Club News and Events
Altrusa Sponsors LITTLE FREE LIBRARY at VISTA Foods
Altrusa International of Laconia has joined the growing number of organizations sponsoring the LITTLE FREE LIBRARIES trend. The library which promotes “take a book, return a book” is for all ages. LITTLE FREE LIBRARIES are located throughout the world and travelers can go onto the website: littlefreelibrary.org to ﬁnd their locations.
Altrusa wanted to set up a LITTLE FREE LIBRARY and thought the south area of Laconia would be a good location. Bob Fitzpatrick, Manager of VISTA Foods, was contacted and he was happy to help. The Altrusa Club had the bookcase built and stocked it with books for all ages. On Saturday, October 28th, it was placed in the vestibule of VISTA Foods on South Main Street where it will be protected from bad weather. Now residents will be able to purchase their groceries and pick up a book to read!
In addition to the Laconia Store, VISTA has locations in Newport and Richford, Vermont. Visit their website: myvistafoods.com for weekly ads, recipes and free coupons.
The Altrusa Club of Laconia is a group of individuals who volunteer their time and efforts to improve their community. Part of Altrusa International, Inc., which recently celebrated 100 years of community service, the Laconia Club is part of District I, which includes clubs in Maine, NH, VT, Mass, CT, Quebec and Bermuda. The Laconia Club has been in existence since 1945. Their major fundraiser, “Taste of the Lakes” is held each spring; all proceeds from the event go to projects that make a difference in the community. Visit their website: www.altrusalaconia.org for more information.
Courtesy photograph (pictured left to right): Sue Clauson, Altrusa Literacy Co-Chairperson, Adrienne Stevens, President of Laconia Altrusa and Bob Fitzpatrick, Manager of VISTA FOODS.
Hope Makris - 50 Years of Service!
Ann Rash, District One Governor, presents and attaches a 50 year member of Altrusa pin on
Hope Makris of Altrusa of Laconia, NH on October 10, 2017.
Hope is one of only 3 members
of District One who have been in Altrusa for 50 years or more. Hope joined Altrusa of Laconia in 1958.
It was a wonderful evening to share this celebration with Hope!
Altrusa International of Laconia creates “Book Nook”for Belknap House
Members of Altrusa of Laconia wanted to help the new Belknap House when they learned about the potential new shelter for homeless families. While viewing the site we visualized a reading area under the beautiful staircase. This set in motion the purchase of bookcases, a rug, wall hangings, soft pillows to sit on ~~ and of course, the gathering of lots of books for children and adults!
March 8th, 4 members of the Literacy committee loaded up cars, delivered and set up the new “Book Nook” for children & families. It is hoped that the new reading area will provide those who reside there with quiet place of temporary refuge during their stay.
Altrusa Laconia "Make a Difference Day"
Altrusa International of Laconia collected warm winter apparel for students of all ages in the Laconia schools. Items included boots, socks, mittens, gloves, scarves and warm fleece items. These will be distributed to students in need by the guidance personnel or the school nurse in each building. This community service project was part of Altrusa's MAKE A DIFFERENCE DAY in commeration of the 100th anniversary of Altrusa International.
New Beginnings Clothing Drive
Altrusa International of Laconia recently delivered clothing for women & children, personal toiletry items, household necessities and backpacks filled with school needs to New Beginnings, which provides free and confidential support, emergency shelter, 1 to 1 peer support as well as educational & outreach programs, advocacy & crisis intervention for those whose lives have been affected by Domestic & Sexual Violence.
For more information on New Beginnings, please visit their website at:
Hands Across the Table
Altrusa International of Laconia recently participated in serving the free weekly community dinner sponsored by Hands Across the Table, held every Wednesday at St. Andre Bissette Parish Hall. Dinner served was Tossed salad, Italian bread, Meat Lasagna and green beans and Apple Crisp with ice cream with coffee and teas for dessert.
Altrusa members volunteered for set up, serving which allows them to spend time with area residents to enjoy a nice meal & opportunity to socialize within community. We served dinner to over 100 guests at the weekly dinner on Wednesday Oct. 19th!
Pictured left to right: Deanne Murphy, Nancy LeRoy, Jan Gilbert, Debbie Cotton, Barbara DeAngelis & Barbara Laros.
