Last IROC Update in May!

PAT AMLIN: I went to Lou’s in the middle of January. Of course attended Omega Province and stayed until February 13, then on to my Grandson’s in Gainesville. While there he and his wife had my new great granddaughter by   C-section. Nola Grace was 32 weeks but very small, just 1lb, 1.3oz. She is breathing on her own, but is getting some oxygen and has a feeding tube. Rachelle (mother) had been in the hospital for over a month, baby being monitored. The hospital knew the baby would be small and were prepared. Sure looking forward to seeing everyone in June. Love, Pat

LINDA BANY: In July, my Chapter celebrated our 60th Anniversary with a lovely Victorian Tea. It was a beautiful occasion filled with memories and our history as Sisters in Sigma Phi Gamma. Those years have gone by too quickly. In August, my kids and their spouses and grandkids had our first annual whiffle ball tournament weekend at my neighborhood park. Everyone had a blast (especially Grandma). Anytime family gets together it is special. I’m looking forward to an early spring and of course International Convention in South Bend in June! Hope to see many of you there! Love to all, Linda

HELEN BIALES: It seems as we get older time goes by faster than ever. Life has been good. Lots of golf, travel, bridge, and volunteer activities. I look forward to seeing my SPG Sisters in South Bend.

CAROL BOND: Another busy year has passed since International Convention. Indianapolis was a great fun. However, the city had a surprise welcome for us. June 24, the day after we arrived, Indianapolis had a tornado and we spent about 30 minutes in the tornado shelter next to the hotel. This was a first. Seeing new sights and revisiting a city is always fun. Our twins group spent time in Skokie, Illinois, saw some Chicago sights and ate some Chicago food. If you are ever there and have a chance to visit the Museum of Science and Industry, do it. Connie and I are looking forward to seeing what’s new in the South Bend area. Just wish it was easier to get to. See you all in June.

LINDA BULLINGTON: Hi Dear Sisters! I enjoy helping out in my grandson’s second grade classroom when I can, kids are so smart, and at least I can still help with their class work at that age! I also Serve as treasurer for the PTA, plan movie nights for the families to enjoy, and chaired the Christmas craft event with help from some of my sorority Sisters, all of that keeps me out of trouble. I’m looking forward to South Bend where I’ll be running for International Service Secretary (again). Hope to see you in South Bend!

LIZ COCHRANE: Is it Spring yet? This has been a record breaking year here in Massachusetts for snow fall and cold temperatures. I am so looking forward to spring and of course to Convention. I will be so honored to preside over the 2015 Convention being held in South Bend, Indiana. I have enjoyed the time serving as your President this year. My Province visitations were to warm sunny Florida, even warmer to Tucson, Arizona, and then I completed my visitations spending time with the Beta Ladies in Fort Wayne, Indiana. My hope is that we have a fabulous turnout to South Bend and I promise hugs to all. Love you, Liz

DIANE COSTELLO: It has been a busy year for me. Roy and I re-married the first of September, sold our respective homes, and bought 17 acres 2 miles outside of Bloomington on the South side of town. We moved in the weekend before Thanksgiving, had painters on the following Monday and Tuesday, and Thanksgiving dinner in our new home on Thursday. The following week I started caring for my 6 week old great-grandson (#4) when my granddaughter returned to work. After losing 2 of our Life Members within a little over a year, 3 of us attended Lambda Province for a much needed rest and reconnection with our Lambda Sisters. There will be four of us in South Bend and can hardly wait to see everyone! Love to all, Diane


IROC Sisters Rule …

BETTY CRAFTON: If the years fly past any more quickly – we’ll meet each other going in and out the SPG hotel’s convention doors. Really enjoyed Alpha’s Province in Indianapolis. As we didn’t need to work – just enjoy! It has been a good year – grandchildren getting older and wiser, we hope – youngest one, Paige, our golfer turned 21 – and oldest, Carolyn 28 – with James, Laura and Nick sprinkled in between. BIG EVENT was Dan’s Honor Flight for WW II Vets on 9/6/14 to Washington, D.C. Son, David, went along as his Guardian, 70 veteran’s w/70 guardians + health care attendees. It was quite an emotional send-off & returns w/hundreds gathered to honor them, i.e. bands playing, celebrations – both state & local. Took several days to bring him ‘down to earth’ again. AND, of course our yearly wintering on Marco Island with our many friends from all over the country even Canada has become very special. We don’t miss the ice and snow though I was sorry not to be at LAMBDA PROVINCE to see my ‘new’ daughter Donna installed as Province Organizer. Remember in Charleston, I warned several of you about a ‘new’ Crafton being a SPG member. Looking forward to seeing all of you in South Bend this June. Wishing U ‘daisy days’ X’s & O’s

