MY COMMITMENT TO SPG by International Vice President, Deb Juracich

Hello!  My commitment to Sigma Phi Gamma is a huge part of my life and I am grateful for the opportunity to serve and grow in this wonderful organization. Recently, my commitment to the local Boy Scouts was rejuvenated, along with tackling some fears and pushing myself “outside my comfort zone” by attending Wood Badge.
Wood Badge was started in 1911 by Baden-Powell, founder of Boys Scouts, drawing upon the most current leadership models being used by corporate America, academia, and outdoor leadership organizations found in all corners of the world. Wood Badge is the highest level of adult Scout leader training available providing advanced leadership and team-building training for adult leaders.
My first intense, packed three-day experience was in early August at Camp Falling Rock in Ohio where I began to tackle a few of my fears: camping alone and going to the bathroom in the middle of the night to pee! I had said that I would “never” be able to take this course because I do not have the confidence or what is takes to complete it!  (Also said I would never be able to run for Province and International Office.) NEVER say NEVER it ALWAYS comes back to get you!
After some humorous lessons on how to set up the tent from my son and husband and almost demolishing my son’s Lego village with the tent poles, the art of setting up a tent was mastered. I also learned to not set up a tent in the house! I got to camp, set up my tent, and then realized I may be near something that looked like poison ivy, so I moved the tent – just to be sure!
It was really hot, but I did not want to drink a lot so I would not have to get up in the middle of the night to go to the bathroom. The first two nights I did not have to go to the bathroom. So, I thought, “I’ve got this!”  Yep, I got cocky! The third night I had to get up not once, but twice! Another lesson learned … do not get cocky! Got my shoes and pants on, grabbed the flashlight and away I went through the woods, across the field to the bathroom! Did not see any creatures or scary people that would come and take me away, just the beautiful sky filled with more stars then I could count. God knew I needed that boost of confidence! Second fear concurred!
Now onto the hard one…confidence! Wood Badge is expertly designed to stress you out, tie you in knots, and take you on an emotional roller coaster. Yep, that all happened, but it also did something amazing and unexpected … I began to change. I became more carefree (hard for a Type A), more understanding, rejuvenated, and ready to tackle any problem (big one as I tend to run/hide from conflict and problems!).  Walking away from the first weekend I gained lifelong friends, a renewed love of Scouting, and my confidence. Life is a long road, and I am now ready for the adventure!
So what does Boy Scouts have to do with Sigma Phi Gamma? A lot! These two organizations are similar in many ways. We both build friendships, value service, and help our community all while growing individuals personally. I challenge each of you to confront a fear, or do something new, or tackle something that makes you uneasy. You will not regret it! I am looking forward to my last weekend at Wood Badge camp in September to continue to grow as a leader and person! What are you going to do to push yourself “outside your comfort zone?”
I leave you with a quote that my Wood Badge Course Director, Steve, he told us…”Clear eyes, open heart…can’t lose!”
Together we are one in Friendship, Service, and Community – Sigma Phi Gamma!

Ever Wonder Just How the LITTLE FRIENDS HEALTH FUND Got Started? By International President, Donna Collins

