Club Meetings: Altrusa of Fayetteville meets twice a month at Mermaids in Fayetteville - second Thursday at 11:30 am and fourth Thursday meeting is at 6:30 pm. All are welcome to join!
We make our community better through leadership, partnership and service.
Altrusa International of Fayetteville, AR is a community service organization that values diversity, contributes to the good of the community, responds to changes in the needs of the community, is environmentally minded, and encourages members to reach their potential in service and community leadership.
Our core values include service, integrity, teamwork and compassion.
Check the History of Altrusa and Altrusa of Fayetteville on YouTube: https://youtu.be/_-tegcq_w_c
On November 27, 1939, a group of forward-thinking women held their first organizational meeting for the Altrusa Club of Fayetteville. Sue Garrett Keller was elected President of the twelve-member group. The Altrusa Club of Fayetteville was the second club organized in Arkansas, preceded by the Altrusa Club of Little Rock, in 1933. It was chartered in February, 1940.
Our first service project was sponsoring a Community Playhouse which operated for four years, closing in 1945 because of World War II. All proceeds from the playhouse were presented to the Theater Arts Department of the University of Arkansas to establish a scholarship for outstanding students in theater arts.
The club grew in membership and in prestige in the community. During World War II, we organized and sponsored the first blood bank in Arkansas. Other early projects included providing tennis courts in the city park, establishing a story hour at the City Library, providing financial aid, clothing, and textbooks to high school seniors in need, and assisting with Salk polio vaccine inoculations of elementary school children. We also contributed to the former city library in honor of our member, Roberta Fulbright, for whom the library was named.
Our longest-running service program is the Fayetteville Youth Dental Program. In 1957, the Fayetteville Schools began a program to help students who needed dental care. Then in 1959, Lillian Woods, an Altrusan and a school counselor, led the club in establishing an on-site dental clinic in which volunteer dentists came to the school and children were treated at school without volunteers having to transport them to and from various dentists’ offices. The club received the District Eight Service Award and the International Mamie L. Bass Service Award in 1967 for the project. In 2001, the program received the Governor’s Distinguished Service Award, recognizing the venture as a long-standing project that had served the community for many years. While the recognition the club has received for this venture is rewarding, the true reward is the smiling face of a child who has benefited from the service received in the clinic. The program is still in operation as we strive to keep up-to-date equipment and materials available to those dentists who so freely contribute to the program. Our purchases of a dental chair, chair-side consoles, a new x-ray machine, new dental instruments and a new air compressor to support three dental chairs, reflects our commitment to support this worthy program.
Other long-established projects that have received various District and International awards include: The Salvation Army Medical Service Ministry, begun in 1967, Trade-a-Book, started in 1990, T.U.G.S. (t-shirts, underwear, gloves and socks) program established in 1992, the Washington County Women’s jail “Captivating Read” program begun in 2005, and "Read to me: Read-a-Thon" for children, which started in 2013. Other successful programs we have supported include Drug Court in the schools and the BOW project (Builder of Women).
Our Club was instrumental in forming three more Altrusa Clubs in Northwest Arkansas: The Altrusa Club of Ft. Smith, the Altrusa Club of Springdale, and the Altrusa Club of Bentonville/BellaVista. In addition to those Altrusa Clubs, we also formed an ASTRA Club at Fayetteville High School in 2002. We added an ASTRA Club at the University of Arkansas in 2016.
We hope those twelve women who chartered the Altrusa Club of Fayetteville would be proud to know that we have grown both in numbers and in service to our community. As one Mayor of Fayetteville stated in his proclamation: “There is nothing that Altrusa of Fayetteville cannot do” and promptly handed our president the city’s wish list.
Altrusa of Fayetteville is within District Eight of Altrusa International. More information on Altrusa International and District Eight can be found at the following: