Preceptor Beta Chapter of Beta Sigma Phi will celebrate the 83rd year of their founding with a dinner Tuesday, May 6, at The Chowder House Restaurant in Rockland, at 6 p.m. The theme for this year’s Founder’s Day is Light Up Your Life.

Beta Sigma Phi‘s Greek letters of its name represent Life, Learning and Friendship, which is the organization's motto.

Beta Sigma Phi International is a non-academic sorority with more than 150,000 members in chapters around the world. Founded in Abilene, Kan. in 1931 by Walter W. Ross, the organization has spread to every state of the United States, to every Canadian province, and to 30 other countries. The sorority was founded for the social, cultural, and civic enrichment of its members. The Rockland chapter was formed in October 1945.

In 1931, during the Great Depression, there was a need for an organization that could bring women together and expose them to a social, cultural and educational climate that was not available in those difficult times.

Most important, there was a need for friendship and support from other women. Beta Sigma Phi was created out of this need. It did not take long before Beta Sigma Phis were helping others.

Typical chapters enjoy socials that range from informal gatherings to gala affairs that often include friends and family. Fascinating cultural programs offer insight into subjects that range from the arts to gardening to in-home businesses. Membership in our organization provides opportunities to contribute to your community, develop lifelong friendships, and polish leadership skills.

International members raise more than $3 million for local charities and donate countless volunteer hours in an average year. Each chapter determines its own service projects and participation is always voluntary. The Rockland-based chapter has several service projects, including donations to Meals on Wheels and AIO Food Pantry. They have held the Pancake Breakfast at the Lobster Festival for many, many years. A scholarship is presented each year in memory of Beryl Borgensen to someone who is entering the nursing field. The organization has members of all ages and educational backgrounds. We have 21 active members presently from Rockland, Owls Head, Lincolnville, Thomaston, Warren, Rockport, Hope, Spruce Head, and Tenants Harbor. The sisterhood constantly redefines itself through the diversity and vitality of its members who share their ideas, talents and enthusiasm.

That is why we are known around the world as The Friendship Organization.

Any former sister who might be visiting the area, just moving to the area, in inactive status, or on leave of absence to please join the group May 6 to Light Up Your Life. Please call 596-6032 for more information.