2016 Scholarship Recipients
Altrusa International of Laconia recently awarded two $750. college scholarships to local women.
Samantha Sapier of Laconia, NH received an Adrienne Stevens-Margaret "Peg" Normandin Athletic Scholarship. Ms. Sapier is attending Plymouth State. A second Dr. Alice Normandin scholarship for a woman pursuing a degree in the health field was awarded to Asley Sabin of Laconia. Ms. Sabin is attending Lakes Region Community College in Laconia. Each year since 1963 Altrusa of Laconia has awarded scholarships to deserving young women.
Pictured Left: Deanne Murphy, president presents scholarships awards to Ashley Sabia (L) and Samantha Sapier (R)
Altruse of Laconia Gives Back
Altrusa International of Laconia recently delivered checks to community organizations. Recipients included Laconia Got Literacy, Laconia Adult Education, Child and Family Services and the Belknap County Nursing Home Activities Department. Pictured above Director Brenda Twardosky accepts a check from Laconia Altrusan Barbara DeAngelis.
Make A Difference Day
Altrusa of Laconia "Make a Difference Day" project delivered 26 pumpkins on Thursday for the children at the Carey House, New Beginnings & Salvation Army.
The pumpkins were carved by the children to be displayed at Pumpkinfest.
Pictured members are Jan Gilbert, Carla Peterson & Tracie Grant.
Music and Literacy!
On Aug 5, 2015 the Laconia public library's summer reading program presented Steve Blunt and his band at the Community Center.
The interactive program involved literacy songs and featured Marty Kelly. Marty's new book was presented to those in attendance via a large screen. Children, counselors, parents & grandparents enjoyed this literacy event, sponsored by a donation from Altrusa International of Laconia.
Altrusa of Laconia awards two scholarships to local college women!
Altrusa International of Laconia recently awarded two $1,000 college scholarships to local women. Trina Armstrong of Laconia, NH received a Dr. Alice Normandin scholarship, for a Lakes Region woman pursuing a degree in the health field. Ms. Armstrong is attending New Hampshire Technical Institute in Concord. A second Dr. Alice Normandin scholarship was awarded to Beverly Cogburn of Laconia, NH. Ms. Cogburn is attending Lakes Region Community College in Laconia.
Each year since 1963 Altrusa of Laconia has awarded scholarships to deserving young women. As a 501(C) 3 non-profit entity, all club monies are raised through various fundraising activities and donations, and then redistributed back into the local community in the form of scholarships, donations, and projects that meet the mission of Altrusa. For more information about Altrusa of Laconia, please visit their website: www.altrusalaconia.com
Pictured: Deanne Murphy (right), president of Altrusa International of Laconia presents a scholarship award to Trina Armstrong (left). Missing from photo was Beverly Cogburn.
For more information about Altrusa of Laconia, please visit their website: www.altrusalaconia.com.
ALTRUSA CLUB OF LACONIA NH MEMBER HONORED
HOPE MAKRIS, A MEMBER OF THE ALTRUSA CLUB OF LACONIA NH SINCE 1958, HAS BEEN HONORED BY THE UNIVERSITY OF NEW HAMPSHIRE DURING COMMENCEMENT EXERCISES HELD IN MAY.
HOPE IS A 1946 GRADUATE OF UNH. SHE RECEIVED THE GRANITE STATE AWARD WHICH IS GIVEN TO INDIVIDUALS, AGENCIES, CORPORATIONS, AND FOUNDATIONS WHOSE OUTSTANDING ACHIEVEMENTS HAVE MADE EXTRAORDINARY CONTRIBUTIONS TO THE STATE OF NEW HAMPSHIRE. HOPE WAS CHOSEN FOR THE AWARD “DUE TO HER DISTINGUISHED RECORD OF SERVICE.” HOPE HAS NOT ONLY GIVEN BACK TO THE LACONIA COMMUNITY WITH HER WORK IN THE HOSPITALITY INDUSTRY WHERE HER FAMILY OWNS AND OPERATES THE NASWA RESORT; BUT SHE HAS BEEN VERY ACTIVE IN THE ALTRUSA CLUB OF LACONIA NH FOR YEARS AND STILL ATTENDS MEETINGS TODAY.
