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Newly installed Board Members: Left to Right: Club and Foundation Secretary:  Connie Van Dam,

Past President and Foundation Treasurer Kathy LaPoint, Club President:  MaryAnne Skawinski, Club & Foundation Vice President: Marie Stephen, Club & Foundation Director and Immediate past President: Sylvia Detscher, Foundation President: Nancy Law.  Not featured: Club Treasurer: Cindy Day and Club Directors: Linda French and Lynne Cayer.


The flags above represent the clubs in District One.  The conference was held at the North Conway Hotel, North Conway, NH.  District One Clubs include the following locations:  NH Clubs:  Carroll County, Laconia, Meredith, and the Seacoast.  CT Clubs: Central CT, Greater Hartford, Litchfield County, and Northeastern CT.  Maine Clubs: Bangor, Greater Biddeford, Portland, and Sanford-Springvale.  Massachusetts Clubs: Merrimack Valley, Plymouth County, and Quincy as well as Bermuda and Quebec.

The Conference celebrates our accomplishments as well as the work of the district.  We are a community service club not just in the USA but communities all over the world.   

Membership Committee members welcoming one of our new members, Doreen Carson, are: L to R: Altrusans Nancy Law, Carol Gerken, Doreen Carson, Jodi Wilson, Betty Cook, Connie Van Dam, Linda French and Monica Bennett.

Membership Committee members welcoming  Lynne Cayer as the new Secretary to the Board of Directors.   Left to right:  MaryAnne Skawinski, Lynne Cayer, Monica Bennett, Jodi Wilson, Betty Cook, Connie Van Dam and Linda French.


Helping to decorate the porch of the Meredith Chamber for the Winter and Christmas Season are left to right : Carol Gerken Atrusa member, Stephanie Whiting staff of the Chamber, MaryAnne Skwanski 1st VP of Altrusa and President  Sylvia Detscher.  It looks beautiful ladies.


Knowing we wanted to help in some way this project was started. In this picture are 4 members who made the masks (aka the sewers) and 3 members that delivered (aka the drivers) over 640 them to 20 non-profits in the Lakes Region. Left to right: 1st row:Kerry Raymond (S), Susan Amiss (D), Nancy Law (S), Paula Trombi (D),

2nd row: Sylvia Detscher (S), Linda French (D), and Connie Van Dam.

An Organization With a Rich and Colorful History

    Altrusa International was founded in Nashville, Tennessee in 1917, originally as Altrusa Institute. During that time, a record number of women were going to work during World War I, and there was a need for women’s civic organizations. Dr. Alfred Durham, a member of Kiwanis, began organizing clubs throughout Nashville, TN, Louisville, KY, and Dayton, OH, before he moved on to Indianapolis, IN, where he met Mamie L. Bass. Mamie L. Bass had served as the Superintendent of the Women’s Division of the United States Employment Bureau and was a partner in her brother’s architecture firm. She also assisted him in organizing a Rotary chapter in Indianapolis. While she admired Dr. Durham’s Institute, Bass felt that Altrusa could serve a higher purpose.

    In June 1918, when Altrusa held its first convention in Indianapolis, Mamie L. Bass’s vision became reality. The Altrusa Institute became a classified service organization for women. Later, the Altrusa Institute was renamed as the National Association of Altrusa Clubs and adopted By-Laws that laid the groundwork for today’s Altrusans. Soon after, Mamie L. Bass created the Principles of Altrusa which defined Altrusa as "a builder of women" and an organization based on merit and accomplishment. The Principles were officially adopted in 1921 along with a major club building effort. By 1922, Altrusa had 20 clubs. In 1935, Altrusa became international when the first club in Mexico was organized. Since that first step over US borders in 1935, Altrusa moved into Puerto Rico, Chile, Ecuador, Mexico, India, Korea, Russia, Ukraine, Ireland, Great Britain, Bermuda, Canada, and New Zealand.

    In 1946, Altrusa sent its first representative to the United Nations. In 1962, Altrusa International established the Altrusa International Foundation, which is dedicated to improving economic well-being and quality of life through a commitment to community services and literacy.

    In 1966, the organization began to look to America’s youth as the future of Altrusa and established ASTRA service clubs. ASTRA encourages young people, ages 13 to 21, to participate in community service. Expanding on its commitment to youth, Altrusa adopted literacy in 1977. The eighties and nineties brought many exciting changes to Altrusa.

With the end of Communism, the former Soviet Union saw its first Altrusa clubs. Increasing its global outlook, Altrusa expanded projects beyond literacy and education by adopting a resolution to promote environmental concerns in 1989. 


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