A local sorority comprised of energetic members who work year-round helping make the community better took time to mark an anniversary of its organization last week.
The local Zeta Omicron chapter of the Epsilon Sigma Alpha sorority took part in state and national observances honoring ESA's 86 years of charitable work and community contributions.
In Denver, the governor signs a proclamation honoring the organization, and the group's state president is given a flag that is flown over the capitol building in observance of the event.
Zeta Omicron has been in existence in Cedaredge for 45 years. The chapter has 23 members, explained chapter president Cathy Westlake, who also served as state president four years ago.
"We have two major fundraisers. They are the Irish Stew luncheon in March, generally around St. Patrick's Day, and the Edge of the Cedars Art Exhibit. Zeta Omicron has been staging this art show for 43 years, with the proceeds from the two fundraisers going for scholarships at Delta-Montrose Technical College and to a student in the art department of any Delta County school who is planning to pursue an art career."
In addition to the dedication and effort that members put into their community-boost-
ing efforts, Westlake said, "We have a lot of fun."
The ESA organization also supports causes nationally and internationally. "Epsilon Sigma Alpha's main project is St. Jude's Children's Hospital," Westlake explained. "Nationally, ESA has donated $208 million to St. Jude's, and one of the hospital's floors is dedicated to ESA," Westlake explained.
"A few of the entities and activities that we donate to are: Easter Seals, Cedaredge High School Graduation Night, Surface Creek Animal Shelter, Delta County Memorial Hospital, Delta County Ambulance District, Delta County Search and Rescue, Hospice, Abraham Connection, and the Surface Creek Community Services food bank," Westlake said.
The Oct. 15 anniversary in Cedaredge was also marked by Mayor Pat Means signing a proclamation honoring the local Zeta Omicron chapter. The town proclamation notes some facts about ESA: it was founded in 1929; there are over 650,000 direct service hours donated by members each year including more than 30,000 in Colorado; there are 56 chapters in Colorado with a total membership of 520; there are 1,000 chapters total in the United States and Australia; ESA raises $12 million each year for donation to charitable causes locally and internationally.
Guiding principles of the organization include a strong emphasis on personal growth and professional development of members. Some points taken from its Ideal Book include the following ones, Westlake noted:
•ESA is a leadership and service organization bringing good people together to pursue programs that make a positive difference -- locally, nationally and internationally.
•ESA's unique program provides members with the training, education and the support they need to promote successful public service projects while developing personal and professional skills in management, public relations and leadership.
ESA has long been known as an organization on the cutting edge. Always ahead of its time, it has blazed new trails in volunteerism.
Current members of the local Zeta Omicron chapter are the following: Mary Belleville, Tammy Blanchette, Barbara Cairns, Mary Callahan, Nancy Carlson, Marilyn Cederberg, Diana Clayton, Shirley Clayton, Rhonda Gold, Waynella Gonzalez, Patti Hart, Mary Kinzer, Ann Knutson, Enid Lewis, Sara-jane McCully, Susan Meyer, Elaine Muldowney, Randy Palmer, Karen Spears, Eileen Stanley, Anna Maria Turilli, Carol Vela, Cathy Westlake and Kay Westlake.