THIS MAKES THE SECOND TIME IN RECENT YEARS THAT HOPE HAS BEEN HONORED BY UNH. IN 2011 SHE RECEIVED A LIFETIME ACHIEVEMENT AWARD FROM THE UNIVERSITY’S CENTER FOR FAMILY BUSINESSES.
THE ALTRUSA CLUB OF LACONIA NH IS PROUD AND PLEASED TO HAVE HOPE AS A MEMBER.
'Bear Wants More' Story Trail Unveiled!
BEAR WANTS MORE is a children’s story now appearing as a Story Trail along
the WOW Trail between Messer Street and Lakeport. The story was unveiled on
Saturday May 16, in conjunction with the Gale to Goss Annual Library Community
Walk. This project for the community was created by Altrusa International of Laconia as a literacy venture to encourage people of all ages to get out and walk while enjoying wonderful children’s books.
Altrusa District One Honored With Letha H. Brown Litereacy Award
Altrusa of Laconia recently attended the 59th annual District One Altrusa conference in Quebec and is proud to announce that they received first place for the Letha H. Brown Literacy Award from District One Altrusa.
They also received the Letha H. Brown 2014-2015 Literacy Award from Altrusa International to honor their outstanding efforts & achievements in literacy.
Altrusa of Laconia hosts Bess the Book Bus at Prescott Farm’s Harvest Festival on Saturday September 13, 2014
From 10 am until 3 pm on Saturday September 13, Bess the Book Bus will join the festivities at Prescott Farm's 5th annual Harvest Festival. Brought to the event by Altrusa of Laconia, free books will be handed out to all children who attend.
Altrusa of Laconia supports literacy and is excited to have Bess the Book Bus come to Laconia for the first time. Plan to celebrate fall with Prescott Farm and visit Bess the Book Bus!
About Bess the Book Bus
Bess the Book Bus is a non-profit, 501(c)(3) organization committed to extending literacy across the country. Run by Jennifer Frances of Tampa, Fla., the organization visits local communities across the country in a specially designed “book bus,” coordinating reading events and providing children with a free, new book for them to keep. For more information, visit www.bessthebookbus.org.
Bess the Book Bus is a mobile literacy outreach dedicated to sharing the joy of reading and building home libraries for underprivileged children and families across the USA. Bess the Book Bus launched her 6th annual Success is in Sight Tour on March 24th, 2014. The 2014 Success is in Sight tour will serve 25,000+ kids in over 35 states and they hope to give away 70,000 new books. Over the course of 2014, Bess will travel the United States, making numerous stops at schools, community centers, shelters, and Head Start facilities locations in nearly 60 cities to donate books, read aloud to children and help spread a love for reading. By visiting schools and classroom libraries directly this year, Bess will significantly increase the impact the program has on the nation’s most underserved students.
Since starting Bess the Book Bus in 2002, the program has grown into one of the nation’s most innovative mobile literacy initiatives. Thanks to a network of volunteers and support from CITGO, Transitions Optical, Townsend Press, Mercedes-Benz USA and other corporate sponsors, Bess the Book Bus has visited 48 states, supported more than 60,000 children, and donated more than 450,000 books.
Bess the Book Bus is proud to announce continued support from CITGO Fueling Good program. “Our partnership with CITGO will help us reach tens of thousands of underserved kids in over 35 states in 2014” Frances said. “Without our wonderful sponsors like CITGO, we would not have the resources to reach all of the children and families that we do. We look forward to traveling across the country again to meet local CITGO Marketers and the Fueling Good Road Trip team in our continuing quest to spread a love for literature.”
For stories from Bess the Book Bus’ 2013 tour, including a travel diary and photos from events across the country, visit www.bessthebookbus.org.
To learn how CITGO and local organizations like Bess the Book Bus are making a difference in communities throughout the United States, visit www.FuelingGood.com.
To join the conversation, “Like” CITGO Fueling Good and Bess the Book Bus on Facebook www.facebook.com/bessthebookbus, “Follow” on Twitter and Instagram, and view videos of past winners at www.youtube.com/CITGOFuelingGood/ and www.youtube.com/user/bessthebookbus
Altrusa of Laconia donates Betty the Bookworm to Gilford Public Library!
