Altrusa International of Xenia ends after 30 years

XENIA — The Xenia Chapter of Altrusa International, Inc., chartered on May 21, 1990, will disband as of Sunday, May 31.

The group had 10 active members in its final year, including the four active charter members — Dolores Alston, Linda Beaver, Mary Gale Simpson, and Urcelle Willis. Other members include Carol Atzbach, Grace Tinsley-Clark, Irene Colbert, Cheri Dixon, Barbara Stafford and Phyllis Wisecup. Many other valued members have come, served and left over the years.

Stafford said the 30-year anniversary seemed like an appropriate milestone at which to disband.

Altrusa of Xenia is a service club that has worked for the betterment of the Xenia community. The group’s focus has been to support activities around literacy and leadership. These recently included: Days for Girls, Dolly Parton Imagination Library, X-Out Hunger Backpack Program, and the Xenia Community Schools Foundation’s Sponsored Grants Program. The club will be making a final contribution to each of these organizations, according to a release from the club.

The Urcelle Willis Xenia Altrusa Scholarship, established in honor of the club’s first president, is being awarded for the final time this year to Xenia High School 2020 graduate Freya Vellia. Freya will attend Johnson and Wales Culinary College in the fall.

The groups major fund-raiser, hosted each year for 27 years, was the Kathryn Hagler High Tea. Projects over the years included: Little Free Libraries; Buckeye Girls State sponsorship; Make a Difference Day projects; the Caring Place meals; flower garden maintenance at the Greene County Library garden; Xenia schools projects; X-Out Hunger backpack cuisine project; American Education Week; Cox Elementary School supplies; Stuff the Bus; K-5 book giveaways at First Fridays; Friends of the Library book giveaway; Greene County supervised visitation renovation project; Black History Month projects; contributions to the Greene County Emergency Red Cross Shelter; food pantry donations; family violence shelter and projects; and Xenia Adult Recreation and Services Center.

The first Altrusa Club was organized in Nashville, Tenn., on April 11, 1917. It was the first national organization of business and professional women. The organization became international on June 30, 1935 with extension into Mexico. As of 1987, bylaws were amended to admit men into membership.