A Funny Story shared by International Counselor Robin Pelton

Hi Ladies!  Just wanted to share a cute short story that I read on a website called Surfer Sam Online.  It is under “Funny Stories” (imagine that!).  I thought we’d all get a giggle out of it, no matter what our age.  Enjoy!

Well, A group of 15-year-old girlfriends discussed where to meet for dinner.  Finally, they agreed to meet at the Dairy Queen next to the Ocean View Restaurant because they had only $6.00 among them and Jimmy Johnson, the cute boy in Social Studies, lived on that street.

At their reunion 10 years later, the group of 25-year-old girlfriends discussed where to meet for dinner.  Finally, they agreed to meet at the Ocean View Restaurant because the drinks were cheap, the restaurant offered free snacks, the band was good, there was no cover charge, and there were lots of cute guys.

At their reunion 10 years later, the group of 35-year-old girlfriends discussed where to meet for dinner.  Finally, they agreed to meet at the Ocean View Restaurant because the atmosphere was good, it was right near the gym and, if they went late enough, there wouldn’t be too many whiny little kids.

At their reunion 10 years later, the group of 45-year-old girlfriends discussed where to meet for dinner.  Finally, they agreed to meet at the Ocean View Restaurant because the martinis were big and the waiters were younger.

10 years later, the group of 55-year-old girlfriends discussed where to meet for dinner.  Finally, they agreed to meet at the Ocean View Restaurant because the prices were reasonable, the wine list was good, the restaurant had windows that opened (in case of a hot flashes), and fish is good for cholesterol.

10 years later, the group of 65-year-old girlfriends discussed where to meet for dinner.  Finally, they agreed to meet at the Ocean View Restaurant because the lighting was good and the restaurant had an early bird special.

10 years later, the group of 75-year-old girlfriends discussed where to meet for dinner.  Finally, they agreed to meet at the Ocean View Restaurant because the food was not too spicy and the restaurant was handicapped-accessible.

10 years later, the group of 85-years-old girlfriends discussed where to meet for dinner.  Finally, they agreed to meet at the Ocean View Restaurant because they had never been there before.

My Sigma Phi Gamma Adventure, by Colleen Criswell

I joined Sigma Phi Gamma a year ago.  I was introduced to the sorority a few years back when Mary Freeman invited me to go on a trip to Florida with her to attend Omega Province weekend.  The energetic women of Omega were amazing!  I was in awe of it all and everyone I met told me “This time next year you will be a member!”  I have to admit I wasn’t quite sure as I have never been part of a group like that.  I had been a stay at home mom for so long that I had forgotten what it was like to interact with adults!  On the flight home to Indiana I thought about it and talked with Mary about it and talked with my husband about it and talked with my daughter about it and finally called Mary and said “I think I want to check this out.” She introduced me to a few people and I started going with her to socials and meeting the Theta Pi ladies and just immediately felt like I was home.  I was so excited the next year when Mary and I went back to Omega Province and showed off my new pledge pin!  Granted, since I didn’t know the password yet, instead of whispering it I ended up kissing the Marshal on the cheek, which made her laugh and say “You are new at this aren’t you!”

Through my pledging I was excited to become more involved with sorority.  I loved meeting all my new sisters and going out and doing service projects; to the point where I started volunteering on my own at the retirement center where my mother lives.  I am actually out of the house, not only making a difference, but having the time of my life!

Through going to Omega Province and doing things with my Lambda sisters; this year when I went to my very first International Convention, I didn’t feel like I was a small fish in a big pond.  I saw so many faces I already knew, they introduced me to more of my sisters and life long friends!  I felt like I was a part of everything from the get go!  It was inspiring and exciting.  I can be myself, even making a delayed entrance to get my first timer certificate!  The fact I know all the International Officers already through going to Lambda and Omega events was just amazing to me!

When I first joined I was under the impression that it was only two days a month and a service project here and there, but it ISN’T just that!  SPG goes further than that, if you want it to!  I love getting the random call saying “Hey, interested in going to an Escape Room this weekend?”  Or once a month a group of us gets together for lunch with sisters from other Chapters.