In 1940 at the Conference of the Southern Mountain Workers, a Committee on Health made its report and expressed its gratitude to Luella Foster Handel, then SPG International Welfare Secretary. Through Luella’s efforts, a separate health project, LITTLE FRIENDS HEALTH FUND, was established at the 1940 SPG Convention, and November was named “Health Month.”
The fund received its name at the 1942 SPG Convention, and the first letter of each word represents Luella’s initials. At that time, Luella felt that our members might hesitate to send small amounts of money to the local Centers that, individually, would be of little help; but, by putting these small individual amounts into one fund, collectively SPG could do much good.
The LITTLE FRIENDS HEALTH FUND was made up of a ten cent assessment of each of our Active Members and voluntary donations from any source, provided they were made without restrictions. In contrast to the SIGMA PHI GAMMA Health Project, no part of the LITTLE FRIENDS HEALTH FUND came from the International Treasury.
Each November the Chapter Welfare Secretaries collected and sent the assessments and donations to the International Welfare Secretary, who then presented the total in one check to the Chairman of the Health Committee at the conference of the Council of the Southern Mountains, Inc. The Health Committee used the funds, after approval of our International Welfare Secretary, on special health projects to benefit needy people in the area of all of our Centers.
The LITTLE FRIENDS HEALTH FUND has a record of wonderful accomplishments: maintaining hot lunch programs in remote mountain schools; helping to establish health and dental clinics; setting up nursing scholarships; providing vitamins, medicines and inoculations; assisting in making and publishing a survey and study, “Health Care Services and Facilities in the Southern Appalachians,” assisting in the making of a movie trailer in color film to use in health education; assisting in the compilation, publishing, and distribution of twenty thousand (20,000) copies of the booklet “Health Careers in the Appalachian South,” to attract graduating high school seniors to further education for health work; and supporting the Mobile Health Fairs.
It is truly amazing to read about the impact of the LITTLE FRIENDS HEALTH FUND – right from the very beginning. The information in this blog post comes right from the SPG website, members only: Governance tab, International, Appendix 2016 pdf. Visit the SPG website and take a moment to learn more about the Little Friends Health Fund … and so much more about your sorority!
Together we are one in Friendship, Service, and Community – Sigma Phi Gamma!
Until next time,
Donna
Donna Collins
International President

Founders’ Day…2016 by International Counselor Wendie McKnelly

It was such an honor to share Founders’ Day in Mesa, Arizona with so many dedicated sisters from Sigma Province. Donna Long who had just gotten out of the hospital with a broken wrist managed to get there. Milly Creighton, our Ninety-four (94) year old member who recently was hospitalized…arrived with her beautiful smile. Rosie Lytle, who is a 66 plus year member found her strength after a serious illness, rode with me so she could attend. The love of Sigma Phi Gamma runs deep and the vision of our Founders is ALIVE and WELL!
Wendie McKnelly
Nu Delta Chapter
International Counselor

International Photo Directory in the Works by Linda Bullington, International Historian

I’m so excited to get the International Photo Directory going! How cool will that be? You will be able to see our members listed with their name and Chapter. It will make it easy to find that Sister you just met in case you’ve forgotten her name, because you’ll be able to see her face! Or, you might have a phone call scheduled with a Sister you haven’t met yet, you’ll be able to look them up and have a face in mind while talking to them.
Getting your photo in is really easy to do. Simply have someone in your Chapter take a headshot of you using a digital camera or cell phone (stand against a solid color wall so you are the focal point not the background!) Please send names along with the photos, in the order of the photos so I get the correct name to each picture. Send the photo and names via email to:
historian@SigmaPhiGamma.com
The sooner you send it, the sooner you’ll be posted! Any questions please email me at the address above. Thanks!
Later, Linda Bullington- International Historian
As Members, We Are The History Of SPG!

What a Feeling! By Lindy Heath, International Editor

Hi Sisters! Whew has the time flown by since we were all together at International Convention in Columbus or is it just me that feels like it was just yesterday? I can’t believe it’s almost September and that it’s been almost six weeks since I left Columbus.
It was a wonderful Convention and I must say those girls in Ohio really know how to do it right. I had a great time seeing old friends and making new ones, seeing the sights on the ‘free bus’, and attending the events. I was especially excited to win the basket that I had hoped to win on Saturday night. It was so special.
What makes the Conventions so special? Is it getting to travel to a city you may never have visited before? Is it renewing the friendship of the Sisters who may live in other parts of the country? Is it the events that you enjoy the most? Or is it attending the Business meetings to learn what how our organization is run?
Well for me I think it’s the total package all rolled up into one. I’ve been to Columbus, Ohio many times before but never have I been on the ‘free bus’! That was a real treat to enjoy with my Sisters. I have not seen some of my Sisters from the Western States in a couple of years so seeing them was so much fun and we got to catch up on each other’s lives, doings, and the fun things that are happening in their Chapters. I also loved being able to share my room with a Sister from my Province and spend some quality one-on-one time with her. And who would ever miss the opening night and meeting our Council to celebrating their hard work for the past year with them, the 50/50’s chances, the Friday night social event, the celebration of our Sisters years of service on Saturday night, or the Breakfast on Thursday and the Brunch on Sunday? But it not just those things, or the elections, the discussions at the meetings or the speakers (although I must admit I paid a great deal of attention to Chad), but it’s a time to remember our Zeta members and that ceremony never fails to touch me deeply.
I treasure those Conventions and look forward to the next one each year. So when I came home and began work as your new International Editor and picked up my daily duties I was filled with a renewed energy. It dawned on me why I loved them so much, it makes me FEEL that I am not just one person in a Chapter but part of so much more. And that’s why I enjoy the Conventions, the Sisters, the Events, the Ceremonies, and yes even the Business Meetings. They renew me.
Hugs and much love in SPG
Lindy Heath

