Altrusa picks president as woman of year

By William Thompson: Quay County Sun

The Tucumcari Altrusa club, a women’s organization dedicated to community service and charitable causes, recently named Quay County Clerk Ellen White its 2004-2005 woman of the year.

White was the club’s president from June 2004 to May 31. Altrusa member Glenda Reid said club members often vote for the club president as woman of the year because the president carries a great amount of responsibility.

“The president is busy doing Altrusa work all year long,” Reid said. “The president thinks of nothing but Altrusa all year.”

Reid said White was fundamental to the success of the club’s annual “car party.”

“The car party is our only fund-raiser,” Reid said. “Every October we purchase a new car at cost and then sell 275 tickets at $100 each. Ellen picked out the car and was able to get a stage for us.”

White said the award signifies the effort she put into her work for Altrusa.

“The award reinforces that the things I have done for the club have been productive,” White said. “My focus was on building membership, and I was able to bring in 12 new members. I encourage any woman who has free time to become a member.”

Of the numerous causes Altrusa embraces, White said she especially likes the books donated to schoolchildren.

“Each year we give every kindergartner and first-grade student at Tucumcari Elementary School a new book,” White said. “The kids pick the book they want.”

Altrusa members also partner with the Tucumcari Public Library for a summer reading program and to hold a Dr. Seuss birthday party each year for Tucumcari students. A book is also given to every new mother at Dan C. Trigg Memorial Hospital to encourage mothers to read to their children.

Altrusa was founded in Nashville in 1917. Its name is derived from the word altruism and “U.S.A.”

The Tucumcari club meets for lunch the first and third Wednesdays of each month at Bambino’s Restaurant.