Making a Difference
Theta Alpha Chapter of Phi Beta Psi Sorority has continued to leave its mark on Scottsburg and Scott County by establishing a fund in the Scott County Community Foundation’s Forever Tree Society.
Phi Beta Psi is a non-academic charitable sorority founded in Columbus, Ohio in 1904. A group of professional women, which included Alice Hedge McKnight, Goldie Mount Scott, Bertha Jones Johnson, Grace McClellan Jones, Frances Enoch Andrews, Anis McClellan Grimsly, Lois Enoch Krieger and Mabel Vail Pitts Kimmick met often at Richey’s Café for lunch, and the idea for a Scottsburg chapter was created. Theta Alpha was formally organized on May 9, 1929.
The women decided that patronesses (women who protect, support or sponsor something) would be helpful to them. Anna Martin, Mattie Shapinsky, Alma Hall, Florence Hubbard, Daisy McCullough, Maybelle Brunton, Mayme Everitte and Phyllis Johnson shared this honor.
The national project of Phi Beta Psi is cancer research. The sorority’s birthday calendar started in 1942 and continuing to this day contributes to this project.
Theta Alpha’s sense of community spirit has been demonstrated through the years through support of numerous organizations. Donations have been made to the high school for band uniforms, and through orange sales they were able to send the band to march in the parade in Florida. They also purchased the entrance marker at Craig Park in memory of Fannie Middleton, a lamp post for the town square, recliner for the hospital, and the fountains at Lake Iola. They’ve donated $3,000 for a room at the hospital and $5,000 to the Scott County Heritage Center and Museum. Big Brothers Big Sisters of Scott County, the Little League, girls cheer team, girls softball and the Scott County Community Clearinghouse are also recipients of financial help due to the generosity of the sorority.
The group continues to award a scholarship in memory of their deceased sisters to a high school senior girl, and a state scholarship is also awarded for students majoring in medical technology. The sorority also sends a candidate to girls state, and a fair queen contestant is also sponsored by the chapter.
“Over the past 82 years there have been many money-making projects,” stated sorority members. “We have managed the swimming pool concession stand and had booths at both the county fair and Courtfest. Our first salad luncheon served 300 people. We held a tasting bee, style shows, sold recipe books and cookie dough. Theta Alpha was also remembered in the Brunton-Fleenor estate.”
The sorority’s current projects are semi-annual bingo, selling pecans and their birthday calendar.
“Because of our love and dedication to Scott County, we are using some of these funds to contribute to the Forever Tree Society at the Scott County Community Foundation so that we will continue to impact Scott County,” said sorority members.
The Forever Tree Society is a unique program that allows donors to honor or memorialize a loved one, or give tribute to your favorite organization. There are three levels in the Society: the Blossom Fund, the Willow Fund and the Oak Fund. All donors who give an unrestricted gift of $500 or more become members of this special program. The Board of Directors has set aside limited matching funds for those who establish their own fund or donate to a current fund, and the Theta Alpha chapter was able to take advantage of this program.
To donate to the Phi Beta Psi Sorority Theta Alpha Chapter Fund or establish your own Forever Tree Society fund, please contact the Scott County Community Foundation.