Reflections and Admiration by Renee Chenault, International Organizer

This should be interesting as I’ve never written a blog post before! So the first thing I want to share has to do with my visitation to Alpha Chapter’s Founders’ Day Celebration in Hartford City, Indiana on August 27th!

I was asked by Jane Johnson to conduct the Installation of their 2016-2017 Officers! I was honored to be able to install all of the officers who were present.

I always feel renewed after attending a Founders’ Day celebration. It is a time to reflect on what it must have been like almost 100 years ago when our five Life Founders put everything together and created Sigma Phi Gamma International Sorority! I’m sure they are looking down on all members of SPG and saying “Well done dear Sisters, please keep us going strong through the next 100 years!”

Military Volunteers and SPG Volunteers Are More Alike Than You Think by Jill Pyclik, International Service Secretary

It’s been a very amazing week here in Indiana. We had several tornadoes last week, last count I believe was close to 8 that went through Indiana and 5 of those were in Kokomo. As many of you know I work for the military and have for 32 years proudly. But last week I was shown a whole new level of what is meant when we say “one team one fight.” Many of my members were affected by the tornadoes, some lost everything, some had lots of damage, and some only had minimal damage. But the one thing I saw was how we all came together and took care of each other. It’s a beautiful thing to see people who really care for one another work side-by-side, answer our nations call to go to war and hopefully come home together. When it was time to clean up everything left behind from the tornadoes, from a box full of memories, to taking down the remainder of the garage, to cutting trees and hauling off trash, these military members really do come together for each other and their community. I’m proud to serve with them in my capacity and I’m also proud to call them my friends and family.

Jill Pyclik
International Service Secretary

Founders’ Day Reflections and Our History

Dear Sisters:

As we reflect on Founders’ Day I want to take this opportunity to share a few interesting things that you may not know, or don’t remember, about our SPG history. (Each of these items, as well as many others, can be found on the SPG website, Governance tab, Appendix PDF.)

Our Crest is composed of our symbols. The idea of a crest originated with Mary Gucker (Alpha), while Grand President in 1924-1925. The Crest was decided upon during the next term of office when Harriette Voss (Delta) served as Grand President. The Crest was completed by Evelyn Diroll (Eta), Grand President 1926-1927.

The Creed was written by Pauline Broughton of Beta Chapter. Although written during the time she attended high school, it was not until the year following her death, in 1926, that Mrs. Broughton discovered the Creed. Struck by the beauty of it she conceived the idea of having a copy made for herself as well as each member of Beta Chapter. As a fitting memorial to Pauline who wrote it, and in recognition of her mother who so unselfishly gave it to Sigma Phi Gamma, the International Council adopted the Creed in its entirety in 1933.

Sigma Phi Gamma’s official publication is called BUDDIE. However, the very first issue, was known as the BOOK OF BUDDHA and was proposed and edited for the first four years by Phyllis Langstaff Royce (1925-1929). BUDDIE was made a monthly magazine at the 1932 Convention. Today, BUDDIE is published four times a year and includes information for every Province submitting articles, as well as the International Officers.

The permanent password was selected at the 1960 International Convention. It is only relayed orally to members and shall never appear in print. I remember my first International Convention in Florida where I was asked to serve as Marshall, and I remember fondly how the more senior ladies would lean in and whisper the ‘password’ to me. Wow! I will love the opportunity to share this story with you next time we see each other. You’ll love hearing it as much as I love telling it.

