Soroptimist Service Project


Unpublished Tribune photo from February 28, 1951



A group of Soroptimists who gathered last night to repair furniture and sew for an adopted family of eight are (left to right) Orlett Clark, Mattie Ott, (in back) Hazel Cain, Dorothy Williams, Dorothy Hunter, Florence Obertson, (in front) Bobbie Rogers, Zona Kranz, Nancy Gregg, (in back) Lois Irvine, Margaret Lloyd, Irene Crippen.

The Soroptimists call it a major service project, but to the family of eight whom they've taken under their wing its a little bit of heaven.  Determined that their adopted family will not go wanting, the group met last night to "fix up" some of the items that they have donated and bought for the family.  Among the items that crowded the basement of the Lechner building, their workroom, were a dining room table with chairs and buffet , a living room sofa, linens, blankets, an occasional chair, rocking chair, and others.

The Soroptimists heard of their family through the Rev. LeRoy B Burroughs, pastor of St. John’s Episcopal church. Father of the family is a tenant farmer on a farm near Ames, where he has been barely ekeing out a living for his wife and six children, five boys and a girl aged 3 to 16.  However, a change of farms beginning in early March together with help from the Soroptimists will mean a substantially better life for the family. They are planning to move to a farm a greater distance from Ames, where both the father and eldest son will be employed. 

Haxel Cain, chairman of the major service project committee, said yesterday that several of the Soroptimists plan to visit the new home to help the family get settled.  The group has obtained items for practically every room of the family's new home, most of it donated by members or bought out of club funds. 


Tribune photo published February 28, 1951

FURNITURE - The family will receive two beds with mattresses, linens, and blankets. The dining room set has a large round table with chairs and a buffet. A brand new slip cover is being purchased for the living room sofa and a new cover for a rocking chair is being sewed by members of the club. 

The only girl among the children will have her own dressing table, constructed and covered with attractive material by the Soroptimists. There is a treadle sewing machine for the mother of the family and book shelves for everybody. 

An entire bolt of drapery material has been purchased by the club to be converted in to drapes when the family moves into the new home. In addition there are curtains, rugs, silverware, dishes, pots, table linen, glassware, and clothing for the family. An to top it all, club members are selling items which were donated but are not suitable for the family. The money is being put into a washing machine fund.

Soroptimist is a voluntary service organization for all business and professional women committed to improving the lives of women and girls.  Members share time, talents, and financial resources to enrich the community by improving the lives of women and girls, helping women achieve economic and political equality, serving as a global voice for women, providing outstanding leadership development opportunities for women, and enhancing world peace and understanding.

Soroptimist International of Ames Heartland is part of the North Central Region, Soroptimist International of the Americas, Inc.  The first Soroptimist Club in Ames was chartered on April 27, 1948, and celebrated its 60th anniversary in 2008.  Soroptimist International of Ames Heartland has partnered with a variety of groups and currently supports projects with Youth and Shelter Services in the Lighthouse transitional living program and ACCESS.  They also are partnering with the Iowa Women's Correctional Facility in Mitchellville.  Recently Ames Soroptimists held a workshop where they made pillowcase dresses for the Little Dresses for Africa program.  Money is raised locally through candy and nut sales and with garage sales.

Learn more:
Soroptimist International
North Central Region, Soroptimist International of Americas

More Ames Soroptimist Club news from 1951 follows:

Ames Daily Tribune, January 5, 1951

SOROPTIMISTS GIVE REPORTS ON 'ADOPTED FAMILY' - Wednesday, fourteen members of the Soroptimist club of Ames met for a 12 o'clock luncheon at the Sheldon Munn hotel.  A short business meeting was held at which time Hazel Cain, chairman of the service committee, and members Edna Samuelson and Beryl Tague, reported on various projects being sponsored by the club.  Margaret Lloyd p, president, also reported on gifts delivered to the club's "Adopted Family" for Christmas.

A special party, sponsored by the Service committee on December 30, in the home of Hazel Cain, was a huge success towards the club's "Adopted Family" project for the coming year.

Ames Daily Tribune, January 25, 1951

TWO CLUBS TO HEAR COUNTY DEFENSE HEAD - Story County Civilian Defense Director E.J. Kelley will speak to members of the Soroptimist Club of Ames and the Wa-Tan-Ye Club of Ames at a joint luncheon meeting Wednesday noon, Jan. 31 in the Sheldon-Munn Hotel.  This is the first joint meeting of these two women's service clubs and Mr. Kelley will picture for them Story County's civilian defense plans and the part members of these two clubs may be expected to take in these plans.

Zona Krantz, Vice-President of the Soroptimist Club, will act as chairman of the meeting.  Each group will furnish special music and will tell a little about their own club activities as well as introduce all members present in order that members of these two clubs may become better acquainted.

Members of the joint-committee who are working on this program are Wilma Emerson, President of Wa-Tan-Ye; Sylvia Romsey, Wa-Tan-Ye Board member; Esther Eschbach, Music Chairman and Board member of the Soroptimist Club; Zona Krantz, Vice-President and Margaret A. Lloyd, President of the Soroptimist Club of Ames.

Ames Daily Tribune, January 26, 1951

SOROPTIMISTS HOLD JANUARY DINNER MEETING - The Comet Room at Solar Inn was the setting Tuesday evening for the January dinner meeting of the Soroptimist club of Ames.  Places at the tables for the 19 members were marked by original place cards made by Lottie Bowman.  Each member's profession or hobby was represented.

Following the dinner the group was entertained by hostesses Odella McGowan, Zona Krantz, Mattie Ott and Oriett Clark at their respective homes with progressive canasta.  Arrangements for the dinner and program were handled by the Extension committee, consisting of Odella McGowan, chairman, Bobby Rogers, Elizabeth Gannon and Lottie Bowman.