Altrusa awards scholarships amid pandemic


SIDNEY — Altrusa International of Sidney was organized on June 10, 1944. The current Club focuses on literacy, scholarships, and community service in Shelby County and is a 501(c)(3) organization.

“At the beginning of the year, the group was excited as they were working on a new fundraising project and were to hold a Trivia Contest in April at The Moose,” said President Christi Thomas. “But after collecting monies and door prizes, COVID-19 became a reality and the Contest was canceled. However, due to the support of the community, Sidney Altrusa was able to hand out three $1,000 scholarships in 2020 and would like to thank the sponsors: Allison Jewelers, B-squared Hair Salon, Cassano’s, Mike Elsass, Emerson Realty, Francis-Schulze Company, The Hair Company, High Grounds, Ivy Garland, Mutual Federal Savings Bank, Ron & Nita’s, Ruese Insurance, Sidney Body Carstar, Sidney Education Association, Sturm Construction, Vin & Joy, UPS Store, and members of Altrusa International of Sidney.”

Her report continues:

The Sidney Club hosted a Little Red Caboose ceremony to honor the kids who had graduated from the Imagination Library program in Shelby County. A big supporter of Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library, Altrusa of Sidney had received a grant to hold the ceremonies.

The Quad City dinner in April, to be held in Lima, was canceled due to COVID-19. Quad City is Altrusa Clubs from Troy, Springfield, Lima, and Sidney and each year a different club hosts a dinner while one of the others is in charge of entertainment and the other two donate $100 to a charity.

Sidney Club member Suzanne Cline is the District 5 Governor. District 5 encompasses all of Ohio and the lower part of Michigan. Conference in 2020 was to be held in Youngstown in May and was also canceled, although the District competitions were still held and the Sidney group received the Dr. Nina Fay Calhoun International Relations Award for their monthly sponsorship of a girl from Burkina Faso through Compassion International. The 2021 Conference is to be held in April in Youngstown.

President Christi Thomas and her officers Vice President Ollie Anthony, Secretary Ann Weiskittel, Treasurer Kay Miller and Directors Ruth Hinzman and Dianne Wells worked on fundraising ideas. The Foundation Officers are Chair Ollie Anthony, Vice President Susan Kinsella, Treasurer Christi Thomas, and Secretary Cynthia McRill.

Members were to host a blood drive on July 21 and in October hand out books to the kids attending the downtown kids fall festival, however these were also canceled.

They did get to ring the Salvation Army bell at Krogers in December.

Meetings are held the first Wednesday of each month (except July). The April and May meetings in 2020 were canceled due to COVID-19 and the June meeting was held in the backyard of Mary Lou Holly’s home. The August and September meetings were held in the backyard of Dianne Wells. The October and November meetings were held at the Elks Lodge where members did social distancing. However the December holiday auction was postponed and moved to March 2021. Anyone interested in learning more about Altrusa may contact Thomas, [email protected].


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