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Delta Altrusa club receives district honor

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Altrusa International of Delta, Inc., has been named one of just four Distinguished Clubs within District Ten of Altrusa International. District Ten comprises Altrusa clubs in Colorado, Utah, Wyoming and New Mexico.

"Your members have demonstrated their commitment to the principles of Altrusa by achieving this great honor; it is an achievement your club can be proud of!" said Silvia Silverman, the 2015-17 international president. Clubs earn the Distinguished Club award by showcasing components that are the foundation of high-achieving clubs, including service, membership, programming, leadership, communications and foundation.

"We are very honored that we were among the few clubs recognized as a Distinguished Club," said Ute Jantz, the 2017-18 president of the Delta chapter. "The distinction is proof that our members are hard-working, community-minded and truly care about enriching and improving Delta County."

Altrusa International of Delta, Inc., is comprised of 66 members who last year gave a total of 4,611 volunteer/service hours and over $20,000 to projects and organizations benefitting Delta County.

Altrusans serve at the Abraham Connection Homeless Shelter and the Delta Food Pantry on a regular basis. Members sponsor two ASTRA clubs, the youth arm of Altrusa, through which high school students are taught the value of community involvement and service. Altrusans also partner with the Delta Rotary Club annually to host an e-waste recycling event, keeping environmentally harmful electronic waste out of the landfill. Additionally, each year the club awards scholarships to both high school seniors and non-traditional adult students; this year, $7,000 was awarded.

Literacy is one of the primary focuses of the international organization, and locally, Altrusans deliver 25-30 board books monthly, in both English and in Spanish, to Storks Landing at Delta County Memorial Hospital, which are distributed to parents of new babies. Books are also distributed in the hospital's emergency room, at women's shelters, at the homeless shelter and to public and school libraries. Altrusans also give children's books and cassette tapes to prisoners at the Delta Correctional Facility in the Read to a Child program. The men are recorded reading the book; the tape and book are then sent to their children. This helps keep the fathers more involved in their children's lives.

The club also supports, in a variety of ways, House of Promise, Tri-County Resource Center, Delta County Libraries, A KidZ Clinic, and other organizations.

Funds are raised for these projects through two major fundraisers, and the generosity of donations by individual members. Each year, members put on the kick-off barbecue dinner during Deltarado Days and the annual Sugar Plum Festival & Little Side Street Market in November.

Altrusa clubs in Artesia and Roswell, N.M., and Montrose were also named Distinguished Clubs.

Founded in 1917 and celebrating its centennial this year, Altrusa International is relevant to many civic-minded people who are interested in creating better communities. Last year, Altrusans proudly gave over one million volunteer hours around the world, including clubs in the United States, Puerto Rico, Canada, England, Bermuda, Ireland, India, Scotland, New Zealand and Russia.

Altrusa International of Delta is currently accepting new members who wish to be an active, positive influence in the community. President Ute Jantz can be reached at 874-7266 if you'd like more information about joining, or would like to be a guest at an upcoming meeting. "But remember," Jantz said, "you don't join Altrusa ... you become an Altrusan!"

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