A nearly 100-year-old Hamilton group has a new way to support reading in the area

The Altrusa International Club of Hamilton, a non-profit established in 1923, received a $4,000 grant for two literacy programs in Butler County from the Altrusa International Foundation of Chicago. Pictured, from left to right: Joan Witt, Mary Kuenzig, (Mark Kuenzig not a member but helper), Janis Kowalski, Carol Bondoc, Mary Jane Mayer, Anita Harper, Germaine Vonderhaar, Kathy Carmack, Nancy Schwab, Bobbi Hesselgrave. Current Members missing that day: Margie Anderson, Sr. M. Pascaline Colling, Dana Enrico, Kathy Jackson, Peggy Jung, Joann Koch, Sue Sepela, Meg Witt. CONTRIBUTED
Caption
The Altrusa International Club of Hamilton, a non-profit established in 1923, received a $4,000 grant for two literacy programs in Butler County from the Altrusa International Foundation of Chicago. Pictured, from left to right: Joan Witt, Mary Kuenzig, (Mark Kuenzig not a member but helper), Janis Kowalski, Carol Bondoc, Mary Jane Mayer, Anita Harper, Germaine Vonderhaar, Kathy Carmack, Nancy Schwab, Bobbi Hesselgrave. Current Members missing that day: Margie Anderson, Sr. M. Pascaline Colling, Dana Enrico, Kathy Jackson, Peggy Jung, Joann Koch, Sue Sepela, Meg Witt. CONTRIBUTED

The Altrusa International Club of Hamilton, a non-profit established in 1923, received a $4,000 grant for two literacy programs in Butler County from the Altrusa International Foundation of Chicago.

The AIF, which was formed in 1917 in Nashville, Tennessee, offers two grant cycles each year.

The November 2018 grant will help fund a backpack program sponsored by Shared Harvest and the Community Book Celebration for the Sandy Hormel book program, which is held each year in Oxford. Some of the grant was used for books and food given to the second- and third-grade students in the back-pack program sponsored by Shared Harvest and the Community.

 

A portion of the funds were used to purchase 96 books for the Hamilton City School District, 51 books for second-graders and 45 books for third-graders. The books purchased were “A Bad Case of Stripes” for the second grade and “Diary of A Wimpy Kid” for the third grade. Additional funds from this Altrusa grant will be provided two more times during this school year.

Altrusa of Hamilton awards three high school scholarships in May of each year. The applications are sent to 16 high schools in the Butler County area. The scholarships are funded in part by their spring flower sale held in May.

The non-profit serves local communities to eliminate illiteracy through various projects and events. Their mission statements says the group works to “improve communities worldwide by providing service, developing leadership, fostering international understanding and encouraging fellowship through an international network of dedicated volunteers.”

Altrusa International’s “Action for Literacy” was introduced in 1977, and its international program conquering illiteracy was decided to be the action Altrusa should take being involved in many good works, especially in literacy.

Members want to make their communities a better place to live, experience personal growth opportunities and develop leadership skills as they serve their communities.

An annual event of Altrusa International of Hamilton is the service project fundraiser and adult spelling bee, “The Literacy Buzz.” This will be Altrusa’s 10th year, and it will celebrate achievements and successes. It will be held Oct. 18 at the Butler County Educational Service Center, 400 North Erie Highway, Hamilton.

All funds received are given to literacy programs through grant applications and chosen by judges. For further information, contact Germaine Vonderhaar at gvonderhaar45@gmail.com or Mary Jane Mayer at maryjmayer@cinci.rr.com.

Altrusa of Hamilton is looking for members who can commit some of their time for service and fundraising projects which are held during the year. For membership information, call 513-300-1537.

It also considers Shared Harvest as a partner for their members volunteer whenever possible to supply food and books to children in the Hamilton City School District.

Contact contributing writer: shirl54bel@gmail.com