On July 29, 2021, founding law firm partner Martha Hardwick Hofmeister of Dallas, Texas, was awarded Altrusa International, Inc.’s highest honor: the Eleanor Roosevelt Humanitarian Award. This award is named in honor of the legendary Eleanor Roosevelt, who included active membership in the Altrusa Club of New York City in her service-oriented life. It is Altrusa International’s only award given to an individual member. Designed to recognize an Altrusan who makes a lasting contribution to community service as a result of involvement with Altrusa, recipients must have a distinguished service record at the Local, District, and International levels.
Altrusa International, Inc., founded in 1917, is a worldwide community service organization. Originally composed of women who worked in executive and professional capacities, it welcomes all who wish to cooperatively better their communities.
Ms. Hofmeister, a member of the Downtown Dallas Altrusa club since 1986, has served the organization in many capacities: District Governor; International board member; International Bylaws, Resolutions, and Recommendations Chair; Club president; and, for 20 years, Altrusa International Foundation’s legal advisor.
In addition to Altrusa service, the recipient of the Eleanor Roosevelt Humanitarian award must have been responsible for significant non-Altrusa volunteer work. Ms. Hofmeister was nominated for her more than three decades of devotion to a signature project of the Dallas Bar Association and Dallas Bar Foundation.
Since 1986, Ms. Hofmeister has served as the Director of Bar None, a follies-type show written, produced, directed, choreographed, and directed by members of the legal community and poking fun at the practice of law and current events. Bar None’s purpose is to support scholarships for minority students at the three area law schools, the Sarah T. Hughes Diversity Scholarships; those scholarships have as their goal improving the diversity of the legal community in Dallas, and they have been remarkably successful in that endeavor. Past scholars are judges, city council members, and private practitioners.
Bar None is the primary source of funding for the Hughes Scholarships; in the show’s 36-year history, it has raised in excess of $2.2 million. Ms. Hofmeister’s tasks as the production’s Director include selecting and casting the material that is to be staged, working with the choreographer and assistant directors throughout the rehearsal period, and ultimately being responsible for all aspects of the actual 90-minute show. These tasks involve managing the all-volunteer cast of lawyers and judges, and assisting the Producer with promotion and publicity.
The Eleanor Roosevelt Humanitarian Award was presented to Ms. Hofmeister at Altrusa International, Inc.’s Convention in Charlotte, North Carolina.