We are today, the women who are making SPG history for tomorrow. Today we have the honor to stand in the shadow of our Founders as they look down upon us from Zeta Chapter. I know they are so pleased by what they see. We have gifts to offer – we know and understand true friendship. We have hearts for service, and the muscle and stamina to carry out great works. We provide a hand-up for our communities so that everyone has opportunity for success.

Together we are one in Friendship, Service, and Community – We are Sigma Phi Gamma!

With love,

Donna

Donna Collins, International President 2016-2017

A Little Reflection About Our Creed & Self-Love and Improvement

A blog post from Suzanne Hermanson

I’ve always loved reciting the SPG Creed. I believe it embodies what we strive to be as Sisters and frankly, as human beings.

We are all flawed individuals. We know our own faults better than most.

As you know most New Year’s resolutions are lost before February rolls around but, I would like to propose a new challenge. What if we each select one line (and one line only) from the Creed and beginning now, in our new sorority year,  each of us works on that part of the Creed we would most like to improve in ourselves. This is a personal journey, not a Chapter or Province project.  I think you will discover, like me, that it is an ongoing process of self-improvement.

Next summer you may wish to select a new line of the Creed, or you may stay with the same line. If you falter along the way, don’t give up, just start anew.

This resolution of self-reflection and self-work is not intended to be an easy endeavor, but one of self awareness and improvement. All of us working toward the same goal, to be a better Sister and a better human being.

It might be fun to hear some of your success stories around this same time next year.

. . . I have mine selected!

Love Always,

Suzanne

GAMMA PROVINCE, Central-Southeast Ohio, BETH WING – Editor

GAMMA PROVINCE, Central-Southeast Ohio, BETH WING – Editor

Alpha Tau, Athens is involved in helping many charitable organizations. A couple of our favorites are: My Sister’s Place where women and their children can find refuge from domestic violence. They provide the community with a list of their needs and we help by gathering supplies for them from our chapter members. Athens County Children’s Service’s is another ; this year we provided winter coats for the children and as we do every year provide Christmas presents. Athens County visiting nurses association is an organization where we supply fans in the summer for some of the clients who need them. Mu Beta, Lancaster has been very supportive of our local food pantry this year.  We find out what is really needed each month.  It may be specific food items or personal care items.  We buy those items then each month and donate them to the food pantry.  At Thanksgiving and Christmas we buy the food pantry a gift card for a local grocery store.  The workers at the food pantry can then buy what is needed for the holiday season.  The food pantry seems to experience more and more requests each month.  We are very pleased that we can support the food pantry and many hungry people in our community. Psi, Logan has many groups that we support through our Ways and Means and Service work. Last year we gave funds to Fairhope Hospice, Logan Fireworks Fund, Relay for Life, Chakers Theater Restoration, Hocking County Agricultural (to sponsor ribbons for 4-H projects), The Washboard Festival, the Veteran’s Hospital in Chillicothe, Dollars for Lights (to support the Christmas lights in town), families for Thanksgiving and Christmas, and the Community Thanksgiving Dinner. As you can see, we try to give to things in our community that need the money. Giving money to families at Christmas and Thanksgiving are probably the most satisfying. The families receiving the food and presents are always so very grateful, and we have a group of girls that really like to shop! Another project that we get involved not only with money, but also with service hours is the Fairhope Hospice Run and Walk. Many of us not only help, but also participate in the run or walk. Psi Chapter is very pleased that we can help so many in our community! Xi Xi, Columbus focuses on assisting women and children in central Ohio. This year, the chapter will concentrate on donations for GRIN (Gahanna Residents in Need). GRIN is a community wide, faith based organization committed to helping the residents of the Gahanna-Jefferson school district in a time of need. The website quotes Proverbs 14:31: “Whoever oppresses the poor shows contempt for their Maker, but whoever is kind to the needy honors God.” Gahanna is a suburb of Columbus, Ohio.

 

Contributing Editors: Pat Meyer, Alpha Tau; Beth Wing, Mu Beta; Lynne Risch, Psi; and Deb Juracich, Xi Xi

Sister to Sister…..