The Altrusa Club of Roswell (now, Altrusa International of Roswell, NM, Inc.) was organized on September 25, 1947. The organizational meeting was hosted by the Altrusa Club of Carlsbad and took place at the Village Café on West Second Street, in Carlsbad.
The founding members elected Mary Elizabeth Hanagan as the first president and she served the fledgling club well. The Altrusa Club of Carlsbad played an important role during the formative years, providing encouragement and inspiration.
The charter dinner for the Roswell Club was held at the Nickson Dining Room on Nov. 24, 1947. It was at this dinner that the charter was presented by Mrs. Neil Burns before a large gathering of club members, representatives of other service clubs, city officials and members of other Altrusa clubs. There were 16 charter members: Dorothy Cave Aldrich, Fannie Butler, Johnnie Caraway, Jane Clarke, Norma Cox, Estelle Foster, Helen Grimes, Louise Hamilton, Esther Kelly, Mary McCullough, Zelma McEvoy, Pat McNally, Elizabeth Murphy, Jim Reese, Lillian Russell and Sadie Vauchelet.
“Altrusa” is the derivation of the word “altruism” meaning service to others. Service to others is the major objective of the club. The headquarters for Altrusa International, Inc. are located in Chicago, Illinois. Altrusa has clubs worldwide which are organized into districts. Altrusa International of Roswell, NM, Inc. is part of District 10, which is comprised of clubs in Colorado, New Mexico, Utah and Wyoming.
Altrusa International of Roswell, NM, Inc. is a nonprofit 501(c)4 organization. All monies raised through annual fundraisers, such as the Altrusa Golf Tournament and the Denim and Diamonds Dinner and Dance, are returned to Chaves County through service projects and donations to organizations that provide support to residents in the area.