Atrusa Recalls Club Activities From the Fifties

Kansas City - Altrusa International of Greater Kansas City, Inc. held its monthly business/program meeting at the Holiday Inn Plaza. In addition to the usual club activities of committee reports, nominations, and preparation for upcoming District Conference and Centennial International Convention, the club had a program on its activities from the 1950's. Last month club members were reminded of the club's charter banquet at the Hotel President in Kansas City, which is now the Hilton President Hotel, a National Historic Landmark in April, 1942.

Continuing the “Decade in Review” program at its monthly business meetings, February kicked off the “Fifties” decade, where members were reminded of historic highlights, entertainment tidbits, and political news items. The club members were made aware of the early service projects, which were often tied to political events and certainly local needs. The Kansas City Club worked with the American Korean Foundation in the aftermath of the Korean War. They were involved in Disaster Relief for Tampico, Mexico following a hurricane. They worked with the Red Cross specifically in the area of tornado disaster relief. Locally, they sponsored a Girl Scout Troop at Delano School, which served special needs children. They also worked with Jefferson Home, Gillis Home, Spofford Home as well as the Child Welfare Division of Jackson County Christmas Gift program. In addition to these, they supported United Funds and CARE.

A power point presentation was given by Bethany Stanley of Overland Park, KS, which highlighted the background of Altrusa as well as noteworthy events. As far as Altrusa history was concerned, members learned that the club became a member of the newly created District Eight of Altrusa International. District Eight is composed of clubs in the states of Missouri, Arkansas, Kansas and Oklahoma.

Members also learned that the McDonald's Hamburger franchise began in the mid-fifties. Crazy glue was invented as an aid in the Korean War. Popular toys were the hula hoop and Mr. Potato Head, which still impact our culture today. Other important inventions included the hovercraft, pacemaker, and musical synthesizer. The “Fifties” marked an explosion in music with recordings ranging from rock-n-roll, pop, swing, blues, rhythm & blues, country and rockabilly. Surprisingly, the number one song of the decade was Chuck Berry's “Johnny B Goode.” The second most popular song was “Heartbreak Hotel” by Elvis Presley.

Of special note, the power point presentation was prepared by Stanley's son, Seth Kirschenbaum, a senior at Blue Valley North High School. He spent time researching material on Altrusa and what was happening in the world for each of the different decades. This was his National Honor Society Senior Project.

For more information about Altrusa, go to the club's website at . For personal contact reach out to Club President, Shannon Johnston by e-mail at .


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