Many children in the Lakes Region are familiar with Betty the Bookworm, the literacy mascot for Altrusa International of Laconia. Betty has visited many libraries, classrooms, been seen in many parades and appeared at all Altrusa of Laconia events in the last few years. The book BETTY THE BOOKWORM VISITS THE LIBRARY, written by Altrusan Barbara DeAngelis, is the story of Betty’s first exciting visit to the library. Many local children own a copy of this book.
On Thursday June 5, 2014 Altrusa of Laconia donated Betty to her new home at the Children’s Room at the Gilford Public Library where she will now visit with children and lead a less hectic life in her retirement.
Pictured (l-r) Altrusans Diane Gaynor, Sue Clauson, Barbara DeAngelis with Tracey Petrozzi, Children’s Librarian and Katherine Dormody, Library Director
NH Family Literacy Day
Altrusa of Laconia's NH Family Literacy Day which was hosted in conjunction with the Granite State Reading Council took place on Saturday, April 12, 2014 at Woodland Heights Elementary School in Laconia.
Exhibits outside the school included two race cars, the Laconia D.A.R.E. police car, the Laconia Fire Department ʼs large fire truck and the Laconia Fire Department ambulance. Smokey Bear was with the fire department! Children asked questions, toured and were able to sit in the drive rʼs seats. McAuliffe Shepard Discovery Center had a large solar telescope set up for viewing.
Inside the school, exhibits were set up featuring live macaws (a favorite), face painting, a bug display and interesting presentations and activities from the Squam Lakes Science Center, Prescott Farm Environmental Education Center, the NH Humane Society, Charlie Needs a Cloak, Let Go Your Mind (LEGO), NHTI Dental Hygiene students and the Bank of New Hampshire.
Penny the Panda, Betty the Bookworm, The Tooth Fairy and Whiskers (the Woodland Heights Elementary School mascot, pictured left) delighted the children.
Healthy snacks were provided. Free books were distributed at each exhibit. More than 175 children attended the event and took their new books home in a cloth book bag.
Altrusa Makes Generous Donation to Benefit
LRGHealthcare’s Youngest Patients
LACONIA, NH – The Laconia Altrusa Club recently made a very generous donation of hundreds of copies of a locally-written and published children’s book to the Reach Out and Read program at LRGHealthcare.
Each year since 1963 Altrusa has awarded scholarships to deserving young women. What began as a single scholarship to those seeking careers in the medical field has since expanded to include business, education and athletic scholarships as well. For more information on applying for a scholarship, please see link to application on our home page.
Gift Wrapping Made Easy!
Laconia Altrusa Club Promotes Literacy at LRGH
The Altrusa International Club of Laconia, promoting literacy, has once again donated reading
guides and books to LRGHealthcare’s Family Birthplace. The women in this group create gift bags
for new mothers that provide helpful resources and information on literacy topics, including the
improvement of reading instruction for children, youth, and adults. “We make certain that our new mother’s receive this gift bag” states Ruth O’Hara, Director of LRGHealthcare’s Family Birthplace.
Altrusa International Inc. of Laconia, NH recently honored Deb Frawley Drake by making her an honorary
Altrusan. Frawley Drake, the previous owner of Lakes Region Linens, has donated all of the linens that Altrusa uses for their major fundraiser, “A Taste of the Lakes” for the past nineteen years.
Frawley Drake has worked with the club each spring providing tablecloths, table skirts and napkins for the event. Her donations enabled the club to raise more money from the one day event, all of which is turned back into the community.
When Frawley Drake sold the business to General Linen, of Somersworth, last year, the club feared that this major donation would cease, but General Linen agreed to continue the tradition by donating the Linens this year.
Deb Frawley Drake is presently the President of the Laconia Historical & Museum Society and is on the Board of Directors of the Belknap County Economic Development Council.
|Altrusa Fundraising At Work!
|Peggy Selig of Laconia Adult Ed
with Diane Gaynor & Eva Hurst
|Belmont Library’s Brenda Paquette
with Judi Shaw & Maureen Sanborn
|Randy Brough receives check
for Laconia Library
|Accepting for Gilford Library are
Katherine Dormody & Joanne Buckner
Altrusa’s primary focus is Literacy and we have implemented several projects over the years in the community. With the assistance of Lakes Region General Hospital’s Maternity Ward, we donate packs of books to new moms in an effort to instill reading to children right from the start.
