Altrusa’s Char-i-Tea event raises money for new library

The Altrusa Club hosted its first Char-i-Tea event Saturday to raise money and donate books for a new library at the New Mexico Baptist Children's Home.

Hosted at the home's Massey Center, Altrusa Club members and their guests dined on finger sandwiches and pastries and had a choice of tea or punch as a drink. Each table was helmed by a group of Altrusans who decorated it to match the theme of a book.

Laurie Bohm used "Alice in Wonderland" as the theme for her table and used an antique doll from her grandmother as the centerpiece. "She was my doll for the theme," said Bohm, "and I wanted to kinda work around that."

Jillian Holbert: Portales News-Tribune

Parents and children eat biscuits and drink punch and tea around a Dr. Seuss themed table at the Altrusa Char-I-Tea event.

April Rutter sat at the Junie B. Jones themed table where three of the books from the series were accompanied by jars of jellybeans and big, sidewalk chalk to serve as the centerpiece.

"This little girl makes a lot of mistakes," said Rutter, "She's chaotic and that's what's fun about her."

As part of their mission to promote literacy, the Altrusa Club has a program to help provide needy children, teens, and senior citizens with glasses. Sheryl Borden, a director of the Altrusa Club, honored Dr. Charles Brooks for his work with the program.

Author and educator Karen Alexander also entertained the Char-i-tea guests with a presentation on Dr. Suess and reading some of her children's stories and poems. She included members of the audience to participate in her literacy games.

"I came so I could have fun," said Hailey Davis. "It was fun being able to speak in front of an audience."

The goal of the Altrusa Char-i-tea event was to contribute to a library for the Baptist Children's Home.

"Literacy is our main project and we wanted to do something different," said Gaynelle Thomas, the event's chair and organizer. "We give books out anyway, but we wanted to make it a little bit more fun."

According to Thomas, the Char-i-tea was a club effort and each member decorated a table, made goodies, or acted as a server for the event. She was also keen on making it an annual event.

"We feel like it was a success today," she said.

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