The other day a few of my Theta Pi sisters and I went on an Urban Adventure through a place called Wacky Walks.  If any of you are in areas that have these available, I highly recommend it!  It is a lot of walking, 4 miles in total, so make sure you wear comfortable shoes! Three of my sisters and one of their daughters and myself set out on an adventure around downtown Indianapolis.  We had to find landmarks and use clues to figure out puzzles and riddles.  All we had was the app on a phone and our observation skills.  We also got to know each other better.  These little things make us stronger in the friendship aspect of our sisterhood.  Here is a photo of Barb Miller-Neff, Joyce Zach, Gail Ridder and Colleen Criswell at the end of our Urban Adventure.

With Love,

Colleen M. Criswell

The Quilt, by Marlyna Croson

     My Godmother and SPG sister, Diane Maraist, made a gorgeous quilt for a Nu Sigma Chapter ways and means project.  Little did we know at the time of creation that the quilt was dedicated to my mother, Pat Croson, who passed away in May 2018.  Once we found out, my sister Juli and I mentioned to our dad, Tommy Croson, that godmother had made a quilt and it was “pieced together with love” for mom.  My dad’s immediate response was “Can I buy tickets!?”  We explained to dad that it was a ways and means project, so the probability of him actually wining the quilt was low.  He assured us he understood…but for the next 3 months all we heard was “Have you given away the quilt yet??”  I tried to prepare him for disappointment by telling him I was sure godmother could make him another quilt should he not win, and his response being “But it’s not the original.  I want to win the original!”  He wanted this quilt so badly; a quilt he had not even seen.  Juli and I even joked about “rigging the system” so we could bring it home to him. 
     Alas, the time had come to pick a winner.  Nu Sigma had sold 330 tickets!  We were ecstatic with the enthusiasm generated by the quilt; but my heart was definitely heavy as I knew the chance of my dad’s ticket actually being chosen was slim.  I mentally prepared myself, shook the box and handed it over for one of our SPG sisters to pick a ticket.  The winning ticket was pulled and handed to me.  I looked on the back to read the name and I literally could not speak.  I gazed at my sister with complete disbelief as the name on the back was our dad’s! 
     Anyway, here is a photo of dad, moments after unwrapping the quilt and seeing it for the first time. 
It was unbelievably special.  I’m not sure I’ll ever get dad to admit he loves Sorority about as much as mom did, but his smile in this photo sure does prove it.


Marlyna Croson

Our Founders-A Picture In Time, by International President Sandy Morris

Lambda Province Sisters have been going through our history books in preparation for our 100year Celebration.  I don’t remember if I ever sat down and just took my time to really look at each picture.  To remember the beautiful ladies in each picture.  The pleasure in just taking it page by page and looking at it without distraction is wonderful.  Much different than standing at a table and quickly looking at them while at a meeting.  I would recommend everyone sit down and take some time with a  history book and just enjoy looking and remembering.

What can I say about this picture of Edith, Irene, Violet, Ferne and Phyllis?

WOW was my first thought when I saw it in my Chapter’s history book; that’s all five of the Founders!  We have no idea who took that picture that was taken back in 1977.  Convention that year was held in Los Angeles, California.  Our lovely Founders were all together.  What a treat for the members who were there and for the Founders who were honored by the membership.  It is my hope that all of us believe in Sigma Phi Gamma and are working to keep it alive just as our Founders did.  It is our responsibility to grow our membership.

 

My BFF – Judy Vance, by Bonnie Gerard

Judy Vance 1939 – 2019

     Judy and I were BFFs for 30+ years.  We lived two miles down the street from each other.  I was the Ethel to her Lucy.  I couldn’t seem to get started on this tribute until I typed to Jean Morton and she said: “There are so many great stories to tell about Judy, they would fill a book.”  That one line inspired me.  Jean and Judy were very tight, too.

