Beta Sigma Phi is an International Women's friendship network. It is the largest organization of its kind in the world. The organization has its roots in the years of the Great Depression. It was created to fulfill the need in women for the friendship and support of other women. Women were brought together in sisterhood and exposed to social, educational, and emotional climates not previously available in those difficult times.
Today's membership of Beta Sigma Phi is made up of women of all ages. Friendships develop and deepen through social activities, chapter programs, cultural events, and philanthropy done throughout the communities. Preceptor Delta Phi is one of two Ada chapters. Members include Lucille Collins, president; Carol Winton, vice president: Juanita Sutton Green, treasurer; Bobby Darbison, corresponding secretary; Abby Phillips, recorder; Jean Erickson, extension officer; Jean Kelly, scrapbook chairperson; Judy Kurz, program chairperson; Juanita True, sunshine and secret sister chairperson; and newest member, Pauline Rodke.
The Preceptor Delta Phi chapter holds a meeting once a month, usually in a member's home. The sisters also join together later each month in a social setting, most often with spouses present. Meetings alternate between days and evenings so all members have the opportunity to attend. The chapter's Opening Day gathering took place at Mazzio's Restaurant in Ada this past August. Meeting for lunch on Opening Day at Mazzio's is a long standing tradition with the chapter.
In September, the sisters convened at the home of Lucille Collins for a buffet dinner and meeting. Jean Erickson was warmly welcomed back after her extended recovery from a fall. An adieu was made to Nina Davis, now a member-at-large after her permanent move to Kansas. The sisters promised to keep in touch with her. Juanita Sutton Green presented the treasurer's report and collected yearly dues from each member. Pauline Rodke had contacted the chapter as a prospective transferee from a California chapter of BSP. The ladies updated their personal yearbooks with newly typed information pages and calendars, which were prepared by Abby Phillips. Later in September, the social gathering also took place at Mrs. Collin's home. After another lovely buffet, she presented her year long labor-of-love: The 2012-2013 Chapter Scrapbook. Of special note was a section devoted to her late husband, Paul Collins. Paul had previously been honored as an Envoy member.
Member Judy Kurz hosted the October meeting in her newly renovated, 1940s era home. While modernized, it has still retained its distinctive charm and character. After a spicy buffet of a variety of Mexican dishes, the meeting began. Juanita Sutton Green updated the treasurer's report.
As the new Scrapbook chairperson, Jean Kelly extended a request for sharing of photographs, travel and cultural brochures, and other print items of memorabilia. Pauline Rodke was welcomed by the members as a prospective transfer member. Cola, the Kurz's feisty little Dachshund, entertained the gathered ladies and received his share of goodies! As in years past, the sisters agreed to support the Ada Teen's Angel program with clothing purchases for a teen in need at Ada Junior High School. Bobby Darbison offered to shop for the items. Bobbye Darbison also received a birthday surprise from her Secret Sister during the meeting.
The October social gathering was moved to early November. The sorority sisters, spouses, family members, and friends met at Oak Hills Country Club for a lovely supper followed by several fun games of Bunco. Donations were gathered to support a fundraising project for the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation by Mitchell Kurz, grandson of the evening's hosts, Judy and Cleve Kurz.
In November, the sisters of Preceptor Delta Phi met at the home of Carol Winton. A sympathy card had been sent to Carol and Wiley Winton after the passing of Wiley's brother. Abby Phillips received a letter and pioneer pin from Beta Sigma Phi International for placing the chapter on Facebook! After her monthly report, Treasurer Juanita Sutton Green requested any outstanding paid receipts for reimbursement. The schedule of meetings and socials was revised for the new year.
Lucille Collins shared several previously requested recipes. Pauline Rodke completed paperwork for her change in membership status to the Ada chapter. A lovely candlelit ceremony was held to bestow the Master's Degree on Bobbye Darbison.
The Preferential Tea took place in mid-November at the home of Bobbye Darbison. Jean Kelly arrived beautifully dressed in a pioneer outfit. Many of the sisters wore hats. Each sister brought a pretty china tea cup and saucer to the gathering. Through a drawing, each lady returned home with the start of a new collection of tea service.
December brought an evening that combined both a social and a meeting. As usual, Carol and Wiley Winton's home was beautifully decorated for the Christmas season. Their little dog, Molly, happily welcomed each visitor at the door. After a grand supper buffet, the men adjourned to the living room to watch a basketball game. The sisters gathered in the den for their meeting.
At this December meeting, a birthday gift from her Secret Sister was passed on to Lucille Collins. Bobbye Darbison displayed the clothing purchases she had made for the sorority's Ada Teen's Angel project. Abby Phillips was asked to deliver the sorority's gifts, along with her own donation of gifts, to Ada Junior High School. Judy Kurz shared that she had also supported a child, one whose information card was posted on the Salvation Army Christmas tree. A sympathy card was sent to Arch Hill on the passing of his wife, Edna, a former sorority member. A get well card was sent to member Juanita True as she recovered from surgery.
Before the December meeting ended, Jean Kelly, Judy Kurz, and Abby Phillips reported on the presentation of Sewing Hope at ECU's Halle Brown Ford Fine Arts Center. Sister Rosemary, a Catholic nun, told of her continuing mission to help the women of her home country of Uganda rebuild their lives, faith, and confidence after surviving atrocities of civil war. Sister Rosemary teaches the women sewing and crafting skills. These invaluable skills help them earn their own money. With their money, the women may purchase sewing machines to start their own businesses and become self-sufficient. With closing prayers for a peaceful, healthy, and happy new year, the gathering adjourned.