Altrusa Club of Chillicothe, Illinois - News

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Back to School

Thanks to the generosity of our members and their families, the Washington WalMart and Peoria Sam’s Club, Chillicothe’s Altrusa club distributed a total of $940 in area merchant gift cards to IVC District 321, Calvary Baptist and St. Edward school principals. The money was prorated based on anticipated enrollment at each school.

 One of Altrusa’s ongoing service areas is learning, and having essential school supplies helps facilitate that learning. For many years we supported District 321 schools and their students by providing hard goods — markers, paper, pens, pencils, erasers, etc. Based on communications with each school’s leadership, it was decided a better contribution would be gift cards. That way administrators and teachers can purchase items required for today’s students which are rarely donated by individuals and organizations .  

Altrusa strongly supports Chillicothe-area students and their schools. Thanks to all members for their donation to this annual drive!


Altrusa School Supplies Chair Elaine Snyder and IVC Principal Kenton Bergman and  are all smiles as Mr. Bergman accepts the gift cards donated by Altrusa.


Elaine Snyder presents gift cards to South School support staff Susie VanOstrand and Amber Rusk.

  Pat Simmons (center) presents gift cards to third and fourth grade teacher Michele Kluge, principal Mike Domico and several St. Edward students

Members and Rookie of the Year

Acknowledging the contributions of all members for the success of Chillicothe Altrusa during the past year, outgoing President Pat Parr recently presented the Member and Rookie of the Year awards.  

 The Rookie of the Year award honors someone who has devoted many volunteer hours within her first two years as a member. Joining Altrusa in June, 2016, Judy Bartow was named Rookie of the Year, volunteering quickly for a number of projects. Members of the Year Linda Krider and Sarah Williamson co-chaired the highly successful sale of Terri Lynn food products in late 2016/early 2017, and Judy supported those efforts serving as treasurer for the sale. Thanks to the support of the Chillicothe community and surrounding areas, our club was able to give three $1200 scholarships to deserving IVC High School seniors.

 We thank these women for their outstanding service to our organization. Judy, Linda and Sarah will again be chairing the Terri Lynn sales which begin in November.

(Left to right): Judy Bartow, Linda Krider and Sarah Williamson proudly display their certificates recognizing them as Rookie and Members of the Year.

A History Lesson …

In June Altrusa members, as well as the public, heard Peggy Holmes Hicks’ presentation on her great-great-great-great aunt Lydia Moss Bradley, founder of Bradley Polytechnic Institute, today known as Bradley University. Bradley was originally established in 1897 as a watch-making school and expanded to include classics, home economics and industrial arts. Today it is home to 5400+ students and offers more than 185 academic programs in eight different areas of study. Although Peggy never met her famous aunt, she shared a great deal of family history, including how in many ways she is like Lydia. 

Lydia’s goal was to form young men and women into more noble, more effective people, believing everyone has a right to affordable education. She was a shrewd businesswoman who lived a frugal, simple life – planting and caring for vegetable gardens, churning her own butter, spinning, weaving and many other things a woman of her wealth did not need to do. In many ways Lydia pioneered Altrusa principles, focusing on learning and generously supporting the Peoria community. We thank Peggy for her research and presentation on Lydia Moss Bradley, a woman who led the way for many people in the Peoria area through her philanthropy. 


2017 Altrusa Scholarship Winners


Chillicothe’s Altrusa club was proud to present $1200 scholarships to three deserving young women at the IVC Honors Night May 17, 2017. These scholarships are made possible through the annual sale of Terri Lynn products in November and December, and Altrusa thanks the Chillicothe community for their purchase of these items. Scholarship Committee Chairwoman Nancy Wilson received applications from 49 deserving students; her committee selected the finalists based on a number of criteria including a GPA of at least 2.5, school activities and community service, college choice and intended major, as well as other considerations. 


Shown at Honors Night are (L-R) Altrusa President Linda Krider, scholarship recipients Libby Allison, Taylor Bainter and Mya Clevenger, and Altrusa Literacy Committee Co-Chair Sharon Bates.

Bakeless Bake Sale

You’ll never read about it in the mail.

It is Altrusa’s own little thing … and I promise we won’t sing!

You don’t heat up the house … or leave crumbs for the mouse.

We miss the delicious taste, but it is better for our waist.

Get out your billfold so your money won’t get old.

Put it right here in this pan. I promise we will give you a hand.

 With the above words, Bakeless Bake Sale co-chairs Marlene Kent and Nancy Wilson encouraged members to contribute to our club’s operating fund without going through the hassle of a bake sale. $273 was donated at the June meeting, and another collection will be taken in July.


 Happy Birthday Chillicothe Altrusa!