     Judy could be best described as bodacious.  She was bigger than life; big as in 6’ tall; big as in big hearted; and big in love and friendship.  It could be said that Judy never met a stranger.  She loved to have parties-all kinds of parties.  She loved to cook and entertain.  She loved to have people at her home and if you needed to spend the night, or weekend, no problem.  You were always welcome.  Half of Bedford may have had a key to her house!  She retired from American Airlines and loved to travel.  She said if times were different “back then,” she would have been a pilot.  She was not a passenger in life.  She loved kids and dogs.  Judy never married, didn’t have kids, but always had a big dog: yellow labs.  She took care of the elderly in her home, her dad, her mom and then her aunt.  Judy was a religious person.  She was an absolute aficionado of Christmas.  There were 13 “themed” trees in her condo.  She collected things in a big way.  Judy loved sorority, shopping, and garage sales in that order.  Craft making was also a specialty.  Her passion was sports, especially The Texas Rangers baseball.  Also, basketball, and she played golf.  Many organizations were proud to call her theirs and she held offices in every group she joined.  For Judy, leading was much more fun than following.  In sorority, Judy served on the International Council from 1983 to 1989.  She served as general chairman of three International Conventions in Texas: 1991 in Arlington, 2002 in San Antonio and 2008 in Fort Worth.  Judy joined sorority in Phoenix on June 24, 1973 and then became a charter member of Mu Gamma Chapter in Arlington on April 3, 1977.  She became a member of Zeta Chapter on May 24, 2019 as a 46-year member.

Photo provided by Betty Crafton

 

 

Growing SPG Membership-It’s a job for all of us, by Sandy Morris, International President

I have been serving as your International President for a little over a month now.   Needless to say, it has been a roller coaster of feelings and emotions.  I have been excited, loved, numb, overwhelmed, amazed and honored.  As with everything new there is a learning curve; hopefully I am approaching the downside of this curve.

When I thought about what I wanted to see accomplished this year I, thought about membership.  Yes, we need to work on growing our membership.  How many ways can we say that?  Does everyone in your Chapter realize that we need to increase our membership?  They should.  It is not just a job for Chapter Organizers, Province Organizers, the International Organizer, or the International Council.  It is a job for everyone!  Each and every one of us is responsible for membership.  The International Council has and continues to work on providing you with some tools.  Please take these tools, found on the Website, and use them.  Perhaps your Chapter could put someone in charge during one of your meetings to do a show and tell on what’s available on the SPG website.  Some of your Sisters may have never looked or seen what’s been added under “Toolkits.”  Find Toolkits under the Documents tab.  The Webinars from Shari Pash are posted on the website too (look under the Publications tab in the Video Gallery) along with her presentation at our International Convention in Wichita (in Membership Toolkit under Membership Webinars From International Convention).  Take the time to find out!  See what you missed!

Thoughts on Sisterhood by Patricia Herweg

Last night I attended a wonderful celebration of sisterhood: Our Founders’ Day dinner.  There was good food and good company bringing us together to honor the 5 ladies that started Sigma Phi Gamma Sorority.

It has been almost 100 years since those 5 ladies got together to start an organization of women who supported one another in daily life and did community service for their area.

We are committed to each other and to serving our community…I feel privileged and honored to be part of this wonderful group of Women.  We try to live our Creed and our Pledge every day of our lives.

Right now I am waiting for my ride to pick me up…one of our sisters needs us in her time of grief…we are there…through the laughter and the tears.

Sigma Phi Gamma is an organization that means so much to me.

 

Patricia Herweg: Secretary for Eta Sigma Chapter in Omicron Province

Mu Eta Chapter Is Growing! by Cindy Worley, Chapter Editor

Mu Eta Chapter of KAPPA Province recently got together to celebrate pledging Deb Martin and reinstating Marilyn Joy.  We all had an exciting time getting together afterwards to celebrate!  As you can see from the picture below, food, drinks, laughter and stories were in abundance.

Left side front to back: Patti McNeill, Dee Dee Rupp, Tammey Steffen, Deb Martin and Kathy Jacobs.  Right side front to back: Marilyn Joy, Cindy Worley, Jo Ann Morse, Michelle Morgan and Diana Jennings.

Sisters=Family by International Counselor Robin Pelton

They say that friends are the family that you get to choose.  I am blessed to have a wonderfully loving and close family that are truly my friends too.  I didn’t choose them, but I treasure each and every one of them and I am thankful that they are in my life.

My sorority Sisters are also my family.  I treasure each and every one of them as well.  It is such a special thing to have–Sisters that are from different walks of life, different ethnicities, different ages, different religions, different political leanings, different cultures, different areas, different backgrounds, different viewpoints, different MANY THINGS.

