Service club celebrates 60 years

NANAIMO – In 60 years, Altrusa International of Nanaimo has shaped the Harbour City in a variety of ways.

In 60 years, Altrusa International of Nanaimo has shaped the Harbour City in a variety of ways.

From the Altrusa Venture Playground at Beban Park, a new teen room at Haven House and equipment for the Harewood Centennial water park, to bursaries at Vancouver Island University for people wanting to re-educate themselves, muffins for school breakfast programs and care bags for women and children who have to leave their homes in a hurry, Altrusa is all about community.

Chartered in 1953, the service club donates approximately $20,000 each year toward the betterment of Nanaimo and focuses mainly on women, children and literacy.

And with only 30 members, it’s a lot of work for all involved.

“We have lot of enthusiastic women with thankfully lots of energy to continue doing what we’re doing. One of our ladies, Margaret Johnson, just celebrated 30 years with the club,” said Vicki Calder, club president. “We apply for gaming funds, hold a fashion show, book sales, garage sales and we have our Nanaimo afghan project.”

The 60-year celebration includes: the proclamation of Altrusa Week (April 22-26) by Mayor John Ruttan; a free community children’s party Sunday (April 28) from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Altrusa playground at Beban; and the Altrusa fashion show and luncheon fundraiser May 4 from 1-3 p.m. at St. Andrew’s Presbyterian Church, 4235 Departure Bay Rd.

The club is always looking for new members and while it has only had women join, it is open to men.

“We do quietly go about our way of helping the community but we try to get the word out about ourselves in many different ways,” said Calder. “We haven’t had a brave man try it yet in Nanaimo, but it’s only been 60 years.”

For more information on Altrusa, please e-mail nanaimo.altrusa@gmail.com.