Club News
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2014 Girls Summit

Altrusa International of Lake City's 16th annual Girls Summit at the school board's Adult Education Building was a great success. Local Altrusans and community volunteers put together a six-hour day filled with wholesome lessons and activities for a group of 34 middle school girls on Saturday, encouraging the young ladies to "beYOUtiful" above all else.

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Jenny Jump at Altrusa

Altrusans Angie Jones, Judy Welch, and Judee Mundy join Jenny Jump (second from right) behind her "Fat Facts" display at the January program meeting. Jenny was a special guest of Get Fit Lake City. She is Family and Consumer Sciences Extension Agent 1, UF/IFAS Extension, Columbia County. Jenny is appreciated for sharing her resources with Altrusans during our Get Fit Lake City initiative.  Her office has resources to benefit individuals, families and businesses. Jenny can be reached at 386-752-5384, 971 W Duval St, Suite 170 or
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WorldCrafts Connects Lake City to International Service

When attending the New Zealand Convention Service Workshop, "Where in the World Could I Serve?", I was excited to see the focus on service with an International impact from Co-Chairs Linda Peterson and Danae McConnel. My excitement stemmed from the fact our organization, Altrusa, is International yet Altrusans generally have a tendency to look at needs for service in their own communities to the exclusion of opportunities worldwide. Our Lake City President, Mantha, in her pre-planning for this club year had already asked me to host a WorldCrafts event before December as part of our Think Eat Save initiative and that was right in line with the suggestions I was hearing in New Zealand. There are other fair trade organizations out there. In fact Freedom Stones was the parallel opportunity to WorldCrafts that Linda and Danae were promoting. Since only a third of our Lake City membership was available to participate in the October 3 WorldCrafts event at our business meeting, I encourage each of you to check out Freedom Stones at  and WorldCrafts at on your own when gift shopping or shopping for yourself. The fabric of our lives as Altrusans is helping others. What better way to find quality gifts for friends and family than by shopping Fair Trade and helping impoverished women, children, and families by supporting their self confidence and sustainable income while helping to rescue them from human trafficking and other social ills. 

Another opportunity for International service shared in the workshop is "Vacation with a Purpose" by an organization known as Friendship with Cambodia. The next trip is December 30, 2013. If you have the travel bug, check out You can even plan to take an Altrusa sister or two with you! Friendship with Cambodia is a 501 (c) (3) non-profit providing humanitarian aid to Cambodia since 2003. They too are responding to the needs of the most vulnerable: survivors of land mines, trafficking, and rural poverty. Cambodia is still recovering from three decades of violence: bombing, genocide, and civil war. This trip includes visits to successful aid programs that address critical social problems and empower people to help themselves. Trip fees help to support some of these programs.

Back home in Lake City, Kay Poltorak also kicked off our Heifer Foundation effort at the October 3 meeting. What a great sound to hear coins clinking in those glass jars immediately when Kay suggested what we could do to bring seeds of change in Arkansas or Appalachia. Bring your change (from pennies to silver dollars...and we'll even take paper!) each meeting and let's see how much we've accumulated by Pop 'n Shop to make a difference for the impoverished elsewhere in our country.

Yes, Altrusa is International and we thank you, President Mantha, for getting us on board this International service bus to discover "where in the world" we can serve!

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Lake City Altrusans Travel to New Zealand

Robin Hall and Sandy Furches of Lake City FL represented Altrusa at the 53rd International Convention in New Zealand recently. The twelve Altrusa clubs in New Zealand hosted this world-class conference at The Energy Center in Rotorura on the North Island of the country.

A highlight of Convention was a warm reunion with Maria Mackay, Altrusan and teacher from Oamaru, New Zealand who came to Lake City FL nine years ago on a career exchange. Mackay recounted her memories of Lake City’s hospitality, especially the open door she received at the Columbia County School System and the tour of school facilities hosted for her throughout our community. An Altrusa reception for Mackay at the home of Daniel and Aileen Crapps also accomplished one of her personal goals. Mackay saw her first alligator here in Lake City.

On a thirteen-day bus tour of the South Island of New Zealand following Convention, Hall and Furches reunited with Mackay on her birthday and toured Mackay’s community of Oamaru. Without realizing it, they had stayed the night before in Mackay’s hometown of Dunedin, saw the church where she was married and ate in the restaurant where her wedding reception was held.  

Hall and Furches returned to Lake City to share a power point of amazing photographs from their time in New Zealand with all other Altrusans in Lake City at their August program meeting. They have since shared the same with Altrusans in Live Oak. Altrusa of Lake City was chartered in 1984 and remains the largest local Altrusa club in the world with 90 members. Altrusa of Live Oak was chartered by the Lake City FL club in 1990 and currently has 30 members.

Convention is an opportunity for Altrusans around the world to gather every two years to conduct business, focus their community service initiatives, and mentor leadership. Hall and Furches are both Past Governors of District Three (FL, GA, SC, and NC). Hall served as Governor 2009-2011 and Furches served as Governor 2001-2003. Altrusa, per a rebranding initiative this past biennium, is an international non-profit organization making local communities better through leadership, partnership, and service. Altrusans internationally give over one million hours of volunteer service annually throughout 11 countries.

2014 Girls Summit
2014 Girls Summit
Jenny Jump
World Crafts 2013
World Crafts 2013
Robin Hall and Sandy Furches display the Lake City FL Altrusa banner at The Energy Center in Rotorura, NZ.
Maria MacKay (center) formerly on career exchange in Lake City FL welcomes Furches (left) and Hall (right) to her community of Oamaru on the south island of New Zealand.
Robin Hall, Altrusa International President Donna Garretson, Altrusa International Past President Donna Johnson, and Sandy Furches spend time together at the Past Governor’s Luncheon during the 53rd International Convention in New Zealand.
Sandy Furches and Robin Hall enjoy winter in New Zealand and a kiwi rail train trip on the Trans-Alpine rail journey to Arthurs Pass in the Southern Alps.
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