By Joshua Winata

The Cove Herald

In a back room at Giovanni’s Restaurant in Copperas Cove, a friendly bunch of professional career ladies is busy making a difference in world.

At Altrusa International, Inc. of Copperas Cove, chartered in 1991, improving literacy in the community is a shared passion, and the members of the volunteer service organization, composed of about 30 business women, are actively finding ways to get books into the hands of citizens throughout the city.

Their latest contribution: a $4,000 donation to the Copperas Cove Independent School District’s Reading Is Fundamental program, which provides free books for elementary school students to take home and keep. On top of that, they threw in an extra $1,500 to also purchase books just for first-graders.

“I have been on campus when students were able to choose these books,” CCISD Superintendent Dr. Rose Cameron said. “There is nothing like seeing the excitement in a child’s eyes when they realize the books are theirs to keep.”

Altrusa presented the money to CCISD during the Oct. 16 school board meeting along with a $1,000 check donated by Wal-Mart as part of the Supply Our Students drive, which collected $1,700 in school supplies, conducted by the service organization earlier this year.

“Altrusa has been very, very active in raising money to allow the school district to put books in the hands of the children,” said Gail Milligan, CCISD assistant superintendent of curriculum and student services. “They are a phenomenal organization. They have always been supportive of our schools.”

Altrusa recently hosted its annual golf tournament fundraiser at Hills of Cove Gold Course on Oct. 6 and raised about $6,500 to pour back into the community.

First place team winners Craig Foster, Lonnie Hamilton, Johnny Hull and Tommy Lamb each received $100, and second place team winners Devin Dewald and Monty Dewald took home $50 each.

Lee Guarjardo claimed the accomplishment of straightest drive, and Rick Hoenerhoff and Janet Gaddy were awarded for being closest to the pin.

Each competitor paid an entry fee, and 61 local corporate donors contributed $100 each to sponsor a hole.

The money raised by the organization will go toward projects like providing books to the Headstart program this Thursday and Friday in honor of Make A Difference Day or scholarship money to be given to Copperas Cove High School students in May.

In addition to students, Altrusa helps out adults as well. Members visit Wind Crest Nursing Center every fifth Tuesday of the month and puts on Bingo for elderly residents. In line with their vision of literacy, Altrusa also supplies the nursing homes with copies of large-print Reader’s Digest magazines.

Altrusa meets every second and fourth Tuesday of the month at Giovanni’s Restaurant.

Contact Joshua Winata at or call (254) 547-6481

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