BUT we are all the same in these important areas—we love our Sigma Phi Gamma, we love serving our communities, AND we love each other.

THAT is Sigma Phi Gamma!

IROC Convention Memories From Betty McClure and Donna Collins

As we prepare for the 2019 International Convention in Wichita, Kansas, it gives us an opportunity to reflect on conventions of the past.  Betty McClure and I are sharing a few memories with you:

Betty shared that her favorite convention was in Indianapolis, Indiana – June 24-28, 1992.  Betty was serving as International President.  Ferne Palmer Schick and Violet Pettit Tindall were in attendance.  Betty remembered that Ferne and Violet both really wanted to go to Founders’ Park, but they didn’t want to travel there on the bus.  So, Betty and her husband Dick drove them to the park by car.  Upon arrival, Violet and Ferne walked around and lounged a bit on the Founders’ Bench.  They both had a really nice time.

My favorite convention was held in Columbus in 2016.  Gamma Province was the host and I was co-chair of the convention along with Deb Juracich.  Like every Province, we worked more than a year on every detail.  It was hard work and so much fun.  So many Sisters stepped up and did us proud.  Because Deb and I were also on International Council–the day the convention began we relinquished our chair responsibilities to Linda Johnson (Xi Xi Chapter) and Gwen Toth (Mu Beta Chapter).  Wendie McKnelly was our presiding officer that year and the rest of the Council was: Donna Collins, Vice President; Joyce Berkey, Organizer; Jill Pyclik, Service Secretary; Jan Beeker, Editor; Deb Juracich, Historian; and Liz Cochrane, Counselor.  It was such an honor to be elected International President for the 2016-2017 year, and the bonus was my Province–Gamma Province–was the convention host in our hometown!  Wow, what an honor.

What was your favorite International Convention?  Take a moment to leave a comment below and tell us about your convention memories!

Many IROC Sisters had the good fortune to know and spend time with one or more of the Founders.  Betty McClure became close to Violet.  During the 75th Founders’ Day Celebration on August 27, 1995, Violet was the honoree.  Colleen Keller was International President, Robin Pelton was Upsilon Province President, and Betty was a Past International President.  The celebration was held in Fairfield making it easier for Violet to attend.  Colleen presented Violet with her 75th Year Member pin, Robin shared a video, and Betty presented the Candlelight Service.  The following year on January 27, 1996, Violet installed Xi Delta Chapter.  Wow, what wonderful memories!

      This is what we loved about Violet

V   Violet – Vivacious, Vibrant as a spring day

 I    Inspirational, spiritual, a moral leader

O   Openness to ideas and progress

L    Love and friendship ever true

E   Enchanting as a precious pearl

T   Tender and delicate, the Violet we love

      by Delta Nu Chapter, Chico, California

   Violet, Betty, and Ferne

   Betty, Violet, and Ferne

   Violet Pettit Tindal

   Ferne Palmer Schick

   Betty McClure

   Donna Collins

I get by with a little help from my friends by Debbie Henize, International Historian

I am by nature, a very independent person.  I was the first person in my family to go away to college.  I packed my things and moved three hours away and I knew no one.  I bought my first home on my own.  I lived there by myself for 6 years before meeting and marrying my husband.  I suspect that many of you are that way too!  It is not a bad thing but …

Isn’t it funny how there is always a but?  I need to keep myself in check because I don’t have to do it all myself.  I have friends.  Just like you, I have hundreds of Sisters who know more than I do and are willing to help.  

As you probably know, I have been inputting pictures in the new directory and hit a roadblock.  I didn’t ask for help, I just kept trying.  A dear Sister sent me an email with the pictures of her chapter for the directory.  I, of course, thanked her and proceeded to post the pictures to the directory.  In our conversation, she shared with me how she got the pictures.  It was like a light bulb went off.  Why had I not thought of that?  Now I know how to get the pictures from the old directory into the new one.  If I had only asked for help, I would have saved a great deal of time.

I keep learning more and more about our wonderful organization.  Even more important are the people I am getting to know and depend upon.  We all need each other and there are many more lovely women out there who need us as much as we need them.  

Sister to Sister…..