BARBARA DRECHSLER: Richard had a fall in late January – broke his nose, got a gash on the nose from his eye piece, and abrasions on face and knees. Stitches and a short surgery followed — he’s pretty much back to normal, but being more careful. My knees are giving me problems, but what isn’t during these marvelous ‘golden’ years. Dealing with snow and shoveling this past winter didn’t help!! Richard and I are looking forward to seeing everyone in South Bend.  Hugs to all, Barbara

DIANE EASTERDAY: I’m getting along well with my knee and back surgeries. I’m doing therapy right now for my back. At the writing of this note, we are in Indy keeping our grandkids company while their parents take a short vacation to Arizona. Can’t call it babysitting any more. They’re 16 and 11 and pretty much take care of themselves. I am coming to International. Looking forward to seeing all of you. I love hugs. Hope to see you there. Love in Sigma Phi, Diane

DIANE FLAYHART: On the way home from convention last year, Bill and I toured a potato chip factory in Zanesville, OH, spent the night in a yurt at The Wilds, and visited the 911 Memorial in Pennsylvania. I now have two great-nieces and no job. My company had a reduction in force in December and decided I would go. Since I just turned 62, I decided to not look for a job and enjoy retirement with Bill. Even though I haven’t gotten into a routine yet, I still deliver Meals on Wheels, work with my church, and still continue to go to my personal trainer three times a week.  See you in South Bend!

NANCY HARGISS: Not sure about Convention at this time. Love & Hugs to all.

BETTY McCLURE: Please give everyone a big hello and hug from me. We have been doing a lot of traveling back and forth to see our grandson in Los Angeles. They are expecting their second child the later part of June, so we will not be at convention. We need to be available to help and take care of Spencer. Take care, Betty

More IROC Updates

WENDIE MCKNELLY: It has been another wonderful year for my family. I am so appreciative that my husband and children are all healthy and doing well in their lives. Almost fifty friends visited our ranch this year, which was a pure delight for me. We all regressed into teenagers for a few days as we left our cares drift away and filled our hearts with joy and laughter. I stayed busy with bylaw reviews through the fall and early winter. This year, I vowed to work less and spend more time developing new skills. I finished my ‘real’ work project in the spring, and devoted the rest of the year to learning the art of stenciling, glass etching, scroll saw designs, and woodwork, embroidery and paper embellishments. We are truly blessed to have both good health and great friends. My heart goes out to my SPG sisters who have lost loved ones this year, and those who have endured difficulties. You are all loved and cherished.

NORMA PAYNE: It has been a very busy year for me.  Funny I have been trying for years to “retire” but seem to just keep taking on projects.  I plan to be at convention and as always look forward to seeing everyone. Love to all, Norma Payne

LYNNE RISCH: This year has been one of recovery for me. I had to spend an extra month in Indianapolis. A special thank you goes to Joyce Moyer who visited me several times in rehab and for a special visit from Nancy Hargiss, plus all the phone calls and cards I received. I came home and had 30 sessions of therapy and am thankfully doing pretty good. Things at home are interesting now that my great niece is learning to drive…she will got her driver’s license in March! The other nieces and nephews are doing great with many activities and busy lives. My Arnie is now eleven years old and beginning to show his age, but he is still a good old dog! I enjoy seeing all the comments on Facebook and I definitely look forward to going to convention this summer. Hope to see you there!

PAT THORNTON: Since last convention, I fractured my pelvis and had cataract surgery. One very painful and one great. I no longer have to wear glasses that I have worn since Grammar School. I still reach up to take them off when I go to bed or when I shower. Long standing habits are hard to break. Not sure I’ll make International this year. Still thinking on it. If I could drive I would go in a heartbeat, but it’s a little longer than a day trip so that’s out. We’ll see. Love to you all, Pat

IROC Sisters … Updates

FAYE WEBSTER: We are doing alright health wise now; Dene has given me a couple good scares, passing out in the Dr. Office, ending up in the hospital for 3 days, and another time with a nose bleed for 8 hours. He has A-fib so has to be careful and not get injured and bleed. No weddings this year, but a new great grandson in December. The kids and Dene and I spent a few days in Idaho in August attending Dene’s sister’s funeral, she was 98. It was fun reconnecting and meeting relatives and getting to know them. Looking forward to having granddaughter Emily Hopper and two children when they come for summer vacation, they live in Kentucky. I attended the mini recognition dinner in Portland; several ladies received their 50 year rewards. Elsie and Claudia along with Iota Delta sisters did a wonderful job; it was almost like being there. Am not sure at this time if I will attend convention. Much depends on our health. If I don’t have a wonderful convention.

