Altrusans honored for 111-plus years of service

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BROOKINGS – From left are Madeleine Rose, Bernadine Enevoldsen and Doris Moriarty. These three ladies recently received emeritus honors from the Altrusa International, LLC organization, Rose and Enevoldsen in April 2020 and Moriarty in April 2021. Together they have impacted the Brookings community for 111-plus years.

Altrusa International of Brookings started in 1977 with Moriarty as one of the charter members. Altrusa International originated in 1917 as a service organization with the primary mission of increasing and improving literacy. Currently their vision has evolved to “Leading to a Better Community.”

This vision has encouraged local Altrusa clubs to raise funds and provide hours of hands-on service for various needs within a community. Examples of projects they have contributed to include: 

• Scholarships for Brookings graduating seniors 

• Mini-grants for county teachers

• High-interest low-vocabulary books for county school libraries, reading programs for children and the elderly

• Back-2-School

• Adult English language course books

• Brookings Area Food Pantry

• Domestic Abuse Shelter 

• others. 

Over the years Altrusans have provided and served meals to Habitat for Humanity and the Harvest Table, organized and hosted the Advance Christmas party, read to the elderly, and helped teach English to Spanish-speaking community members as well as many other projects.

During her 31 years of  service, Rose has been instrumental in organizing and chairing the annual Altrusa Literacy Luncheon. This event annually raised $2,000 to $3,000 to contribute to continuing service projects and special local community needs such as Special Olympics, Healing Words Foundation, Boys and Girls Club, Brookings Backpack Project, SDSU American Indian Club, SDSU Success Academy, and the Fellowship of Christian Athletes. Rose’s leadership contributions within the organization have truly been an asset – particularly serving as treasurer for five years. Rose shared, “Helping to organize the Literacy Luncheon and Harvest Table helped strengthen my planning and other leadership skills.”

Enevoldsen’s 36 years of service is most recognized for her contribution to leadership within the Altrusa organization not only locally, but also at the District and International Conference. She chaired many committees and served as president and president-elect. Enevoldsen, along with many others in the Brookings community, remembers “the countless hours and the satisfaction of putting on the annual Altrusa Wild Game Dinner fundraiser.”

Besides being a charter member, Moriarty also served in many leadership roles within the organization and has remained active during her 44 years in the organization. Moriarty can always be relied on for top ticket sales for the Literacy Luncheon and Altrusa has fully relied on Moriarty for her leadership and organizational skills to help carry out the Brookings Altrusa Bridge Marathon for 40 plus years. 

This event brings in well over $1,000 every year to pass onto various needs in the Brookings Community. Moriarty raised and educated four children in the Brookings community, she shared that she “felt a need to express her appreciation by giving back. Through Altrusa, giving as a group, contributions had a significant impact in making a difference”.

Additional Altrusa members that have received emeritus status over the past six years include Ardelle Roberts, now living in Lincoln, Nebraska. Roberts joined Altrusa in 1980 and served as a district governor as well as many other leadership roles in the Brookings organization.

Two other emeritus members who are no longer living include Terrell Spence and Maxine Darnall. Spence is most remembered for organizing the Advance Christmas party every year, providing music at all Altrusa events, and for being one of the few men in Altrusa. Darnall was a charter member and is most remembered for her dedication to Habitat for Humanity as one of its founders. She also was proud of helping start the Altrusa Bridge Marathon in 1978, being chair of the Bridge committee for 35 years, and playing in the Bridge Marathon each of those years.

All of these Altrusa Emeritus members have impacted their communities outside of Altrusa through their church, professional organizations and other service organizations. They truly understand the vision of Altrusa – Leading to a Better Community.

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