Members of our club met in April to celebrate the 57th birthday of our organization. Co-chairs Mary Horan and Tena Shane did a FANtastic job, providing each of us with a fan, as well as the various meanings associated with how you hold and use your fan. Great food was provided by the committee and Kenyon’s Place in Lacon. What a fun evening of way too much to eat and lots of visiting time!

Terry Sue Castle, Joyce Mowbray and Terri Castle are all smiles after enjoying a great dinner at Kenyon's Place.

Happy Easter! 

Fourteen Chillicothe families will have a happier Easter thanks to the generosity of Altrusa. Members of the club recently delivered boxes filled with food staples such as canned meats and pasta, cereal, canned fruits and vegetables, as well as many other items, to be distributed to the family units identified earlier by Community Needs Agency (CNA) Executive Director Theresa Meister. Project co-chairs Peggy Pierson and Nancy Wilson thanked Altrusans for their support of this project, which has been a club tradition for many years. 

Personal Items Supplied


Residents of Heritage Health Therapy and Senior Care center in Chillicothe eagerly await the first Monday of each month when the Heritage Store is open.  The Store offers those living at Heritage Health an opportunity to select two items for their personal use at no cost to them; and if an individual is unable to go to the Store, a staff member will get items requested.  As one of its service projects, Chillicothe Altrusa asked its members to support Heritage Health by contributing items to the Store. Wow … did our members come through! Included in the donation were shower gels, body lotions, beads, socks, large print puzzle books, shampoos and conditioners, greeting cards, facial tissue and a variety of other goodies which those living at Heritage often request. Pictured with some of the items (L-R): Activities Aide Cindy Gosse, Activities Director Missy Herridge, and Altrusa members Joyce Hughes, Sandy Myers and Wendy Lanser.


Christmas in February

Christmas is a time for giving – especially to those in need – and the Chillicothe area has always been generous supporting the Community Needs Agency, as well as other local charities.  Generosity is also an attribute describing Chillicothe Altrusa members throughout the year, but particularly at Christmastime when the Club selects a Central Illinois organization as its Christmas Charity.

 In 2016 UnityPoint Health – Methodist Child Life Services was selected to receive the Club’s contribution. Child Life Services serves children from newborn through preteen years by providing specialists who work to reduce traumatic experiences during hospitalization, engaging children with games, arts, crafts, toys, music and movies. The equipment they were using, while providing distractions and activities, was outdated; so Altrusa decided to lend a helping hand. According to Altrusa co-chair Jane Funk, child life specialists had requested new equipment costing $755; Altrusa’s goal was to raise $1000. When donations from members were totaled, $1435 had been contributed. This allowed Child Life Services to purchase a MamaRoo Swing, Foldable Infant Swing, Foldable Highchair, Bumbo seat, two motorized cars, a Crib Mobile, Bouncy Seat, DVD player and a department-owned camera and printer. While many of these items replaced things well-used, several were new additions to the unit. According to Becca Martin, Certified Child Life Specialist at UnityPoint Health -  Methodist, "pediatric patients and their families will benefit from the kindness of Altrusa each and every day!” Items were ordered in late December; delivery came mid-February.

Thanks Altrusans for everything you do to support Chillicothe and the surrounding area.


UnityPoint Health – Methodist Child Life Services staff (left to right) Ashley Hostman, Child Life graduate student; Jen Johnson, volunteer; Becca Martin, Certified Child Life Specialist; Christine Czapek, Certified Child Life Specialist; and Ashley Gordon, Child Life Specialist, are all smiles as they display items purchased with the money from Altrusa.

 Altrusa International Foundation, Inc. Supports Fire Department

On December 20, 2016, Altrusa International of Chillicothe, Illinois, Inc. was honored to present Chillicothe Fire Chief Mike Denzer with a $1000 grant from the International Foundation.  The volunteer Fire Department will apply this grant toward the purchase of a radio to be worn by a fireman, providing communication between firefighters. This is crucial to their safety and the safety of those they rescue, as well as the property they protect. 

 Altrusa Club President Pat Parr says that grants of $250 - $2000 are available through sponsoring Altrusa Clubs from the Altrusa International Foundation, Inc. to improve the economic well-being and quality of life through the Foundation’s commitment to community service and literacy.

 Established as a charitable corporation in 1962, the Altrusa International Foundation is committed to the service goals and objectives of Altrusa International, Inc. Its sole purpose is to be an avenue through which Altrusans can assist Altrusa Clubs and other worthy organizations throughout the world to carry out their programs of community service and assistance to those in need.

 Funding is provided by voluntary contributions from members, Altrusa Clubs and the general public.


Chillicothe Fire Chief Mike Denzer (center) shows the type of radio to be purchased to Altrusa Foundation members (l-r) Janet Gilomen, Char Williamson, Pat Parr and Peggy Pierson.



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