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RANGELY I It has been said that sincere kindness is given when no one is looking. Since 1929, the people associated with Epsilon Chi have been helping others and truly changing the world. The hours of volunteerism and money raised on a global level is breathtaking. They average 650,000 hours of service annually and have raised $150 million in cash pledges for St Jude Children’s Research Hospitals. This year the Rangely Epsilon Chi chapter celebrated 60 years of service. It is absolutely amazing what this philanthropic sorority has done for the small communities. Through their endeavors they reach out to help others with the motto, “The only right we have is the right to be of service.” Locally, the women involved have helped with the health screenings at the schools in Rangely, the health fair, W.A.R.M., Giant Step, the food bank, Eagle Crest, the hospital, Meals on Wheels, a book fund scholarship to a graduating senior, the Giving Tree and medical records. In the past year alone they have logged 322 hours of volunteer time for the community.
When the chapter began Marie Beard was president with Jerry Kelly, Avis Sizemore, Mary Hunnicut, Ellen Harris and Jane Janes as her officers. At one time there were sister chapters in Meeker and Granby, another chapter in Rangely and two in Craig.
The organization has sponsored Jump Rope for Heart and Blast Off for Heart, as well as sending children to Easter Seal Camp, hosted a “senior” prom for the seniors at Eagle Crest and given an “outstanding youth award” to a junior high student. They bought tables for the Radino Senior Center as well as other items for the White River Village Senior Housing,and items for the hospital and Eagle Crest and needy families. Their primary fundraiser each year is the annual holiday bazaar to be held on Nov. 11 this year. The money raised goes to community projects. Their national project is St. Jude Children’s Hospital. They raise money with special raffles at Christmas including a $100 money shirt, a rafting trip for two and a weekend getaway in Grand Junction including motel and dinner.
Dorothy Collins and Gail Palmer have achieved their fifth degree of Pallas Athene, followed by Loyann Hayes and Martha Mitchem with fourth degrees and Brenda Hopsom and Arleen Huff with third degrees. Martha Mitchem has been a chapter member for 54 years; Dorothy Collins, 51 years; Gail Palmer, 44 years; Loyann Hayes, 30 years; Brenda Hopson, 17 years; and Arleen Huff with 11 years of service. Their newest member is Vicky Webb who joined in May.
The group currently has seven members. When asked what has changed the most since the early years of Epsilon Chi in Rangely the members laughed and said, “No gravel roads and we aren’t living in camp houses anymore.” They remember the time when there were so many members it took two people to host meetings. When they gathered it was a big deal, people got dressed up, and standing up straight and proud and speaking correctly was important. This group of women are extremely proud of the work they have done and continue to do and rightfully so. They have done so much for their community not for recognition or praise but because it is the right thing to do. Epsilon Chi has not only been about service, it means different things for each member. It offers social activities, close friendships and new interests along with the incredible work they do. They are always open to new members. Interested people can call Brenda Hopson at 675-8097.
Following is a list of the former presidents of the organization that have helped keep Epsilon Chi running. it is very interesting to read the list and realize all the great women who have been part of something so great. The list is from 1952 to present. The number following a name represents the years served: Marie Beard, Mary Edna Hefly, Mary Lou Angus, Francis Green, Shirley Strain, Shirley Jones, Alene Mann, Marilyn Seebaum, Ruby Kenney, Donna Martine, Ann McAlister, Marteal Johnson, Bobbie, Hoff, Jane Kelly, Dorothy Collins (5), Joan Young, Abbie Davis, Eldrid Hilkey (3), Martha Mitchem (5), Gail Palmer (3), Betty White, Babe (Leona) Hinricks, Mary Ellen Linderman, Jerry McAlister, Juanita Kelley, Mary Ellen Walgren, Connie Duncan, Loyann Hayes (2), Bonnie Hartman, Joann Thornburg, Brenda Hopson.
To all of the women who have been involved and volunteered, thank you! It is truly a blessing to have exceptional individuals willing to give back through an organization designed to bring these women together. The work they have done may have gone unnoticed by the general public but never unappreciated by the recipients. Their generosity has made a big difference in Rangely for the last 60 years.