JEANIE YOUNG: Hello and thank you – for all the prayers and cards sent when my son Gene was very ill. Your prayers kept both of us alive. He is doing fine and in September he went back to work and is good! I am still driving the bus, working at Wal-Mart, farming and cutting wood. Seems like it never stops. Love you all and I will be in South Bend and sure hope all of you can make it too! See and God Bless You!

LOU YOUNG: This has been a difficult year for my family and me. As you know, I was called home early from Indianapolis. I hated to miss any part of the Convention because I know those Alpha gals put on a “really good show!” God finally took my Jim home the end of October. He struggled long and hard, but in the end, it was too much. He is now free from all of the pain and suffering, and that is a blessing. I am planning on being in South Bend. I won’t be there until Thursday evening because my family reunion is the same week. Martha and I will be driving from VA to Convention on Thursday. I have to be there for Saturday night because I get my 50th! Hope to see many of you there.

Why I Love Sigma Phi Gamma, from Robin Pelton – International Service Secretary

Sisters—I have a beautiful network of ladies that share good times and sympathize with me in my hard times. It is really wonderful to be a part of an organization of like-minded women that share my enthusiasm and love for our sorority. When I joined Sigma Phi Gamma, I knew only a couple of the ladies in my own chapter. As time went on I met more and more women in ever-expanding areas that opened up my world to new ideas, new friendships, and new camaraderie in many areas of my life. I am truly thankful for that.

Opportunity—Being a member of this sorority has provided me with so many learning opportunities. If I hadn’t been associated with Sigma Phi I would probably never have planned an event, met the lovely women I have met throughout the United States and Canada, traveled to cities I had never experienced before, heard about the wonderful organizations that we serve and give money to, and I certainly would never have found that I can be a leader among women. With your encouragement and support, I feel that you, my sisters, have provided me with a unique opportunity to serve. Thank you for that.

Recreation—As many of you may have done, I originally joined when I had a toddler at home and another baby on the way. At that time, sorority was a way to get out of the house at least one evening a month and have some adult conversation and laughs with friends. This, of course, became so much more as time went on, but I still have a great time ANY time I am with my sorority sisters…no matter if we are attending a social function or working our butts off to have a successful fundraiser.

Officer duties—I truly love being an International Officer. But I wouldn’t have been here except for being a Province Officer first. When I first became Province Secretary, I had two very young children at home and worked full time, plus my husband and I had a home-based business on the side. I wasn’t sure I was ready. But with the support of my chapter and my family I was successful and moved on to be Province President—TWICE! It was when I became a Province Officer that I truly realized the huge scope of Sigma Phi Gamma. It was an eye-opening experience and I am thankful that I took that step so that I could learn so much more about our wonderful organization. And at the International level, my world has expanded even more.

Reaching out—When I joined sorority, I not only joined to make new friends, I joined because it was an opportunity to reach out to my community and serve. Giving back is one of the things we Sigma Phi’s do so well. Sometimes we are only able to give small amounts, of both money and/or time—but with each member giving or raising that small amount, it adds up to a big contribution. As International Service Secretary, I have had the opportunity to truly see the generosity you all have. Be proud of that.

Intrinsic rewards—The feeling of satisfaction that comes with another event finished (especially when it is successful) is priceless. The groups that we donate to are always truly grateful for our service or our gifts, but the inner glow that each sister feels after giving of herself is irreplaceable.

Tradition—The rich history of our sorority is impressive. I am a member of Upsilon Province to which Violet Petit Tindall, one of our Founders, transferred. I had the honor to meet her and talk with her several times. She was a lovely woman and was truly awed by the influence Sigma Phi Gamma has had over our nearly 100 years of existence. I know that many of our chapters have modified our rituals to suit more modern needs—and Violet completely approved of this—but it is really nice that, even with modifications, the “bones” of our rituals remain and will always remain. When I think that our Pledge and Creed were written decades ago and still stand true, it gives me a feeling of pride in who we are and what we do.

Yes attitude—The sisters that I know and the ones I will meet in the future that belong to Sigma Phi Gamma have a “yes” attitude. We all strive to give our best and we all continue to improve and expand the workings and influence of our beloved sorority. This truly makes me feel proud to be a part of this group.

So that is a little bit about why I love Sigma Phi Gamma—