In addition to monetary donations to Laconia Adult Education and area libraries, our “Betty the Blue Bookworm” made her debut this past season. She was conceived as a means to reach out to young children and encourage them to read and write. Hints of “Betty” were displayed in our bookmarks distributed with the books we donated to the Hospital for our “Make A Difference Day” project 2008.
6’ long “Betty” was introduced to 1st grade students at a local elementary school. The students were given an
opportunity to imagine all the adventures she could have as a result of her reading. They were also encouraged to consider the question of how she might be different from other bookworms and how she could overcome those
differences in an effort to promote tolerance. They were then asked to draw pictures of some of the things “Betty” could do. Drawings were shared with the class and will be incorporated into a book about her adventures.
"Betty" plans to visit other schools as well as area libraries and is working on publishing
her very first book about her adventures. Look for her on bookshelves in the future.
Foster Care: The Altrusa Clubs of Laconia and Meredith have done it again! On July 24, 2009 the clubs delivered kids backpacks stuffed with school supplies to the DCYF office. Social workers are busy distributing them to school aged children in care. Knit items (hats, mittens, scarves) were donated by WalMart.
Altrusa Club works to improve our community with a helping hand. We are sure glad they have chosen the Foster Parent Association as a project. The club hosted our annual picnic on Newfound Lake and worked tirelessly throughout the year making bags of personal care items for kids coming into care.
|Presenting the packs (from left to right): Jodi Wilson, Ceil Andrews, Shawn Hamel, Hilda Schmidt, Sue Clauson, Shirley Mento and Sharon Shetler.
For more information on National Foster Care Month visit the
National site www.fostercaremonth.org or locally at www.nhfapa.org
Belknap County Nursing Home: Altrusa is proud to say that for more than 30 years we have donated money and time to the Nursing Home to provide monthly Birthday Parties for its residents. The first Wednesday of each month we visit the home and bring balloons and Birthday Cards to celebrate those having a Birthday during that month. In addition our monetary donation helps the nursing home provide entertainment for the party. The residents are very appreciative and enjoy our company.
Altrusa helps the NHHS (www.nhhumane.org) with monetary support and participation in their annual Woofstock Walk-a-Thon. The “no kill” animal shelter is located on Meredith Center Rd. in Laconia and does a wonderful job providing care and comfort for lost, abandoned, abused and unwanted cats and dogs. Their programs include the Spay/Neuter Assistance Program , a veterinary internship program, micro-chipping and rabies clinic, behavioral consultation and canine training classes.
|Check presentation to Mary Lee Gorham-Waterman, NHHS Development/Volunteer Director by Altrusan Diane Gaynor
Adopt-A-Spot: Each year Altrusa assists the city of Laconia with beautifying their streets. The club plants flowers in a large wooden planter in front of a local business. This improves the beauty of the street and lets residents and visitors alike enjoy the colorful city streets. The Adopt-A-Spot program has been in existence for 14 years and Altrusa of Laconia is proud to say we have been involved since the beginning!
If you would like more information on this program, please contact Marie Bradley (City Of Laconia) at 527-1270.
|On June 23, 2009, Altrusa of Laconia member Judi Shaw presented its Rose Emery Scholarship Award in the field of education to recipient Erin Carlson with a check in the amount of $2670.00. An equal amount was given to Kelsey Walton as recipient of the Dr. Alice Normandin Scholarship for her pursuit of a career in
|Altrusan Donna Werda brought “Betty” to the Laconia Public Library for story readings.
From left to right in large photo are: Jenine Wilson & Ann Babbit both of Portland, ME, Kitty Cunningham of MA, Penny Franciosi of Laconia, Beth Michalec & Diane English from Lichfield County, CT, and Kimberly Keaney also of Portland.
Yes, we put the “fun” in fundraising! With our sister club of Meredith, we hosted our District Conference the end of April here in Laconia. Eight of our Altrusa sisters decided to dive into Paugus Bay to raise what turned out to be more than $500 for the local food pantries. (We locals neglected to mention that the ice-out was only a few days before – brrrrr!)