History of CONTACT Altoona

A group of concerned Christians, recognizing the need for Helpline telephone service in Blair County caused CONTACT Altoona to begin in 1981 as a project of the City Union of United Methodist Churches. City Union contributed $3,000.00 seed money to provide funding for recruitment, training and publicity. The first training classes began March 1, 1982. By September 1, 1982, eighty-five telephone workers had been trained and commissioned. Since its inception, CONTACT Altoona has continuously provided Helpline services in the community through dedicated and well-trained volunteers. With the foundation of Helpline services, CONTACT Altoona’s programs and services have expanded to include Reassurance Calls, Information and Referral, PA 2-1-1 services, all in addition to the Two telephone lines have been in operation since that time.

CONTACT Altoona Timeline
40 Years Serving Blair County

  • City Union of the United Methodist Churches of Altoona donate seed money for CONTACT Altoona
  • Jean Zeisloft appointed Volunteer Executive Director
  • First Training Class commissioned 84 phone volunteers
  • Answered first call on September 1st
  • First Editors of the newsletter called “Toon In” were Marcia Rose Fuoss and Molly Miller
  • Jean Zeisloft continued as Volunteer Executive Director
  • 18 new volunteers in Spring Classes
  • Tom Klevan, Sr. became President of the Board of Directors
  • Annual Picnic and “Phone Friend” began
  • United Way made first donation of $1,000
  • Volunteers handled 6,690 Helpline calls and 748 TTY Calls
  • Jean Zeisloft retired
  • 30 new volunteer phone workers began
  • Ernie Wissinger hosted summer picnic at his home
  • 43 New phone workers began
  • Tom Walther hired as first paid Executive Director
  • Farewell Dinner for Zeislofts
  • 4,305 calls answered
  • James Gatehouse new Board of Directors President
  • First Art Auction held at Eldolyn Terrace
  • Peggy Spengler new Executive Director
  • Tom Klevan, Jr. new President of Board of Directors
  • United Way support increased to $6,200
  • Phyllis Hauenstein new Executive Director
  • Larry Hite new President of the Board of Directors
  • Collaboration with Home Nursing, Blair County Mental Health and Blair County Human Services
  • Art Auction
  • Summer Picnic at Legion Park
  • Reassurance Program begins
  • First $1,000 grant from Huntingdon Presbytery
  • Peg Landis chosen for first Spirit of CONTACT Altoona Award
  • Mental Health Reassurance calls begin in connection with the Altoona Hospital
  • Lisa Rose new Board of Directors President
  • Spence Hauenstein recipient of Spirit of CONTACT USA Award
  • Helpline and Reassurance calls total 15,152
  • 7th Annual Art Auction profits $11,000
  • Dona Wilt recognized by Met-Life with a donation of $2,500 to CONTACT Altoona
  • Alice Quay chosen as YWCA Woman of the Year
  • Provided bereavement help for those who had lost a loved one in collaboration with Home Nursing Agency and Altoona Hospital, assisted by Altoona Area Clergy and Keystone Funeral Directors Association
  • Tod Martin new Board of Directors President
  • Alice Goodfellow YWCA Tribute to Woman, Honoree
  • CONTACT Altoona received full accreditation
  • Jo Miller new Board of Directors President
  • Jan Leopold hired as Executive Director
  • Carolyn Snow new Board of Directors President
  • Paula Craw completes first year as Executive Director
  • CONTACT Altoona celebrated 20th Anniversary
  • Terriann Grove hired as Full-Time Executive Director
  • Mental Health increases funding by $25,000 for CST
  • Heidi Rexford new Board of Directors President
  • Spring Tea and Holiday Tea Fundraisers
  • Funding began from HSDF for Aging Reassurance
  • Terriann Grove awarded the Four Way Test Award by the Rotary Club
  • Bonnie Miller new Board of Directors President
  • 33 new telephone workers
  • Verizon granted $10,000
  • Combined with NAMI for Outback Fundraiser Dinner
  • Boscovs Gala Preview Fundraiser
  • Bonnie Miller and daughter, Heather Hiott update Info & Referral Manual
  • Received $500 donation from Bristol Myers Squibb due to manual above
  • CONTACT Altoona celebrated 25th anniversary
  • Calls in FY 2006-2007 reach 16,696.
  • CONTACT Altoona received full accreditation from CONTACT USA
  • Dana Shade new Board of Directors President
  • An Evening with Mike Reid Fundraiser
  • Cookbook Fundraiser began
  • Spaghetti Dinner Fundraiser
  • First Summer Shift Showdown
  • Operation Our Town Grant
  • Spaghetti Dinner Fundraiser
  • Grants received for partnership with 2-1-1
  • Spaghetti Dinner Fundraiser
  • Mike Reid in Concert Fundraiser
  • 19th Annual United Way Day of Caring had 3 employees from Peoples Natural Gas and 1 employee from Ward Trucking do landscaping and “spring-clean” our Administrative Offices
  • 2nd Summer Shift Showdown
  • Received $2,000 Competitive Grant from Central Pennsylvania Community Foundation (CPCF)
  • Received $500 Grant from LBC Alumni We Care
  • Grand Slam Sports Raffle Fundraiser
  • Gary Reid new Board of Directors President
  • Grand Slam Sports Raffle Fundraiser
  • Sunrise Rotary Spaghetti Dinner Fundraiser
  • Altoona Symphony Fundraiser
  • Mike Reid in Concert Fundraiser for CONTACT Altoona’s 34th year
  • Candy Bar Fundraiser
  • Received Grant of $500 from Blair County Health and Welfare Council
  • Penn State FB Fundraiser
  • 12 Days of CONTACT Christmas Fundraiser
  • Received full accreditation from ICH
  • Heidi Rexford new Board of Directors President
  • Monthly Game Nights Fundraiser started but halted due to COVID-19
  • Received $5,000 Grant from Pennsylvania Skills Charitable Organization
  • Received $500 Grant from Rotary Club of Altoona
  • Duncansville Community Days Fundraiser
  • PowerHouse Subs Fundraiser
  • 12 Days of CONTACT Christmas Fundraiser
  • CONTACT Altoona Celebrates 40th Anniversary