American Legion Auxiliary and Girl’s State, etc. Funding for these programs come from the club’s annual Diamond Raffle and Spring Golf Outing.

Anyone interested in joining the Altrusa, can contact the club through this website or visit their Facebook page. The club meets on the first, third and fifth Wednesday at the Coldwater Elks Temple at noon.

# # #

Altrusa International of Branch County offers scholarships for non-traditional students who are pursuing post-secondary education and are Branch County residents. The scholarship is intended to help recipients get a fresh start, make a career change, or advance in their field. The deadline for the 2017 scholarship is Monday, April 10, 2017. Read the complete Media Release and download the Scholarship Application.